The Minnesota Wild held their annual open practice for their fans on Saturday. About a 1,000 fans braved a very warm and humid Minnesota morning to witness a spirited two-hour workout. With 60 players in camp, the Wild ran three, two-hour workouts for groups of 20 players.
Here are a few observations
1)Ryan Suter is back at full speed. Suter suffered a serious lower leg injury in the last week of the regular season. After intense rehabilitation, he appears to be good to go. A perennial NHL leader in minutes played, look for Suter’s minutes to be managed more closely in the regular season.
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2) The Wild have more depth on the blue line than they have had in years. Newly acquired Greg Pateryn and Nick Seeler look to be a second set of shut-down defensemen behind Suter and Jared Spurgeon. Former high draft picks Carson Soucy and Gustav Olofsson will battle for the final roster spot on the blue line
3) Coach Bruce Boudreau runs a spirited practice. Except for an occasional break for on-ice instructions, drills are full speed. Every player looked to be in great condition.
The Wild open pre-season play today (Monday) at the Winnipeg Jets at 7 p.m. NHL Network is broadcasting the game.
Paul Dier covers the Minnesota Wild and the NHL’s Central Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulDier.
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