Back when it was announced that the Wild would host one of next season's stadium series games at TCF Bank Stadium against the Chicago Blackhawks, the Wild made it very clear it hoped to have an alumni game featuring the Blackhawks vs. the North Stars/Wild.
That has come into fruition, former North Star, Minnesota NHL alumni president, woodworker and character-and-a-half Brad Maxwell told Judd Zulgad and Phil Mackey this morning on 1500 ESPN radio.
The alumni game will be played Feb. 20 -- a day before the 2:30 p.m. game vs. the Hawks -- and frankly may have some fans more excited than the actual Hawks-Wild game.
Judd tweeted that Maxwell said in part Dino Ciccarelli, Bobby Smith, Neal Broten, Curt Giles, Don Beaupre, Basil McRae and Mike Modano himself will play in the game. Judd tweeted that Denis Savard, Al Secord, Steve Larmer and Eddie Belfour are expected to play for the Hawks.
I'm told the Wild is having no problem filling the roster with former North Stars. The Wild alumni likely will end up be current assistant coaches Andrew Brunette and Darby Hendrickson, director of player development Brad Bombardir and Wes Walz.
Brian Rolston told me when he was here during the playoffs that he wants to play in the game, too.
The Wild says the full rosters won't be announced for several weeks, but I do hear the festivities for the entire weekend will officially be announced soon.
Alumni games have been a part of most the outdoor games (not this past season, I don't believe), but what makes this unique is that the Dallas Stars have agreed to let technically their alumni play in the Wild's game.
This can only lead to more, "Can the Wild have the North Stars name back?" and "Can the Wild get the North Stars jersey back" queries from fans.
By the way, the site and date for Hockey Day Minnesota will be announced next week. Due to complications, the Wild and Fox Sports North couldn't hold it at TCF Bank Stadium.
Reminder: Tonight at 6:30, the Wild prospects will scrimmage at Xcel Energy Center. It's free and open to the public.
Reminder: I'll be filling in on KFAN from 9-noon Wednesday. Mark Parrish, Wes Walz, Trent Klatt, Minnesota United's Aaron Pitchkolan and Jamie Watson and the one and only Anthony Lapanta will be my guests.
If you didn't hear today's show, you can listen back on demand to my interviews with Brunette, a well-spoken Kurtis Gabriel and John Torchetti on kfan.com. I also had Matt Cullen on and he says he hopes to continue his NHL career and there are a couple opportunities he's excited about. He said his agent has talked to Chuck Fletcher, but he wouldn't give any inkling if there could be a fit. As I've said before, unless something changes, I get the sense the Wild's not looking to bring him back. But as I have said, I feel they need a center of his mold (fast, can produce, play D, win draws, could help in 3 on 3 and is solid in shootouts.
I'll also be doing another podcast with Jim Souhan tomorrow. That can be heard at malepatternpodcasts.com and iTunes.