The Minnesota Wild will open its preseason schedule on Monday against the Buffalo Sabres at the Xcel Energy Center.
The Wild's lineup is expected to feature defenseman Mike Reilly playing in his first NHL game, and first game on home ice. Reilly, who played for three years at the University of Minnesota, signed with the Wild July 1.
"It would be awesome," Reilly said of the prospect of playing in the first preseason game. "It would be unbelievable. My goal is to try to make the team, and keep coming in and kind of be a sponge and learn from guys."
Zach Parise said it's difficult to replicate a regular season game during training camp, but Saturday's open scrimmage was one step closer.
"You're just trying to get those — like we've been scrimmaging — get those good 5-on-5 reps, and kind of get some game situations going," Parise said . It's hard to create what it's going to be like in a game.
Parise scored twice in the scrimmage on Saturday in front of 3,000 fans who were in attendance. He has skated on a line with center Mikael Granlund and right wing Jason Pominville, a trio that has impressed coach Mike Yeo early on.
Saturday will be busy at Xcel Energy Center and you can still get involved with all of the Wild activities and watch some of your favorite players scrimmage as the team gears up for the 2015-16 NHL season.
8:30 a.m. – WILD BREAKAWAY RUN:
The 2nd Annual Minnesota Wild Breakaway 10K/5K/1-Mile Run starts and ends just outside Xcel Energy Center. The 10K starts at 8:30 a.m., the 5K at 8:35 a.m. and the 1-mile run at 8:40 a.m.
It’s not too late if you still want to participate. You can register at the race site between 7:00 - 8:00 AM on Saturday morning. Get more information here.
And even if you’re not the greatest runner, you can still win a prize as “best dressed” and start the season with a Nino Niederreiter autographed jersey! Registered runners who wish to enter the “best dressed” contest must visit the stage between Gates 1 and 2 to have their photo taken by a Wild staff member, starting at 7 a.m.
9:00 a.m. – OPEN PRACTICE/SCRIMMAGE:
At 9:00 a.m. on Saturday Xcel Energy Center will be open, at Gate 1, to the public for a Minnesota Wild practice session, including a scrimmage between Team B and Team C, scheduled for 9:25 a.m.
Team B boasts forward Zach Parise and goaltender Devan Dubnyk while Team C includes forward Thomas Vanek and defenseman Marco Scandella.
A live feed of the scrimmage will be available via Wild.com on Saturday morning as well.
9:00 a.m. – SINGLE-GAME TICKET ON-SALE:
Michelle and Joe Klaers (pictured below) arrived at Xcel Energy Center earlier this afternoon to become the first fans in line for the limited amount of 2015-16 regular season single game tickets going on sale Saturday at 9:00 a.m. exclusively at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office.
Beginning at noon, available tickets will also become available at all Ticketmaster locations and Wild.com. Tickets for preseason games are on sale now.
Wild single-game tickets begin at $35. The Wild utilizes demand-based pricing, which dynamically adjusts the price of individual tickets based on demand, which can be affected by rivalries, day-of-week, and marquee teams or superstar players. It does not apply to full season tickets, which feature the lowest prices for ticket packages.
Public on-sale information for the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ weekend on Feb. 20-21 at TCF Bank Stadium will be announced at a later date. Minnesota Wild Season Ticket Holders and fans who join the Wild Waiting List for season tickets will receive the opportunity to purchase tickets to the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ and the Stadium Series Alumni Game in advance of the general public.
PARKING ON SATURDAY:
Please note that that due to the Minnesota Wild Breakaway 10K/5K/1-Mile Run on Saturday the top entrance to the RiverCentre Parking Ramp will be closed from 8 to 10:30 a.m. You may enter and exit the RiverCentre Parking Ramp from the bottom entrance off of Eagle Street. The Kellogg Ramp will be closed from 7:45 to 10:30 a.m.
The Minnesota Wild opened training camp on Friday with a day Head Coach Mike Yeo said was in part about re-establishing the Wild's identity.
At one point during the first of three sessions, Yeo momentarily stopped practice, calling the players to center ice to stress the role that speed plays in the Wild's game plan.
"There are a couple of parts to it," Yeo said. "One, if you're going to be fast, you need to be skating fast. The other part of it is you can't be fast if you're not executing, and that's what it comes down to."
The Minnesota Wild will play 3-on-3 overtime in at least three of its six preseason games regardless of the score after regulation.
The NHL announced on Wednesday that 45 games across the League will feature the new 3-on-3 overtime format regardless of the score after the third period.
According to the announcement, the planned overtimes, " … will provide all participants -- players, coaches, management and on-ice officials -- an expanded opportunity to test the new format in advance of its introduction to regular-season play when the 2015-16 NHL season opens on Wednesday, Oct. 7."
On Tuesday, Minnesota Wild players traded in their hockey sticks for golf clubs and hit the links at the Troy Burne Golf Club for a round with the Wild's corporate sponsors.
Though the event was scored, and a winning team was declared after 18 holes, the day served as more of an opportunity to give Wild players and the sponsors a chance to connect in a different, more personal setting.
"It's great to see them in this environment," said Mike Kueppers, Director of Sales for Coca-Cola Refreshments. "Obviously we see them all winter long trying their hardest to bring that Stanley Cup back to Minnesota. To be able to interact with them on a more personal level, they're just all great guys, and the whole Minnesota Wild organization does a great job."
Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr speaking with Bob Kurtz after the Wild lost to St. Louis on Monday afternoon at the Traverse City Prospects Tournament.
Forward Jack Walker (Edina) speaking with Bob Kurtz.
Defenseman Mike Reilly speaking with Bob Kurtz.
In its final divisional game at the Traverse City Tournament, the Minnesota Wild lost to the St. Louis Blues, 7-1.
Minnesota trailed 2-0 until forward Reid Duke scored late in the second period to make it 2-1. St. Louis responded with a goal just over two minutes later, and another with 25 seconds remaining in the second period to stretch its lead to three. The Blues scored three more goals in the third period to pull away.
"We just came out flat for whatever reason and St. Louis came out and played hard," said Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr. "They got the early lead. We came back and finished strong late in the first but we came out in the second and gave up a couple of power play goals, and ended up giving up three power play goals against."
A big second period wasn’t enough as the Minnesota Wild fell to the Columbus Blue Jackets 8-5 in their second game of the Traverse City tournament on Saturday.
For the second straight game, the Wild’s prospects scored three goals in the second period, taking a lead into the third, but were unable to hold off Columbus.
"We came out well," Wild Assistant General Manager Brent Flahr said. "We played hard and had some pretty good chances, but we were unable to score."
The Minnesota Wild prospects opened the Traverse City tournament on Friday with a 5-2 win against the New York Rangers.
After trailing 1-0 through the first period, the Wild scored five unanswered-goals, and outshot the Rangers 22-8 over the game's final 40 minutes.
"The first period we came out and I thought we were really sloppy," Wild assistant general manager Brent Flahr said. "I thought we worked hard, created chances but, too cute, and just the execution wasn't very good.
"That's expected with one partial practice, and then you go into a game. But we settled down and played a lot better in the second period, and pulled away."