Monday marked one year out from the 2016 Ryder Cup, which will be played at Hazeltine National Golf Club in Chaska, but was celebrated with a breakfast ceremony at Windows on Minnesota in downtown Minneapolis.
Minnesota Wild COO Matt Majka joined Governor Mark Dayton and executives from the Vikings, Twins, Timberwolves and Lynx to welcome the Ryder Cup Captains, Davis Love III (USA) and Darren Clarke (Europe), the PGA and the Ryder Cup trophy on behalf of the state and the Twin Cities.
The private event lasted an hour and included a gift exchange, with the golfers receiving personalized jerseys from each team and each local club being given a 2016 Ryder Cup golf bag autographed by both Love III and Clarke.
Tom Leyman, from Alexandria, Minn. and a graduate of the University of Minnesota, will serve as a Vice Captain to Love III for Team USA.
The Ryder Cup will take place at Hazeltine from Sept. 27 – Oct. 2, 2016 and will shine the spotlight on Minnesota to a half-billion viewers from 160 countries.
The talk after the Wild's Thursday victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets was Minnesota's success on the power play.
The Wild converted on three of its five power-play opportunities, and generated 12 shots on its man-advantage chances.
On each scoring play, the Wild crowded the area around the crease, something that's been stressed during training camp, and something they want to get better at in man-up situations.
It was a common sight on Wednesday night: Someone would walk up to Ryan Suter, look him in the eyes, and thank him for organizing the event.
Ryan and wife Becky in conjunction with the Ronald McDonald House hosted a "Skate With the Stars" event Wednesday at the Xcel Energy, a fundraiser for the charity.
All the proceeds, of which $50,000 was raised between ticket sales and silent auction, went to the Ronald McDonald House.
The Minnesota Wild will play a preseason game on Saturday in Saskatoon against the Edmonton Oilers.
While many Wild players said they felt the Monday preseason opener against the Buffalo Sabres was about getting their feet wet, today's game against the Columbus Blue Jackets is no longer about dipping the toes.
"There's a little bit of a difference," defenseman Jonas Brodin said. "The first game was pretty tight. This game, we need to keep getting better, and keep thinking about small things to get better at."
The Wild is bringing a more veteran lineup to Columbus on Thursday, and though some younger players are also making the trip, anticipation toward the regular season is building with lines and defensive pairings taking shape.
Wednesday's Wild practice featured a different look than the beginning of camp as the preseason schedule continues and the regular season opener approaches.
There were two groups that skated, with the first primarily made up of players from last year's team, with a few exceptions.
"We didn't make cuts today, but we kind of separated the groups, and I don't think anyone's feeling were hurt because the group was in the first practice was pretty much everybody that was there last year," Head Coach Mike Yeo said.
The majority of Wild skaters expected to play in Tuesday's preseason game against the Winnipeg Jets did not play in Monday's opener against the Buffalo Sabres.
That means Tuesday is much like Monday again when it comes to objectives: Keeping things simple, getting back up to game speed, and building toward October 8's season opener.
"Tonight we just have to establish our game plan, kind of get back to the basics and keeping it simple early to get a feel and get the legs going into the game," Justin Fontaine said. "It's going to definitely be different than the scrimmages, and I definitely think we're ready and prepared."
The Minnesota Wild has announced its roster for Tuesday's preseason game against the Winnipeg Jets.
The following players will be traveling to Winnipeg for Tuesday's game.
The 2nd Annual Minnesota Wild Breakaway 10K/5K/1-Mile Run was a big success on Saturday morning. Downtown Saint Paul was buzzing outside Xcel Energy Center as more than 1,000 runners participated in the event.The 20 suite ticket winners will be announced shortly, as well as the winners of the 2014-15 team signed sticks (one winner per race).
And the winner of the “Best Dressed” Contest was the "Wild Sisters."
After three days of training camp practices, the Wild will play its first preseason game tonight against the Buffalo Sabres at Xcel Energy Center.
It's a quick turnaround, but a welcome one for players who finally get a chance to get back into game-situations against another team.
"Obviously, coming out of camp you've had a couple of hard days before, and it's just excited to get into a real game against someone else other than your own teammates," defenseman Jared Spurgeon said.