Of the Minnesota Wild’s lineup mainstays — players who appeared in at least 30 regular season games this season, or multiple playoff games — five face free agency this summer, leaving decisions for General Manager Chuck Fletcher and whomever becomes the next Wild head coach.
The list does not include backup goaltender Darcy Keumper, set to become a restricted free agent July 1, and Tyler Graovac, a 23-year-old prospect who made the Wild’s opening night roster out of training camp, but then battled injuries most of the season.
“I haven’t put a ton of thought into it yet,” Kuemper said. “I love the group and love the city, so I hope to be back."
The tournament begins Friday, May 6 in Russia, and runs until May 22. Finland opens play May 6 against Belarus (12:15 p.m. CT).
Koivu and Granlund have each represented their country on many international occasions, and were both named to Finland’s preliminary roster for the 2016 World Cup of Hockey. That tournament begins Sept. 17, and runs through Oct. 1.
Parise missed the final game of the regular season and all six playoff games with a back injury he said he’s been dealing with since late January.
"It's been really scary, some of the things that I was feeling," Parise said. "There was a lot of pain and just some of the things that were happening, it was a little eye-opening."
Minnesota Wild forward Jordan Schroeder will participate in the upcoming 2016 IIHF World Championship for the United States.
The tournament begins Thursday, May 6 in Russia, and runs until May 22. The United States will play its first game May 6 against Canada (8:15 a.m. C.T.).
Schroeder has played in five international tournaments for the United States. At the 2010 World Junior Championship, Schroeder had eight points in seven games and the United States won a gold medal, defeating Canada 6-5 in overtime in the championship. Schroeder scored in that game.
The Minnesota Wild players talked about their goals for the 2016-17 season when addressing the media for the final time this season on Wednesday, but most of those goals were framed around finding more consistency.
"We've been in that wild card spot the last four years, we'd love to move up," Zach Parise said. "But that’s just not what’s happened."
There were times the Wild played the type of game and sustained level of success it was happy with, like during a hot start to the season that led to the most points over a first half in franchise-history.
Forward Nino Niederreiter will represent Switzerland in the upcoming 2016 IIHF World Championship. The tournament begins Friday, May 6 in Russia, and runs until May 22.
Switzerland will play its first game May 7 against Kazakhstan (4:15 a.m. CT).
Niederreiter had a career offensive year for the Minnesota Wild, setting highs in both assists (23), and points (43).
During the 2012-13 lockout shortened season, current Minnesota Wild interim Head Coach John Torchetti was behind the bench in Houston, leading the Wild’s then American Hockey League affiliate.
It was there that Torchetti first got a taste of just how hard Granlund, who stands 5-foot-10 and weighs 184 pounds, competes.
DALLAS – There’s not a comfort level for the Minnesota Wild with its season on the line on Friday, but a familiarity bred by previous experiences and successful comebacks.
The Wild trails the Dallas Stars 3-1 in its best-of-7 series, with Game 5 at American Airlines Center Friday night (8:30 p.m., FOX Sports North, NBCSN, SN360, TVAS3). For a Minnesota roster that has been together for the past few seasons, a two-game series deficit is not insurmountable.
In the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Wild trailed the top-seeded Colorado Avalanche in the one-eight matchup — the same footing it began the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs in — 2-0. After holding serve on home ice, the Wild lost Game 5 in Colorado, and then won two consecutive elimination games, at home in Game 6, and in Denver in Game 7.
DALLAS – When interim Head Coach John Torchetti took over in mid-February, the Minnesota Wild’s season had been written off.
Just not by the Minnesota Wild.
On the outside of the playoff picture looking in, the Wild scrapped and clawed its way back into the Western Conference’s top-eight.
As the pendulum has swung back and forth over the Minnesota Wild's first three playoff games, from needing to defend better, to the need to score more, and there and back, the Wild did something quietly efficient in Game 3 that it is hoping can carry over into Wednesday.
Minnesota held the Dallas Stars to 17 shots on goal, matching the fewest Dallas has taken in any game this season. The Stars, who took the third most shots in the NHL during the regular season, and scored the most goals, were held to 10 over the first two periods of Minnesota's Game 3 victory.
A similar kind of effort, predicated on puck possession and neutral zone structure could go a long way in helping the Wild even its best-of-7 series against the Stars at 2-2 Wednesday night in Saint Paul (8:30 p.m. CT; FOX Sports North, NBCSN, SN360, TVA3).