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Sarah McLellan

Minnesota Wild and NHL | Reporter
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: Spanish

Sarah McLellan covers the Wild and NHL. Before joining the Star Tribune in November 2017, she spent five years covering the Coyotes for The Arizona Republic.

Born in Edmonton and raised in Arizona, Mclellan is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Recent content from Sarah McLellan
Paul Fenton is excited about having eight picks in next week’s draft.

Wild GM Fenton seems aimed at long-term, rather than quick fix

Our North Score Sunday debate looks at what the Wild needs to do now that the NHL offseason has officially arrived.
Jared Spurgeon, holding son Jayce, spoke to reporters on April 9 after the Wild season ended.

GM Fenton wants to sign Spurgeon, not trade him

Jared Spurgeon, 29, is entering the final year of a four-year, $20.75 million contract. GM Paul Fenton talked about the defenseman's future in the context of next week's NHL draft.
Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle during their time with the Wild. Both were traded this season.

Wild reunion: Coyle, Niederreiter primed to battle for Stanley Cup berth

The former Wild teammates are on opposite sides in the best-of-seven series between Boston and Carolina that guarantees one of them plays for the Stanley Cup.
Jason Zucker

Wild winger Zucker is King Clancy Award finalist

Jason Zucker was also a finalist last season, when the award was shared by Vancouver's Sedin twins. It's given for "leadership qualities on and off the ice and significant humanitarian contribution to his community."
Jordan Greenway

NHL rookie line helped Iowa Wild reach AHL playoffs for first time

The arrival of Ryan Donato, Jordan Greenway and Luke Kunin to the Iowa Wild after the Minnesota Wild's season was over led to the AHL team's late surge.
Zach Parise spoke to reporters Tuesday as Wild players clean out their lockers. Parise led the Wild with 28 goals despite missing eight games.

Wild's scoring leaders dropped off but vow to 'come back ready to go'

Jason Zucker, Eric Staal and Zach Parise hope to improve their outputs next season after missing the playoffs in 2019.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau and General Manager Paul Fenton appeared at a season ending news conference Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Boudreau gets vote of confidence; Parise finished year with broken foot

The Wild missed the playoffs for the first time in seven seasons, and players were realistic as they cleaned out their lockers. "We've got a lot of work to do," said winger Zach Parise.
Injuries to captain Mikko Koivu, left, and defenseman Matt Dumba, right, highlighted the Wild's scoring issues.

Wild will retool on fly when Koivu, Dumba return

After being shut out 11 times, the team must figure out a way to score more goals.
Andrew Brunette

Wild dismiss Brunette from player personnel job

Andrew Brunette, director of player personnel for the Wild, was an assistant general manager under GM Chuck Fletcher before Fletcher lost his job a year ago.
Paul Fenton

Wild a long shot to move up from 11th NHL lottery spot

After finishing with 83 points, 11th among the clubs in the lottery, the Wild has a 3 percent chance of landing the top pick.
Wild winger J.T. Brown

Wild's Brown arrested on suspicion of public intoxication

J.T. Brown appeared in 56 games for the Wild, scoring three goals. He was arrested early Saturday in Dallas on suspicion of public intoxication, according to police documents.
Defenseman Nick Seeler (36) and goaltender Alex Stalock watched time expire in a loss last week to Arizona, another bit of failure that soon added up

Wild's late collapse was neither sudden nor without warning

Injuries, trades and a frustrating lack of scoring were harbingers of a slide that left the Wild out of the postseason for the first time in seven years.
Said defenseman Ryan Suter, left, of this season for the Wild: “We have to change something, because what we have is not working.”

More change is a given for Wild: 'What we have is not working.'

The Wild could have more than $18 million in space to utilize during this longer-than-usual offseason that begins this week with no playoffs.
Dallas goaltender Ben Bishop and center Jason Dickinson defend as Wild center Nico Sturm shoots in the second period

Wild's season ends with back-to-back shutouts, losing 3-0 at Dallas

Stars goalie Ben Bishop turned aside all 22 shots he faced from a Wild team that ended the season on a goal drought of nearly 125 minutes.
Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk

Dubnyk sits out finale but is up for another big workload

Devan Dubnyk started seven more games than he did last season, and his 67 appearances tied his career high — a workload that Dubnyk had no problem handling.
Charlie Coyle worked the puck against the Wild's Brad Hunt on Thursday.

After trade from Wild, Coyle adjusts to diverse role with Bruins

Charlie Coyle was back at Xcel Energy Center on Thursday with the Bruins, his 20th game since the trade — a span in which Boston has utilized the versatility that headlined Coyle's skills while with the Wild.
Boston’s Noel Acciari (55) congratulates Joakim Nordstrom (20) for scoring a goal as Wild goaltender Alex Stalock

Young line-up, same story: Wild shut out in final game at the X

No one could get a puck by Boston goalie Jaroslav Halak, who made 26 saves as the Wild was blanked for the 10th time this season.
Former Clarkson star Nico Sturm started his pro career with the Wild after signing a one-year, entry-level contract Monday.

Wild signee Sturm spent time maturing with Austin NAHL team

A Hobey Baker Award finalist after leading Clarkson in scoring with 45 points during his junior season, Nico Sturm considers himself a two-way center who plays a 200-foot game and takes pride on his defensive work.
Arizona right wing Josh Archibald beats Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk for a goal during the second period

'We're not stupid. This was big': Wild's shutout loss a crusher

The 2018-19 season likely will be remembered as hitting its expiration date Sunday as former Wild goalie Darcy Kuemper made 36 saves in Minnesota's 4-0 loss to Arizona.
Arizona goaltender Darcy Kuemper makes a save on a shot by Wild left wing Jason Zucker

Shot after shot not enough for Wild to overcome poor execution, injuries

With Matt Dumba, captain Mikko Koivu and leading scorer Zach Parise all sidelined the Wild is finding it tough to locate the back of the net.
Minnesota Wild center Luke Kunin shoots against Vegas goaltender Malcolm Subban

Wild stays in playoff race with victory in Vegas, but results elsewhere sting

The Wild kept its flickering playoff hopes alive by outdueling the Golden Knights 3-2 but Colorado upended Arizona 3-2 in a shootout earlier, a worst-case scenario because both teams earned points.
Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter

Suter's inspiring comeback leads to nomination for Masterton Trophy

Wild defenseman Ryan Suter wondered if he'd ever be able to walk again.after shattering his right leg during the final weeks of the 2017-18 season.
Zach Parise beat Oilers goalie Cam Talbot on a breakaway as the Wild blanked Edmonton 3-0 to clinch a playoff berth on April 2, 2018.

Wild seems to always go to the wire with playoff pushes

The past six Wild seasons finished with the team in the playoffs, but how it reached that point was different each year. Here's a look back to fuel your look ahead.
Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk, above vs. Nashville on Monday, says players are working hard.

'A helpless position.' Wild can't make playoffs without assistance

With five games to go, the Wild is loitering outside the playoff picture with 79 points, which makes scoreboard as important as winning.
Nashville's Brian Boyle fought Jordan Greenway in the first period Monday night, the Wild rookie's first NHL fight.

Another empty effort as Wild blanked by Predators

The team surrendered a shorthanded goal to stay two points behind Colorado.for the final playoff berth while being shut out for the eighth time this season.
Former Gophers forward Rem Pitlick made his NHL debut on Monday night for the Predators against the Wild at Xcel Energy Center.

Rem Pitlick makes NHL debut for Predators in victory over Wild

The former Gophers standout was drafted in the third round by Nashville in 2016.
Wild forward Kevin Fiala skated with the puck in the first period against his former team Monday night. Fiala was traded from Nashville for Markus Gra

Wild newcomer Fiala settling in after shock of trade

The winger got to catch up with his former team on Monday night.
Luke Kunin (19) of the Wild roughed it up with Brett Pesce of the Hurricanes in Carolina’s 5-1 win on Saturday night in Raleigh.

Wild rookies Donato, Greenway, Kunin learning in real time

Their in-game study sessions highlight the development process three of the Wild's youngest players are still experiencing while battling for the playoffs.
The Wild’s Jason Zucker chipped the puck ahead, creating a race with Carolina’s Trevor van Riemsdyk in the first period Saturday. The game was in

Wild loses its way - and playoff spot - with 5-1 loss to Carolina

A night after knocking off the defending Stanley Cup champs, the Wild was undone by the Hurricanes.
Carolina Hurricanes' Nino Niederreiter

Niederreiter has emotional reunion with former Wild teammates

Nino Niederreiter's exit was the first of three major changes for the Wild leading up to the NHL trade deadline this season. He was shipped to the Hurricanes Jan. 17.
Wild left wing Jordan Greenway celebrates his goal during the first period

Wild stays hot away from home, topping Capitals 2-1

Luke Kunin's goal broke a 1-1 tie with the defending Stanley Cup champions for the Wild's 20th road win for the season.
Wild center Victor Rask

Wild's Rask to face Hurricanes for first time since trade

Until he was moved out in exchange for winger Nino Niederreiter on Jan. 17, Victor Rask had only ever played for the Hurricanes.
Ryan Donato has four goals and 13 points in 14 games since joining the Wild in February, which included this game-winning goal in overtime vs. the Blu

Shooter's touch of Wild's Donato has been years in the making

Ryan Donato's neighbors may not haved liked it, but Wild is reaping the reward.
Tyson Barrie celebrated with his Avalanche teammates after scoring a goal against the Wild in the first period at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday night.

Lack of execution leads to loss as Wild playoff hopes take a hit

The Wild remained one point behind Arizona for the final playoff spot and the loss to Colorado let the Avalanche move withing a point of Minnesota. "At this point in the season, effort is not enough," center Eric Fehr said.
Former Gophers goalie Mat Robson was at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday, taking in the Wild’s game against the Avalanche. He didn’t participate in t

Former Gophers goalie Robson feels right at home with Wild

Robson can appear in the regular season, but he's ineligible for the playoffs because he wasn't on the Wild's reserve list at the trade deadline.
Defenseman Jared Spurgeon has blossomed from a sixth-round draft pick into a crucial player for the Wild.

Career of Wild defenseman Spurgeon has proved doubters wrong

An undersized skater who's now listed at 5-9 and 167 pounds, Jared Spurgeon was routinely told he would never advance — by scouts, coaches and hockey organizations that cut him from their squads.
Left winger Jason Zucker (16) and Wild, coming off a 3-2 overtime loss to the New York Islanders on Sunday, have to regroup in the Western Conference

Wild enters crucial game against Colorado in desperation mode

Wild needs to catch Coyotes, keep the Avalanche on its heels.
Islanders center Brock Nelson scored the game-winner on a wrist shot in overtime on Wild goaltender Alex Stalock with center Luke Kunin defending Sund

Brock Nelson's OT goal sends Islanders over Wild

The Wild scored a pair of power-play goals, and picked up one point, but it wasn't enough for victory.
Wild winger Jordan Greenway tried to deflect an incoming shot while defended by Islanders defenseman Devon Toews on Sunday.

Wild rookie Jordan Greenway experiencing highs and lows of first full season

The 22-year-old is approaching his one-year anniversary in the NHL.
Marcus Foligno

Wild's Foligno evolving into team leader

Marcus Foligno has become a vocal leader for the Wild in his second season with the team.
The Wild's Ryan Donato celebrates his second goal in front of New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist

Scrappy Wild stops the bleeding with 5-2 home victory over Rangers

Ryan Donato scored twice, and the Wild snapped a three-game losing streak with a supercharged effort.
Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau

Wild needs higher level of play, greater sense of desperation

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on Friday met with most players to express a message that emphasized self-preparation. The Wild has lost three in a row.
The Wild's Eric Staal, center, is squeezed between Stars goalie Anton Khudobin, left, and Miro Heiskanen

Boudreau after another Wild loss: 'I don't want to rip players'

The Wild, with eyes on the playoffs, lost its third consecutive game at home with Thursday night's effort, a 4-1 lackluster loss to Dallas. It kept a recent trend alive: The Wild has won once at home in 10 games.
The Wild's Luke Kunin

Wild's Luke Kunin can fill a number of roles

The Wild is tapping into Luke Kunin's versatility right now at a critical time in its season.
Wild defenseman Nick Seeler (36) and Stars defenseman Jamie Oleksiak clashed for control of the puck during the February game in Dallas.

Seeler still looking for stability on Wild blue line

The 25-year-old is still developing in his first full season, a process that has become magnified as the team has juggled seven defensemen.
Sharks center Tomas Hertl slipped the puck over the skate of Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk in the third period for San Jose's second goal in a 3-0 vict

Back home and back to losing, powerless Wild blanked by San Jose

Another ineffective showing by the power play headlined a 3-0 loss to the Sharks in front of 18,907 at the X that was yet another weak showing on home ice.
The Wild’s fourth line, led by winger Marcus Foligno (17), has produced four goals in the past four games, with puck possession being a strength hea

Wild needs better play in three areas on homestand to stay in playoff race

What ultimately may end up deciding the Wild's playoff fate is how it fares during a five-game homestand that begins tonight against San Jose.
Minnesota Wild left wing Jason Zucker (16) celebrates his goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning with center Ryan Donato (16) during the first period of

Zucker's hat trick, Dubnyk's excellence shuts down Tampa Bay

Jason Zucker scored all three goals while Devan Dubnyk posted his second shutout as the Wild topped the NHL-leading Lightning 3-0.
Victor Rask of the Wild challenged Flyers goalie Anthony Stolarz on Feb. 12 at Xcel Energy Center.

Injured Rask practices with Wild in Tampa

Victor Rask participated in his first skate with the Wild on Thursday morning since he was hurt Feb. 12 against the Philadelphia Flyers when he stepped on a puck
Tampa Bay Lightning's Yanni Gourde scores a goal against Wild goaltender Alex Stalock in October.

NHL's best team — the Lightning — awaits Wild

Tampa Bay's 106 points are 17 more than the No. 2 Boston Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it recently tied the NHL record for fastest to 50 wins by reaching it in just 66 games.
Predators center Ryan Johansen scores the winning goal against Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk during the shootout

Dubnyk cries foul over shootout 'mockery' as Wild loses again to Preds

Nashville for the second time in three days beat the Wild in a shootout on a goal Devan Dubnyk doesn't believe was on the level. At the same time the Wild extended its point streak to a season-high seven games.
Mikael Granlund waves to fans after returning to the ice to play against his former team the Wild on Sunday.

For Predators' Granlund, it was a wild week

Mikael Granlund's life changed in a hurry, on the ice and off: he was traded for the first time in his career, had a son and played twice vs. his old team. "I don't know if that kind of week is ever going to come up again," Granlund said.
A recent five-game winning (and six-point) streak by the Wild restored the players’ confidence, a well-timed boost that the group hopes will continu

Straight outta nowhere: Wild now has the look of a contender

And after a gruesome scoring drought and run of bad games against weak teams, the Wild has emerged with more firepower and confidence as the season reaches its final weeks.
The Predators' Mattias Ekholm (4) Nick Bonino (13), Rocco Grimaldi (23) and Wayne Simmonds (17) celebrated after Bonino scored a first-period goal aga

Wild earns tough point on short rest in loss to Predators

Arriving back in the Twin Cities on the brink of morning after a late-night victory Saturday in Calgary to face a rested Nashville squad, the Wild was only minutes away from sweeping a back-to-back.
Wild coach Bruce Boudreau anticipates he could tab goalie Devan Dubnyk for the entire three-game road trip this week, including a back-to-back at the

Wild goalie Dubnyk gets a well-deserved day off

Coach Bruce Boudreau anticipates he could tab Devan Dubnyk for the entire three-game road trip this week, including a back-to-back at the end against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Florida Panthers.
The Wild's Matt Read, left, celebrates his goal with teammates during the third period Saturday.

Three-goal third helps Wild cool down Calgary, extend streak to five

The Wild's five-game streak ties a season-high, while also nixing Calgary's seven-game tear.
Kevin Fiala (22) joined goaltender Devan Dubnyk (40), Luke Kunin (19), Jonas Brodin (25), Zach Parise (11) and Greg Pateryn (29) in defending against

Fiala quickly moves into high profile role with Wild

Kevin Fiala had never been traded before and felt nervous about joining the Wild even though he knew it was the right move for his career.
Joel Eriksson Ek bangs the puck in past the Jets' Dmitry Kulikov (5) and goaltender Connor Hellebuyck during the final minute of the third period.

Two goals, penalty kill in last 87 seconds cap Wild's 3-2 comeback at Winnipeg

The Wild won its fourth in a row, defeating the Jets 3-2 after an improbable comeback ending featuring goals from Jason Zucker and Joel Eriksson Ek.
Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal

With contract extension, Wild's Staal goes from trade block to job security

Poised to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, Eric Staal said the new deal came together quickly Monday, which he expected it would.
The Wild traded Mikael Granlund (upper left) to Nashville for Kevin Fiala (right), and gave Eric Staal (lower right) a two-year extension.

Wild trades Granlund, gives Staal new contract

Generating more skill and speed off the rush is a target for Wild general manager Paul Fenton, and he used both of those characteristics to describe Kevin Fiala after trading with the Predators for him.
Jordan Greenway, left, and Ryan Donato practiced during the 2018 Olympics in South Korea.

College rivals Donato, Greenway join up together on Wild

The two went to different Boston-area schools but are teaming up together for the second time in their young careers.
Zach Parise, left, was the first to congratulate Ryan Donato after the Wild newcomer delivered an overtime winner against the Blues on Sunday.

Donato scores overtime game-winner as Wild's turnaround continues

With the NHL trading deadline today, you can argue whether the Wild is showing its potential or demonstrating the value of the team's recent roster shakeup.
Devan Dubnyk, continuing his improved play, kicked aside a shot in the final minutes Friday against Detroit.

Deals aside, Wild has the roster it will trust in playoff push

Although the sample size is small, the Wild's performance in the aftermath of the Ryan Donato-for-Charlie Coyle deal has been encouraging and helps explain why the team has belief in the current group.
Detroit Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier deflects a shot by Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek during the second period

Youth movement: Wild's 'life force' serve as catalysts in win at Detroit

Luke Kunin, the youngest on the Wild at 21 years old, had a goal and assist, while 22-year-olds Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek and newcomer Ryan Donato each tallied a point.
Minnesota Wild center Eric Staal

Pending free agent Staal would prefer not to move from Wild

Eric Staal's agent, Rick Curran, said he had a meeting with Wild General Manager Paul Fenton early in the season, expressing Staal's desire to stay with the Wild. The trade deadline is Monday.
Charlie Coyle

Just the start? Wild trades Coyle to Boston for Donato and 5th-round pick

The Wild, losers of five straight, traded Charlie Coyle to the Bruins. He learned of the trade Wednesday afternoon as the team prepared to fly to New York for Thursday's game against the Rangers.
Ducks right wing Corey Perry scored a goal against Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk, giving the Ducks a 2-0 advantage in the third period.

Wild crumbles in final minutes of 4-0 loss; scoreless streak nears record

Anaheim scored three goals in the final six minutes, including an empty netter, as the Wild's scoreless streak reached 156 minutes and Bruce Boudreau cut short his postgame press conference.
Teammates celebrated with Anaheim Ducks right wing Corey Perry (10) after his third period goal against the Minnesota Wild.

Struggling Wild focusing on wins, not counting points

While the Wild is aware it's received breaks from other teams' losses in staying ahead of the curve, players aren't glued to the scoreboard between games.
Minnesota Wild players headed to the locker room after getting shut out at home against the St. Louis Blues 4-0.

Wild's meltdown 'getting pretty ugly'

The 4-0 loss was a ghastly flop in a Central Division battle that felt like the team's most significant test of the season. The Wild has played nine games in February, winning only one. "It's getting pretty ugly," winger Zach Parise said.
Zach Parise skated off the ice at the end of the Wild's 4-0 loss to the Blues at Xcel Energy Center on Sunday.

Wild players' demeanor, like team's record, is also taking a hit

After the game, coach Bruce Boudreau reiterated the team's goal is to make the playoffs, but how General Manager Paul Fenton affects that ambition is unclear — uncertainty players seem to be processing.
Wild center Luke Kunin

Kunin, Eriksson Ek quietly form 1-2 punch for Wild

Luke Kunin and Joel Eriksson Ek have capitalized on their chemistry to be a consistent duo for the Wild — impact that Kunin believes is spurred by the second chance he received.
Nico Hischier, right watches his overtime goal against Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk

Wild again lacks 'killer instinct,' coughs-up three-goal lead to lose in OT

Nico Hischier put the winning goal past a wandering Devan Dubnyk, getting New Jersey goalie Cory Schneider his first victory in 22 regular-season games.
Tony Dacosta, the Wild’s head equipment manager, handles requests on a daily basis for players such as Zach Parise. But trades throw a wrench into t

Wild equipment managers thrown into high gear this time of year

In-season transitions wouldn't be possible without equipment staffs outfitting players with what they need to represent their new squads, behind-the-scenes shuffling that's essential.
Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk after he gave up the game-tying goal to Philadelphia Flyers center Sean Couturier in the second period.

'Unforgivable' play sends reeling Wild to home loss vs. Flyers

The Wild led 3-1 and later 4-3 but Tuesday's loss drops Minnesota to to 1-4-2 in its last seven games. The latest setback came after a poor line change that had coach Bruce Boudreau fuming.
Victor Rask watched for the rebound of his first period shot on Flyers goaltender Anthony Stolarz

Injury curtails Boudreau's experiment to create ice time for Rask

Victor Rask filled out the third line next to center Joel Eriksson Ek and right wing Luke Kunin on Tuesday against the Flyers but logged only eight shifts before leaving in the second period after stepping on a puck.
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