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Minnesota Wild

Conference: Western

Division: Central

Stadium: Xcel Energy Center (capacity 17,954)

Head Coach: John Hynes (2023-present)

Starting Goaltender: Filip Gustavsson 

Star Players: Mats Zuccarello (RW), Kirill Kaprizov (LW), Marco Rossi (C)

2022-23 Regular Season: 46-25-11 (6th in Western Conference)

2023 Playoffs: Western Conference Quarterfinals (defeated 4-2 by the Dallas Stars)

Legendary Former Players: Mikko Koivu (C), Marian Gaborik (RW), Zach Parise (LW)

Stanley Cups (NHL Championships): 0

Minnesota Wild

The hockey-mad state of Minnesota gained an NHL franchise in 1967 when the Minnesota North Stars joined the league as part of its first post-Original Six expansion. The North Stars struggled to get going for many years, but then just as things seemed to be starting to click for the team in the early 1990s, they ran into financial difficulties and upped sticks to move to Dallas, Texas. This was a dark day for Minnesota hockey, but the search for a replacement began immediately, with an offer on the Winnipeg Jets coming close (the Jets ended up in Phoenix instead). Fortunately, the NHL decided to grant Minnesota an expansion franchise in 2000 and the Minnesota Wild were born. The team struggled in its first two seasons, finishing bottom of the Northwest Division and failing to make the playoffs, though they did achieve a sort of moral victory in their first home game against the Dallas Stars, when they defeated their absconded predecessors 6-0 in front of a roiling sold out Xcel Energy Center*. The Wild hit their stride when they qualified for their first playoffs in 2003 and promptly downed the mighty Colorado Avalanche and a strong Vancouver Canucks team (both in seven-game series) before being swept by the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim in the Western Conference Finals. Since then, the Wild have been in the playoffs more often than not, but have only progressed past the First Round twice, in 2014, when they beat the Avalanche in another seven-game thriller, and 2015, when they defeated the St. Louis Blues in six. Fans of the Wild are restlessly awaiting a run from their team that takes them deeper into the playoffs and with a talented group of young players, it would be foolish to rule out a breakthrough in the near future. 


*While the NHL’s Minnesota Wild play at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, the Timberwolves of the NBA play at Target Center in Minneapolis, just a 13-minute drive across the bridge. St. Paul and Minneapolis are known as the Twin Cities (hence the name of their MLB team, the Minnesota Twins).


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