The full 2016-17 schedule will be announced Tuesday, a schedule that will include second-half "bye weeks" for the first time in NHL history. But this morning, the first two dates of next season were announced, and they're against division rivals.
The Wild will open the season in St. Louis on Oct. 13. That will be the associate coaching debut of former Wild coach Mike Yeo, who will take over the Blues on a full-time capacity in 2017-18.
The Wild is 9-4-2 (.667) all-time in season-openers, the highest points-percentage of any NHL franchise. Minnesota has earned at least a point (4-0-1) in its past five openers.
The Wild will open at home against potentially Patrik Laine and the Winnipeg Jets on Oct. 15. The Wild has won its past two home-openers, including last season — a 3-2 victory against the Blues — and is 12-1-1 (tie) in franchise history in first home games.
However, the Jets waxed the Wild last season, winning four of five games.
I'm currently out of town, so Michael Rand will be covering today's Wild draft luncheon. Follow him on Twitter at @randball for news. He'll blog after and write for Tuesday's paper. I'm also expecting to talk by phone with GM Chuck Fletcher today, so I may add to what he's doing.
That's it for now. I tweeted it the other day, but in case you missed it, the Wild made the Sean Skahan hiring as strength and conditioning coach official. Skahan worked in Anaheim for years, so he's worked with Bruce Boudreau, and last season worked with Jordan Greenway and Boston University.