Top Storylines for Minnesota Wild 2013-14 Training Camp

September 9th, 2013 by Tom Schreier Leave a reply »

The biggest storyline heading into the Minnesota Wild’s 2013-14 training camp is how a band of 20-somethings is going to build off of last season’s playoff appearance.

Sure, Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Ryan Suter are still around, but the team lost a lot of experience when it unloaded Matt Cullen (36), Tom Gilbert (30) and Devin Setoguchi (26).

This means that a young core will be expected to carry the team. Parise, Koivu and Jason Pominville will likely man the first line, but Nino Niederreiter, 21, and three other 20-year-olds—Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund—should be playing big minutes behind them, especially if Dany Heatley continues on his tailspin.

Defensively, general manager Chuck Fletcher replaced Gilbert with another 30-year-old Minnesotan, Keith Ballard, but there will be a lot of pressure on second-year blueliner Jonas Brodin (20) and Marco Scandella (23), who recently signed a two-year extension and spent most of last season in the minors.

An overlooked factor heading into camp is how the goaltending situation is going to hold up with the aging Niklas Backs ...

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