NHL Team Guide: Minnesota Wild

NHL Team Guide: Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild was founded in 1997 but did not start playing in the NHL until the 2000-01 season. The Wild was the first team in Minnesota since the North Stars moved to Dallas in 1993. Minnesota struggled in its first two seasons before making the postseason in its third. In their 20 seasons of existence, the Wild have had their difficulties making the postseason nine times. Minnesota has rarely advanced past the first round of the playoffs.

Minnesota fans can watch the Wild on TV on NBC and NBC Sports Network on national broadcasts. Regional games can be viewed on FOX Sports North and the Minnesota complete NHL schedule is available for live streaming on the FOX Sports GO app.

NHL Standings

The NHL realigned when Columbus and Minnesota joined in 2000-01. The Wild were placed in the Northwest Division of the Western Conference. Currently, Minnesota is in the Central Division of the Western Conference.

Championship History

Minnesota does not have much of a championship history. The Wild did not make the playoffs in its first two seasons. The team finished third in the Northwest Division in 2002-03 and then went on a run the whole way to the Western Conference finals where they were swept by Anaheim. It is the furthest the Wild has advanced in the NHL postseason.

The Wild won their first and only division title in 2007-08 after going 44-28-10 in the regular season. Unfortunately, Minnesota lost its first-round playoff series to Colorado in six games. The Wild has qualified for the playoffs nine times and Minnesota is 4-9 in 13 postseason series.

Home of the Wild

The Wild play in the Xcel Energy Center, which was opened in 2000 on the site of the former St. Paul Civic Center. The Xcel Energy Center seats 18,064 for Wild hockey games.

Best of the Wild

Mikko Koivu was Minnesota’s first-round (sixth overall) draft pick in 2001. He has spent his entire 15-year career with the Wild and is the franchise’s leader in a number of categories including games played (1,028) and points. Koivu is first in assists with 504 and in career points with 709. He is second in career goals with 205.

The top career goals scorer in Minnesota history is Marian Gaborik, who was the third overall pick in the 2000 NHL draft. He spent his first eight years in the NHL in Minnesota and wound up second on the Wild’s career scoring list. Gaborik scored 219 goals and totaled 437 points. Gaborik scored 30-plus goals in five of his eight seasons and played in three NHL All-Star games. He was the MVP of the 2012 All-Star game.

Zach Parise’s father was a former professional hockey player who played for the New York Islanders and Minnesota’s old team, the North Stars. Parise’s brother Jordan was a goaltender in the New Jersey organization.  Parise was born and raised in Minneapolis. He was drafted by New Jersey in 2003 and joined the Wild in 2012. In seven seasons in Minnesota, Parise has scored 167 goals, 169 assists, and his 336 points places him fourth on the Wild’s all-time scoring list.

Author: Dan Anderson