It took Minnesota Wild team officials to petition to the league but the Wild home opener will be January 19th, coinciding with Hockey Day Minnesota. The first opponent for the new look Wild? Their divisional foes, the Colorado Avalanche.
The Wild were originally supposed to open up in Colorado on the 19th with a return date in Minnesota on the following night. But with the annual festivities of H0ckey Day Minnesota taking place, it’s only fitting that the day end with the Wild showcasing their skills. Given the hype surrounding this club after a blockbuster type summer, there will be an added buzz in the air on opening night, in what will surely be a memorable Hockey Day Minnesota.
According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, the opening night game at home will be the first of three in a row for the Wild at the Xcel Energy Center. Following the Avs into town will be the Dallas Stars on the 20th then the Nashville Predators on the 22nd, Ryan Suter‘s first chance to play against his former club.
The Wild wrap up their season in Colorado on April 27th in what should be a tune up for the playoffs. Russo notes that the regular season has been extended two weeks longer thanks to the annoying lockout that lasted 113 days. The current shortened schedule has the Wild playing 48 games in 99 days according to Russo, so physical condition will have never been more important than this year.
Russo states that the NHL schedule cannot be released until the player’s ratify the new CBA, which will conclude Saturday morning. At that point, the schedule should be released. Wild tickets are set to go on sale next Wednesday.