Monday is only the fourth day of training camp, but the Wild will already play its first exhibition game at Penn State against the Buffalo Sabres.
Coach Bruce Boudreau unveiled the lineup Sunday.
South St. Paul's Alex Stalock will get the start with Steve Michalek backing him up. The current plan is to have Stalock play the full 60.
“It’s something I thought about all summer,” Stalock said. “To be with this organization is pretty cool.”
The forward lines:
Jason Zucker-Charlie Coyle-Chris Stewart
Ryan Carter-Tyler Graovac-Alex Tuch
Mario Lucia-Pat Cannone-Christoph Bertschy
Kurtis Gabriel-Grayson Downing-Pavel Jenys
The D pairs:
Marco Scandella-Nate Prosser
Nick Seeler-Matt Dumba
Mike Reilly-Hunter Warner
On the game, Boudreau said, "They've worked hard for three days, it's exciting to see if they have actually got it or how much work we have to do. ... I want to see the concepts of what we're trying to do and to see if that's working a little bit."
On working with assistants Scott Stevens and John Anderson on the bench for the first time, Boudreau said he looks forward to "seeing how we react on the bench, to see who's a talker, who's quiet, if I'm the only talker, if I'm [the only one] yelling at the refs. I mean, they won't yell at the refs, but I may. I'm not going to start tomorrow, I don't think. I can't."
"I'm excited to get going. It should be fun," Zucker said. "It feels like I've been here for like three months now. I'm excited that I'm playing [Monday]."
It'll be the NHL preseason debuts for guys like Tuch, Lucia, Seeler, Warner.
"I'm excited because I could feel how excited they are because I remember how I excited I was," Boudreau said. "The whole idea of flying on the charter and the way you're treated in the NHL has got to make people go, 'Man, this is where I want to play.'"
Coyle has been playing center so far in camp because Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula (along with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter) don't report to camp until Monday. Boudreau's looking forward to them practicing Monday. Originally, they were having a late practice, but the schedule's been revamped for Monday so Boudreau and the assistants can be on the ice with them before the game group leaves for Pennsylvania.
Nino Niederreiter and Team Europe upset Sweden in the seminfinal, so Niederreiter moves on to the Final against Canada.
Games are Tuesday and Thursday with a possible Game 3 Saturday.
"Of all the guys, we would have thought we were going to see him first," said Boudreau. "Might not be back for 10 days from now (includes the days off he'll get upon his return)."
Asked if this hurts Niederreiter because he'll be so late to camp and can't get established on his line, Boudreau said, "Especially if you win, there's nothing that makes you want success like success. So I think it would be great for him to win. Well, if I wasn't Canadian."
The Wild's home preseason opener comes Tuesday, by the way, against Colorado.
There will be a Graovac story in Monday's paper, so please check that out.
Zack Mitchell, by the way, is out with a sprained ankle sustained a couple weeks ago, so this is the second straight training camp that Mitchell is missing (at least so far) due to injury.