Jack Gonyea of Indiana University is a Minnesota Wild fan and season ticket holder. In the following article, Jack Gonyea discusses the news, rumors, and highlights of the upcoming Wild season.
Hockey season may be a few months away but the Minnesota Wild are already planning for the upcoming year. By signing a few new players and welcoming back fan favorites, the Wild are hoping to enter the 2023 NHL season fresh and ready to take on their competition. While much of the news is ladened with rumors, the team is already gearing up for a successful season.
While we’re still in the pre-season, stay up to date on all of the latest hockey news to separate fact from fiction. Today, Jack Gonyea of Indiana University dives into some of the latest updates, discusses the MN Wild’s pre-season training, and takes a look at some of the team’s newest members.
Kirill Kaprizov Safely Returns to the United States
It’s been a tense couple of months for MN Wild fans as they’ve been anxiously awaiting news regarding their star Russian player, Kirill Kaprizov. Following the end of last season, Kaprizov had to return to his homeland, causing many fans to wonder whether he’d be able to return despite ongoing sanctions against the Russian government says Jack Gonyea.
These worries were further intensified by rumors that Kaprizov had illegally purchased a counterfeit military ID back in 2017 and that his military exemption had run out at a time when Russia is actively at war with Ukraine. These fears have since been quelled as Kaprizov has successfully left Russia via Istanbul and is expected to land in the United States this week.
Jack Gonyea explains that since signing with the Wild, Kaprizov has proven himself to be a formidable player and met expectations of becoming the next superstar Russian player. He has since gone on to win a league championship, captain the World Junior Championship team, and play at the 2018 Olympics. Last season, he scored a record-breaking 47 goals and 108 points, which he hopes to build on in the coming season.
With four more years on a five-year contract, Kaprizov has plenty of time to improve on his already astounding record and he’s sure to bring glory to the Minnesota Wild says Jack Gonyea of Indiana University.
The Wild Waive Alexander Khovanov
While Kaprizov has been welcomed back to the Minnesota Wild, another Russian player—Alexander Khovanov—has not been so lucky. Following a year of dull performance on the ice, marred by rumors that he had missed training and fallen out of shape, the Iowa Wild have decided to waive Khovanov’s place and move on to new players.
Jack Gonyea says that over the past year, Khovanov had only appeared in 22 of the 57 AHL affiliate games, ruining his chances at making into the NHL Minnesota Wilds. This came as a shock to some considering that he was predicted to become one of the most likely shoe-ins to the larger, national team. However, visa issues, poor physical performance, and an overall lack of gusto have cut the young player’s ambitions short.
Khovanov’s suspension comes amid a wave of changeups in the Wild’s recruitment proceedings, making him the third mid-tier player to be cut from the Minnesota Wild’s AHL developmental team. Of course, with an international pool of prospects ready to sign, the Wild surely isn’t hurting for new top players says Jack Gonyea.
The Wild Will Play 82 Games in the 2022-23 Season
Earlier this month, the MN Wild released their official schedule for the upcoming season, starting at home against the New York Rangers for the first time since 2014. Jack Gonyea says that they will then continue the season with 82 games in total, divided perfectly between home and away games.
Among their competition, the Wild will go up against the Central Division 26 times before playing the Pacific Division in another 24 games. They will then play every team in the Eastern Conference twice for a total of 32 games. The majority of these Eastern Conference games will take place in January, marking a mid-point in the season.
Jack Gonyea explains that the team’s grueling schedule will no doubt take a toll on their players, especially those who are still new to the team or haven’t had much rest since the last season. However, with a deep bench and plenty of experience, the Wild are more than equipped to handle the challenge.
The MN Wild have been busy preparing for the upcoming season and seem to be well on their way to a successful season in the fall. With Kaprizov back in their fold and a bench built on experience, the Wild will surely be able to push through any challenges they might face in impending months. Jack Gonyea says to stay tuned for further updates and never miss a moment of the action.