Wild notes: News of departures is hard to take

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 14, 2013 - 11:19 PM

Clayton Stoner’s Fourth of July wedding in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, surrounded a critical time in the NHL. The lockout pushed the opening bell of free agency to July 5, so Wild teammates wanted to keep one eye on the transactions.

Center Zenon Konopka had a solution. He brought his trusty iPad out to the pool and continuously refreshed Twitter.

“I had a scooter with a horn on it, so I was flying around the resort,” said Konopka, still hampered by a season-ending broken foot at the time. “Every time I’d pull up to the pool, I’d do [a breaking news jingle] and proclaim some trade or signing.

“I did that for six hours. It was all fun and dandy until around 5:30.”

That’s when Konopka saw that teammate Devin Setoguchi was traded to the Winnipeg Jets. Konopka had just gotten back to his room. He looked out the window, saw Setoguchi still at the pool and “you can figure out pretty quickly he didn’t know.”

Konopka called Setoguchi and his fiancée, Kelly, over and Setoguchi noticed instantly that Konopka was “white as a ghost.” He stunned Setoguchi with the news.

“It is sad when a guy gets traded, but it was good that we were all there together,” said Setoguchi’s pal, Dany Heatley. “[Cal Clutterbuck] was traded a few days before, so it was kind of like a last hurrah.”

Also at the wedding was Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon, who signed a three-year extension July 4, and former Wild player Benoit Pouliot, who signed with the Rangers.

“Every day something happened to one of us,” Konopka said. “You were looking around and thinking, ‘Who’s left?’ ”

Konopka is looking forward to a second year with Minnesota. The bruiser has the highest faceoff winning percentage among active players since 2005 (.590) but has a lot of competition. NHL vet David Steckel, another faceoff specialist and strong penalty killer, is in camp on a tryout.

“You’ve got to be confident in your skills and what you bring,” Konopka said. “Everything has a way of figuring itself out. I know what I can do, and competition’s good.”

Defensemen dig in

Besides the intriguing battle of young forwards Charlie Coyle, Jason Zucker, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Justin Fontaine for spots, it’ll be interesting how the blue line shakes out. The Wild will keep at least seven, maybe eight defensemen.

The depth chart goes Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, Keith Ballard, Nate Prosser, Stoner and newcomer Jonathon Blum. But 19-year-old Matt Dumba has a solid shot to make the team out of camp.

“When you have that kind of competition, it pushes everybody to be better,” coach Mike Yeo said.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Texas - WP: N. Martinez 7 FINAL
Oakland - LP: S. Gray 2
Boston 2 Top 9th Inning
Pittsburgh 3
Toronto 2 FINAL
NY Yankees 3
Washington 6 Bottom 9th Inning
Miami 2
Los Angeles 1 Bottom 5th Inning
Chicago Cubs 2
Cleveland 0 Top 7th Inning
Houston 1
Milwaukee 2 Top 7th Inning
St. Louis 0
Arizona 2 Bottom 5th Inning
Colorado 1
Philadelphia 0 Bottom 3rd Inning
San Diego 1
Seattle - F. Hernandez 9:05 PM
LA Angels - W. LeBlanc
Tampa Bay 0 2nd Qtr 2:00
Atlanta 35
San Diego 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Dallas 9/21/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Washington 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
Houston 9/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
Minnesota 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Tennessee 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Baltimore 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Cleveland
Green Bay 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Detroit
Indianapolis 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Oakland 9/21/14 12:00 PM
New England
San Francisco 9/21/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Denver 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Kansas City 9/21/14 3:25 PM
Miami
Pittsburgh 9/21/14 7:30 PM
Carolina
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
(5) Auburn 10 4th Qtr
(20) Kansas State 7
Connecticut 9/19/14 7:00 PM
So Florida
Old Dominion 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Rice
Troy 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(13) Georgia
Georgia Tech 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Virginia Tech
Eastern Mich 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(11) Michigan State
Iowa 9/20/14 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/20/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Maryland 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Syracuse
Tulane 9/20/14 11:30 AM
Duke
Hawaii 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Marshall 9/20/14 1:00 PM
Akron
North Carolina 9/20/14 2:30 PM
East Carolina
Army 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Virginia 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(21) BYU
(6) Texas A&M 9/20/14 2:30 PM
SMU
Rutgers 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Central Mich 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Kansas
Utah 9/20/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Florida 9/20/14 2:30 PM
(3) Alabama
Louisville 9/20/14 2:30 PM
FIU
Fla Atlantic 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Indiana 9/20/14 3:00 PM
(18) Missouri
San Jose St 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Minnesota
Texas State 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Illinois
Massachusetts 9/20/14 3:00 PM
Penn State
Georgia State 9/20/14 5:00 PM
Washington
Appalachian St 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Miss State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
(8) LSU
Northern Ill 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas
Middle Tennessee 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Memphis
Utah State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Arkansas State
Miami-Ohio 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Idaho 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Ohio U
Ball State 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
(14) So Carolina 9/20/14 6:30 PM
Vanderbilt
(4) Oklahoma 9/20/14 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Ga Southern 9/20/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
UNLV 9/20/14 7:00 PM
Houston
(22) Clemson 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(1) Florida State
Miami-Florida 9/20/14 7:00 PM
(24) Nebraska
New Mexico 9/20/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico St
California 9/20/14 9:00 PM
Arizona
Louisiana 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Boise State
(2) Oregon 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
San Diego St 9/20/14 9:30 PM
Oregon State
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(25) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(12) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Toronto 9/19/14 9:00 PM
Brt Columbia
Edmonton 9/20/14 6:00 PM
Hamilton
Calgary 9/21/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 9/21/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Montreal 9/26/14 6:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 9/26/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/27/14 5:30 PM
Winnipeg
Brt Columbia 9/27/14 8:30 PM
Calgary
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: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close