Minnesota Wild: Training Camp Stories To Follow

ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 13: Minnesota Wild Right Wing Nino Niederreiter (22) looks on from the bench during a NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche on March 13, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. The Avalanche defeated the Wild 5-1.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 13: Minnesota Wild Right Wing Nino Niederreiter (22) looks on from the bench during a NHL game between the Minnesota Wild and Colorado Avalanche on March 13, 2018 at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, MN. The Avalanche defeated the Wild 5-1.(Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) /
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ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 13: Minnesota Wild Goalie
ST. PAUL, MN - MARCH 13: Minnesota Wild Goalie /

A New Home For Practice

There’s not that many new faces on the ice with the Minnesota Wild this year. Up top, there’s a bit of turnover with the arrival of new General Manager, Paul Fenton but otherwise it’s as it always was.

On the ice though, it’s a different story. The ice itself is new. The practice facility is new. It’s all pretty befitting of a team striving to take that step further.

Whilst the Minnesota Wild did have limited access to the facility across the latter half of last season, this year they have full access.

The TRIA Rink at Treasure Island Center is drawing some big compliments from Minnesota players, with Jared Spurgeon commenting:

"This is awesome. They thought of everything. – Jared Spurgeon (NHL.com)"

Eric Staal is particularly excited at the prospect of wearing less fines within the team:

"We always get in trouble for walking on the logo, so you put it on the roof and it’s a little bit easier for everybody, not to get any team fines. That’s pretty sweet, for sure. – Eric Staal (NHL.com)"

These all probably seem quite trivial to you and I but for elite sportsmen, a couple of seemingly simple tweaks to facilities suddenly makes their job so much easier.

And for Staal, maybe the prospect of not losing little amounts of his paycheck for walking on the team logo is enough for him to replicate last year’s performance.

It is more than anything a sign that the Minnesota Wild ownership means business. You don’t go constructing such a facility without being somewhat invested in your team’s ongoing performance.