Homeland has Wild rookie Granlund well-covered

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 21, 2013 - 7:12 AM
hide

Mikael Granlund and Colorado's Ryan Wilson battled for possession.

Photo: Elizabeth Flores, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Three Finnish TV stations, two newspapers and about a dozen Finnish reporters have infiltrated Minnesota. They have been here a week, will spend the upcoming week here and attended the Wild's home opener Saturday night.

And it had nothing to do with goaltender Niklas Backstrom, nor captain Mikko Koivu.

"It's good that Mikko is here, but you know, Granlund is so big in Finland," said Heikki Miettinen, a hockey writer for the biggest daily newspaper in Finland, Helsingin Sanomat, since 1985.

Granlund is Mikael Granlund, the 2010 first-round pick who made his NHL debut against the Colorado Avalanche. Granlund, 20, reached rock star status in Helsinki when he became the teenage No. 1 center of HIFK, won an SM-liiga Rookie of the Year award, led his club to a league championship and scored a lacrosse-style goal in the 2011 world championships semifinals.

"Did you see the stamp?" Miettinen asked, referring to that goal that was captured on a postage stamp. "Granlund is the hottest player right now, absolutely. There is some kind of mania in Finland."

So much mania in fact that Samuel Savolainen, a hockey writer for the magazine Urheilulehti, has moved to St. Paul to cover Granlund and the Wild full-time. Saturday's game was televised live on Nelonen Sport Pro at 4 a.m. Finland time, and Finns who got up early enough saw him score his first goal in the second period, giving the Wild a 2-1 lead.

Granlund is followed by paparazzi back home, so this is nothing.

"I am used to that," he said. "It never bothers me at all. It's part of playing hockey there."

But Granlund is especially popular, Miettinen explained, because "we have a lack of big prospects the last couple years. We haven't had promising young players like Sweden do, like [Gabriel] Landeskog, [Oliver] Ekman-Larsson, [Erik] Karlsson, Victor Hedman. They have very many good players and we haven't in [recent] years."

Miettinen believes Granlund will be a star for a Wild, but he hopes fans and the media have patience.

"It doesn't happen maybe today or tomorrow. It takes some time," Miettinen said. "He's so skillful, so intelligent, I think he can make it here."

Moving the farm?

With the Wild's lease at the Toyota Center for the Houston Aeros set to expire after this season, the Wild may have to look for a new market for its American Hockey League affiliate.

Chief Operating Officer Matt Majka said the Wild would prefer to stay in Houston (where it has been since 2001-02), but discussions are ongoing and must "come to some conclusion in the next month or so."

"There's a long history in Houston, so it would be easier and better to be able to stay put," Majka said. "But we'll see how the negotiations go."

Des Moines is one rumored market if the Wild leaves, but Majka said, "I'm not going to comment on other markets. We're talking to Houston."

Etc.

• Patrick Bordeleau, a minor league tough guy, made his NHL debut against the Wild because former Wild forward Chuck Kobasew was sick. Bordeleau, 26, was actually drafted 114th overall by the Wild in 2004. "I guess it comes full circle for me here," Bordeleau said.

• Wild defenseman Tom Gilbert (groin) was able to play, so rookie Matt Dumba didn't make his NHL debut. Left winger Matt Kassian was also scratched for the Wild.

  • WILD NOTES

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New Orleans 28 FINAL
Carolina 10
Tampa Bay 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Arizona 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Dallas
Philadelphia 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Houston
NY Jets 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Jacksonville 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Washington 11/2/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
St. Louis 11/2/14 3:05 PM
San Francisco
Denver 11/2/14 3:25 PM
New England
Oakland 11/2/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Baltimore 11/2/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Indianapolis 11/3/14 7:30 PM
NY Giants
Washington 105 FINAL
Orlando 98
Detroit 91 FINAL
Minnesota 97
New York 95 FINAL
Cleveland 90
Utah 102 FINAL
Dallas 120
Oklahoma City 90 FINAL
LA Clippers 93
Boston 3 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 2
Winnipeg 1 FINAL(SO)
New Jersey 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
Chicago 5 FINAL(SO)
Ottawa 4
Philadelphia 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 4
Arizona 1 FINAL
Florida 2
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 4
Anaheim 0 FINAL
St. Louis 2
NY Islanders 0 FINAL
Colorado 5
Montreal 2 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
(2) Florida State 42 FINAL
Louisville 31
Troy 10 FINAL
Ga Southern 42
Cincinnati 7:00 PM
Tulane
Tulsa 7:02 PM
Memphis
Air Force 11/1/14 10:30 AM
Army
ULM 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Texas A&M
(19) Oklahoma 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Northwestern 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
(24) Duke 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Maryland 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Wisconsin 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
Rice 11/1/14 11:00 AM
FIU
(21) East Carolina 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Temple
UCF 11/1/14 11:00 AM
Connecticut
Boston College 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
North Carolina 11/1/14 11:30 AM
Miami-Florida
Washington 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Central Mich 11/1/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Western Mich 11/1/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Western Ky 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
NC State 11/1/14 2:00 PM
Syracuse
Virginia 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Georgia Tech
Purdue 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(17) Nebraska
BYU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Middle Tennessee
(10) TCU 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(20) West Virginia
Indiana 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 11/1/14 2:30 PM
(9) Georgia
Georgia State 11/1/14 2:30 PM
Appalachian St
Kentucky 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Kansas 11/1/14 3:00 PM
(12) Baylor
Texas State 11/1/14 3:00 PM
New Mexico St
Houston 11/1/14 3:00 PM
So Florida
USC 11/1/14 3:30 PM
Washington St
Arkansas State 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
South Alabama 11/1/14 4:00 PM
Louisiana
New Mexico 11/1/14 4:30 PM
UNLV
UAB 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
(4) Auburn 11/1/14 6:00 PM
(7) Ole Miss
Old Dominion 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Colorado State 11/1/14 6:00 PM
San Jose St
Arkansas 11/1/14 6:15 PM
(1) Miss State
Stanford 11/1/14 6:30 PM
(5) Oregon
Tennessee 11/1/14 6:30 PM
So Carolina
Texas 11/1/14 6:30 PM
Texas Tech
Southern Miss 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
(6) Notre Dame 11/1/14 7:00 PM
Navy
Oklahoma State 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Illinois 11/1/14 7:00 PM
(13) Ohio State
(14) Arizona 11/1/14 9:30 PM
(25) UCLA
California 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
San Diego St 11/1/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Wyoming 11/1/14 9:45 PM
Fresno State
(18) Utah 11/1/14 10:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Utah State 11/1/14 10:00 PM
Hawaii
Bowling Green 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Akron
Toledo 11/4/14 7:00 PM
Kent State
Buffalo 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ohio U
Northern Ill 11/5/14 7:00 PM
Ball State
(22) Clemson 11/6/14 6:30 PM
Wake Forest
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Hamilton 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Winnipeg 11/1/14 3:00 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 11/1/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Toronto 11/2/14 11:00 AM
Montreal
Ottawa 11/7/14 6:00 PM
Toronto
Calgary 11/7/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Montreal 11/8/14 3:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 11/8/14 6:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close