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Access Vikings

Dan Wiederer and Mark Craig update you on all things purple.

Wild releases schedule for 2016-17

The Wild and the rest of the NHL released their schedules today.

As reported yesterday, the Wild opens in St. Louis on Thursday, Oct. 13. The home opener is two days later when the Wild plays host to Winnipeg.

The 82-game schedule has 41 road and 41 home games. The Wild will play 17 weekend home games (three on Fridays, nine Saturdays and five Sundays). It has five games each against Central Division opponents.

Boston visits the X on Nov. 17, Montreal is there on Jan. 12, Washington's in on March 28 and Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh on Nov. 25.

Schedule details are here.

Mock drafts have Vikings high on wide receivers

We are now two weeks removed from the unofficial start of free agency. The Vikings were fairly active, signing six free agents from other teamsand keeping a bunch of their own. Veteran outside linebacker Chad Greenway is their only remaining free agent of note.

Now their focus shifts back to the draft.

By adding a pair of offensive linemen and bringing in a veteran safety to compete for a starting job at safety, the Vikings have addressed two of their biggest needs before the draft. But that won’t preclude them from selecting players at those two positions, perhaps even in the first round.

So which prospects do the national draftniks think the Vikings will target with the 23rd selection in their latest post-free-agency mock drafts? Here’s a hint: It’s one big need they did not tackle in free agency.

Pete Prisco, CBS Fuller, WR, Notre Dame. “They need speed outside and this kid can fly,” Prisco wrote. “He would quickly become Teddy Bridgewater's down-the-field option.”

Daniel Jeremiah, Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor. “Coleman would team up with Stefon Diggs to provide Teddy Bridgewater with two young and explosive playmakers,” Jeremiah wrote.

Will Brinson, CBS Josh Doctson, WR, TCU. “Doctson has great ball-control skills and is an all-around quality receiver,” he wrote. “There isn't a No. 1 on the Vikings yet and they need one for Teddy Bridgewater.”

Josh Norris, Rotoworld: Doctson. “All Josh Doctson did was show up at the NFL Combine, go through an entire workout and test like the top athlete at the position,” he wrote. “We all love his ability to make contested catches, floating in the air with outstanding body control. His routes are further ahead than given credit for. Teddy needs a receiver like Doctson.”

Chris Burke, Conklin, OT, Michigan State. “A more exciting selection would be the Vikings taking Doctson or another standout receiver like Corey Coleman or Michael Thomas,” Burke wrote. “Conklin could help more. Can the Vikings count on Matt Kalil or Phil Loadholt long-term? Do they believe in T.J. Clemmings? If the answer is no on either of those questions, they need a tackle.

Cris Collinsworth, Pro Football Focus: Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State. “Whitehair isn’t flashy, but he can play any position along the offensive line,” Collinsworth wrote. “Whitehair should be a better guard than tackle, but he will compete at either position. ... The Vikings have to get better along their offensive line, and this is a good step.”

Dane Brugler, CBS Coleman. “The Vikings need to surround Teddy Bridgewater with more talent and although Coleman requires a leap of faith due to his unpolished routes, it is only a matter of time before he makes an impact in the NFL,” Brugler wrote.

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