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An in-depth look at the Wild, who open the season Thursday, with reporter Dane Mizutani

A look at some of the questions facing Minnesota, its key players and what expectations are like as it opens the NHL season against the Rangers. Wild beat reporter for the Pioneer Press checks in on The Rink Live podcast.

NHL: Boston Bruins at Minnesota Wild
Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov reacts after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins during the first period Wednesday, March 16, 2022, at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul.
Harrison Barden / USA Today Sports

Dane Mizutani is a long-time beat reporter of the Minnesota Wild for the St. Paul Pioneer Press.

The Wild are coming off the best regular season in franchise history, though the postseason ended in the first round of the NHL playoffs .... again. Among their offseason moves, the Wild moved goalie Cam Talbot and Kevin Fiala, two key players. Who is going to replace them? What should Wild fans expect out young players like Matt Boldy and Marco Rossi?

An in-depth look at the Wild, who open their season against the New York Rangers on Thursday as Mizutani talks with The Rink Live's Jess Myers and Mick Hatten.

McLean served as an assistant coach with the Iowa Wild of AHL from 2017-20.
After making it back to the playoffs, the Wild bowed out in underwhelming fashion.
Johansson posted 18 points (6 goals, 12 assists) in 20 games with the Wild in the regular season and added a pair of goals in the playoffs.
Talking to reporters Monday afternoon, Dumba confronted the reality that his time in Minnesota might be over
The new guy on the Minnesota Wild's blue line went from the devastation of a NCAA title game loss to the thrill of pro hockey to a quick exit from the NHL playoffs in less than 21 days.
Roope Hintz's fifth goal of the series, backed by goaltender Jake Oettinger, provided just enough to end Minnesota's season.
As is painfully normal at this time of year in the State of Hockey, the focus now switches to fishing and flowers and anything but this game that is so much a part of the local fabric.
The play in question featured the 6-foot-3, 225-pound Foligno colliding with the Stars’ 6-foot-3, 225-pound Radek Faksa at full speed.
The NHL club will make its second Scandinavian trip in November, facing Ottawa and Toronto in Stockholm as part of the NHL's Global Series.
Playing a hockey brand from the frigid rinks of Minnesota's northern neighbor, the Wild have shown they can hang with a bigger Dallas team through four games, even as they head south tied 2-2.


1:30 How Dane was born in Hawaii, but ended up covering the Minnesota Wild for the Pioneer Press, how SPAM is to him


3:20 The toughest part about being a beat reporter in the NHL

4:35 Favorite NHL road trips, least favorite road trip

6:15 What is the biggest question mark for the Wild going into the season?

8:00 Kevin Fiala's big regular season, tough postseason, his personality

10:40 First-round pick Marco Rossi and what can fans expect out of him

13:45 What kind of role will former UND F Tyson Jost have for the Wild

15:40 The Matt Boldy effect, his skill set, what the Wild expect from him

18:00 Kirill Kaprizov's scary offseason


20:35 How healthy Matt Dumba is, the impact he has on the team, his status in a contract year

24:00 Marc-Andre Fleury, the goaltending situation, backup Filip Gustavsson, will we see Jesper Wellstedt this season

27:25 Why Joel Eriksson Ek and Jonas Brodin are underrated, how Ek might have the most franchise-friendly contract in the NHL, how he ticks opposing players off

31:30 NHL refs

Mick Hatten is a reporter and editor for Forum News Service and helps manage TheRinkLive.com, a website dedicated to hockey. He began working for Forum Communications in November 2018 and has covered St. Cloud State University hockey since 2010. A graduate of St. Cloud State, he has more than 30 years of experience as a journalist and has been a youth hockey coach since 2014. mhatten@forumcomm.com

For more coverage of St. Cloud and the surrounding communities, check out St. Cloud Live.
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