Staff Directory 457743233

Sarah McLellan

Minnesota Wild and NHL | Reporter
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: Spanish

Sarah McLellan covers the Wild and NHL. Before joining the Star Tribune in November 2017, she spent five years covering the Coyotes for The Arizona Republic.

Born in Edmonton and raised in Arizona, Mclellan is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Recent content from Sarah McLellan
Wild scoring leader Kevin Fiala and his girlfriend, Jessica Ljung, walked his dog, Foxi, along Nicollet Mall on Wednesday.

Wild's Kevin Fiala keeps training in anticipation of season's resumption

Amid the coronavirus shutdown, the breakout winger is working like there's a season to finish.
In an updated Q&A issued Monday, the NHL said it doesn’t expect any scenario to “endanger or interfere with” the league's ability to play a full

NHL doesn't anticipate need to abbreviate 2020-21 season

But no decisions have been reached about how, or if, this season will conclude.
Minnesota teams step up to aid arena workers affected by lack of games

Minnesota teams step up to aid arena workers affected by lack of games

Professional sports teams in the Twin Cities moved to help assist employees who will be out of work during the shutdown because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Wild General Manager Bill Guerin acknowledges that the players are taking the health crisis seriously.

Wild GM Guerin: 'We just want everybody to take care of themselves'

When self-quarantine ends, and depending on developments related to the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL will consider opening team facilities to players in small groups.
Fan Jenna Yentsch made the best of a quiet, Wild-free Sunday at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub near Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul. “It’s very eerie

Joints near Xcel Energy Center aren't jumpin' without Wild games

Sunday night was supposed to be the next make-or-break game for the Wild and its playoff hopes. But the only activity outside Gate 1 of the X was traffic cruising by the arena.
Resuming the NHL schedule would be a plus for the Wild and Kevin Fiala, who became the team’s leading scorer with a torrid streak before play was su

Idle Wild staying prepared for whatever resumption of season brings

Team had hot scorer and high playoff hopes — and both could become moot.
In the Wild’s final game before the NHL shutdown, Jani Hakanpaa (28) of the Ducks battled Ryan Hartman at the Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., on Su

NHL players encouraged to 'self-quarantine' by league

By self-quarantining, the NHL believes players will be able to determine if they become sick, reduce the risk of passing the sickness on and minimize exposure within the community to others who are sick.
The Wild posted signs at Xcel Energy Center supporting the NHL’s decision to shut down. The first Wild game affected was a home date with the Vegas

NHL season 'paused' with Wild in playoff limbo

The Wild, only one point shy of a playoff spot, was set to host Vegas on Thursday evening at Xcel Energy Center before traveling to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers Saturday afternoon.
Luke Kunin and the Wild take the ice again on Thursday night, at home against Vegas.

For Wild, coronavirus-related changes are relatively minor – so far

National Hockey League officials said Wednesday night they were consulting with medical experts and would have an update about plans for the season today.
Zach Parise leads the Wild with 25 goals, four in his past eight games. “I just feel more comfortable with the puck,” he said.

Parise has been settled, impressive for Wild since trade deadline

The winger's production has risen since the trade deadline.
Kevin Fiala (22) of the Wild beat Anaheim goalie Ryan Miller on an overtime power play Sunday night.

Wild wants to put winning road trip 'in memory bank' for playoff fight

The Wild nabbed a pair of victories on its three-game swing through California and hopes to build on that success for the challenges ahead.
Wild left winger Kevin Fiala reacted after scoring against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period Sunday. He finished the scoring as well, with his

Fiala stays on fire: Two more goals give Wild big overtime win, playoff boost

After scoring in the first period and the final minute of overtime to beat Anaheim, Kevin Fiala continued a sizzling streak of 14 goals in the Wild's last 18 games.
Sunday night's game against Anaheim was Devan Dubnyk’s first in the nets for the Wild since Feb. 23, as usual backup Alex Stalock recently seized co

In new back-up role, Dubnyk sets goal of making a difference

A difficult season has made him a backup, but there's time left for him to help the team.
Los Angeles Kings defenseman Matt Roy, center, helps stop a shot as Wild center Ryan Donato, right, falls to the ice.

Wild falls flat vs. Kings, moves on after 7-3 loss

The Wild's six-game road winning streak ended with a thud, as Los Angeles took advantage of a mistake-prone opponent. Minnesota is now one point out of a playoff spot.
Wild center Mikko Koivu spoke with media members at the end of the 2017 season. The NHL is expected to close all locker rooms to help stop the spread

Wild closes locker room for coronavirus control; NHL to adopt policy

The Wild on Saturday in Los Angeles closed its locker room to media, and the NHL is expected to announce this change to its rules citing the U.S. Centers for Disease Control to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Wild interim head coach Dean Evason speaks to his players along with assistant coach Darby Hendrickson during a timeout against Capitals last weekend.

Under interim coach Evason, Wild is scoring and winning

Dean Evason previewed an aggressive philosophy when he was named interim coach last month. Based on how the Wild has responded to his direction, the players seem to be fulfilling Evason's vision.
Wild goalie Alex Stalock blocks a shot from San Jose's Melker Karlsson in the third period

Stalock stays locked in, Wild fends off San Jose to move into playoff spot

The Sharks outshot the Wild by a wide margin in the third period but Alex Stalock was up for the challenge, making 40 saves in a 3-2 victory
Wild defenseman Ryan Suter had plenty to smile about on Thursday night after he opened the scoring against the Sharks with his eighth goal of the seas

Wild's climb in standings fueled by success on the road

Success away from home has helped the Wild rejoin the playoff race — a turnaround the group hopes to continue during a three-game tour of California.
Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk celebrated with Alex Stalock after Stalock shut out the Dallas Stars 7-0 in January.

Dubnyk takes unfamiliar spot on Wild's bench for key game

Despite being at the forefront of the Wild's playoff pushes since his arrival in 2015, Devan Dubnyk has been relegated to the backup role lately as the team continues to rely on Alex Stalock during his productive run.
Richard Panik sent a shot past Wild goalie Alex Stalock’s right shoulder for the go-ahead goal, a first-period Washington score that was sandwiched

Opportunity to occupy playoff spot eludes Wild in 4-3 loss to Capitals

A poor 3½-minute stretch put Minnesota in a hole it couldn't quite overcome.
With still 17 games left, Kevin Fiala (left) is only three goals shy of tying his career high of 23 with the Predators in 2017-18. He was traded to th

Wild's Fiala gets to show new, improved game to old teammates

In the year since the Wild and Predators swapped forwards at the trade deadline -- with Minnesota sending Mikael Granlund to Nashville and getting Kevin Fiala in return -- never has the deal flattered both sides more than right now.
With a scoring average of 0.61 goals-per-game in his career, which ranks fifth in league history, the Capitals' Alex Ovechkin is on track to score his

Ovechkin's success leaves Wild players, coach in awe

Washington Capitals star already had hit 700 goals, with potential to go much higher.
Wild forward Ryan Hartman

'Fourth line' only in number: Plenty of offense all around for Wild

Mikko Koivu, Ryan Donato and Ryan Hartman provided the offense in recent wins.
Wild forward Kevin Fiala was third in the NHL with 19 points in February — also the third-most points for any month in franchise history.

Wild roaring into March with recent surge

Three consecutive victories, five victories in six games overall and a 12-5-1 run since mid-January has anchored the Wild in the Western Conference playoff race.
Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard stops Wild center Eric Staal during the first period, but it was not an overall solid performance as the Wild cruised

A scoring punch, in bunches: Wild rolls out of Detroit with 7-1 victory

The Wild saw 13 different players score at least one point, winning on the road for the fourth consecutive game.
Wild left wing Kevin Fiala tries to shoot on Red Wings goaltender Jonathan Bernier as Christoffer Ehn defends in the third period

What will Fiala do next for Wild? 'Just gotta keep it going'

Kevin Fiala was back in the spotlight – recording three points in a 7-1 shellacking of the Red Wings to continue a run that has him tied with center Eric Staal for the most points on the team at 45.
teammates congratulated Minnesota Wild center Mikko Koivu (9) on his second goal of the game, late in the second period.

Koivu doubles season output with two goals, Wild holds off Columbus

Mikko Koivu had scored only two goals all season entering Tuesday's game at the X, and the two he scored against Columbus was a needed boost for the Wild.
Zach Parise, in the eighth season of his 13-year, $98 million contract, was said to be headed for the New York Islanders in what would have been a sur

After trade vanishes, Parise 'not disappointed' he's still with Wild

Zach Parise, in the eighth season of his 13-year, $98 million contract, was said to be headed for the New York Islanders in what would have been a surprising deadline deal.
Zach Parise's name was being thrown out in social media trade rumors Monday.

Parise's name flies in trade rumors, but Wild doesn't deal

The Wild explored the possibility of trading Zach Parise — in the eighth season of his 13-year, $98 million contract — and there were reported discussions with the New York Islanders
Wild winger Mats Zuccarello had no chance at a rebound that Blues goalie Jordan Binnington and defenseman Justin Faulk had well-covered.

Uncertainty replaces momentum after Wild's 4-1 loss to Blues

Wild players will try to treat today like it's just the start of another week. But the 2 p.m. NHL trading deadline combined with Sunday's night loss will put an edge their activities.
Wild left winger Marcus Foligno checked Blues defenseman Marco Scandella into the boards in the corner in the first period Sunday. After that period,

Blues will be Wild's Winter Classic opponent

A Central Division rival — and the Stanley Cup champion — gets the appointment for the outdoor game at Target Field next Jan. 1.
Wild General Manager Bill Guerin spoke about his decision to fire head coach Bruce Boudreau last week.

Despite successful road trip, Wild GM Guerin hasn't ruled out more changes

First-year General Manager Bill Guerin has overhauled the Wild in recent weeks. This process could very well continue leading up to the NHL trade deadline Monday at 2 p.m.
Minnesota's Ryan Hartman (38), Marcus Foligno (17) and Jared Spurgeon (46) celebrate a goal against the Oilers during the second period.

Spurgeon's hometown hat trick gives Wild 5-3 win over Edmonton

Edmonton native Jared Spurgeon scored his first career hat trick, a natural one that featured the tying goal, the game-winner and an insurance marker.
Quinn Hughes (43) of the Vancouver Canucks and Mats Zuccarello (36) of the Minnesota Wild chased the puck.

Wild's Mats Zuccarello picks up his play and his confidence

The struggling Wild winger had two assists in a win at Vancouver.
The Wild's Alex Galchenyuk and teammates celebrate his shootout goal against the Canucks on Wednesday night. The game is part of the Wild's father-son

Wild's father-son bonds go beyond the ice

Although Wild players have plenty of confidantes nearby — teammates, coaches, significant others — they keep calling dad. "It's something you just don't stop doing," goalie Devan Dubnyk said.
Wild winger Alex Galchenyuk -- after tying the score with a goal with less than five minutes remaining in regulation -- beat Canucks goalie Jacob Mark

Galchenyuk comes through twice to lift Wild over Canucks 4-3 in shootout

After pushing the game to overtime with his first goal as a member of the Wild, newcomer Alex Galchenyuk capped off his best performance since arriving from Pittsburgh with the game-winner in an extended shootout.
For Wild winger Alex Galchenyuk (left, leveling the Sharks' Brent Burns on Saturday) there wasn't a chance to practice with his new squad of a trade b

Short break from hockey enables Galchenyuk to get familiar with Wild

Last week was a busy time for the left winger, who came to Minnesota in the Jason Zucker trade with the Penguins.
Former Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau

Hurt and disappointed, Boudreau says 'I can hold my head high' about Wild tenure

Bruce Boudreau was in his office Friday hashing out what he wanted the Wild to focus on at practice later that morning when GM Bill Guerin walked in and closed the door. He knew that wasn't a good sign.
Wild right wing Ryan Hartman took a shot on goal in the first period Saturday vs. the Sharks.

Wild players get a few days to process week of major changes

The type of turnover the Wild experienced in a five-day span last week is something that a lot of don't go through all season long. And there's still time for more to happen.
Wild left wing Zach Parise got a hard hit from San Jose Sharks defenseman Brent Burns in front of the San Jose net in the second period.

Wild's shake-up doesn't wake up offense in shutout loss to San Jose

In Dean Evason's first game as interim coach, the Wild lost to a shorthanded Sharks team that played in Winnipeg the night before.
Wild interim coach Dean Evason watched from the bench in the second period.

Interim Wild coach Evason settles quickly into being in charge

The only change Dean Evason made in his first game was subbing Brad Hunt for Greg Pateryn on the third defensive pairing. Tweaking, rather than a major systems overhaul, is Evason's plan.
The Wild's Alex Stalock allowed the tying goal Thursday night in St. Paul, about 12 hours before coach Bruce Boudreau was fired.

'It's a wake-up call': Wild players place blame on coaching change on themselves

As shocked as Wild players were Friday to learn Bruce Boudreau had been dismissed, they had no problem finding where to direct some of the responsibility for the sudden change.
The Wild's interim coach Dean Evason lead practice at Tria Rink in St. Paul

In the interim, Wild is Evason's team

Longtime NHL assistant Dean Evason embraces the assignment of Wild's interim head coach for the remainder of this season: "I've got the opportunity."
New York Rangers' Artemi Panarin, left, scores against the Wild's Alex Stalock during the shootout

Wild loses on disputed shootout score after giving up two-goal lead

To Bruce Boudreau, the shootout goal that led to the 4-3 loss to the Rangers shouldn't have counted. But the Wild put itself in that position with its third-period play.
Alex Galchenyuk made his Wild debut Tuesday night vs. Vegas.

Another fresh start: Galchenyuk joins fourth team in three years

A former 30-goal scorer, Alex Galchenyuk is looking to regain that scoring touch after a stint in Pittsburgh during which his playing time and production dropped.
Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon (46) celebrates his second period goal with teammates Eric Staal (12) and Kevin Fiala (22)

Message received: Wild heeds GM, shuts out Vegas in first game after Zucker deal

Bruce Boudreau didn't need to relay to his players General Manager Bill Guerin's warning that others will join Jason Zucker on the move if the Wild packs in its playoff push.
Jason Zucker had 132 goals and 111 assists in 456 career games with the Wild.

Wild trades Zucker to Penguins for Galchenyuk, first-round pick, prospect

After his name appeared regularly in trade rumors in recent seasons — and after he was nearly shipped out twice in the past year — Jason Zucker was sent to Pittsburgh on Monday night
Wild captain Mikko Koivu took control of the puck after a second-period faceoff against Colorado on Sunday.

Wild winning streak comes to end with 3-2 loss to Avalanche

A chance for the Wild to win a fourth game in a row was foiled by Colorado's special teams.
Colorado's Nathan MacKinnon pinned the Wild's Jason Zucker along the boards during the third period Sunday night at Xcel Energy Center.

Zucker says he's 'done worrying' about latest Wild trade talks

In addition to the trade talk, Wild winger Jason Zucker has also been adjusting to life on the team's fourth line.
Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk made a glove save on Avalanche left winger Matt Nieto in December

Dubnyk, dealing with 'difficult year,' gives Wild a lift

Devan Dubnyk was idle for most of the Wild's 11-game point streak in November and December. As the Wild finished off a back-to-back Friday in Dallas, though, Dubnyk was finally given an opportunity to contribute
Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek scores the winning goal in the third period against the Dallas Stars

'Special way to get it done': Eriksson Ek's late goal keeps Wild hot

Joel Eriksson Ek scored on a wraparound goal with 27 seconds remaining in the third period, his second goal of the game, to cap off a three-goal comeback over the Stars. It's the Wild's third win in a row.
Wild left wing Jason Zucker

Wild's static lineup leaves Koivu, Zucker on fourth line

The spot is relatively new for Jason Zucker, but Mikko Koivu has centered the fourth line recently. What coach Bruce Boudreau likes about the assignment is the depth it gives the Wild.
Wild left wing Kevin Fiala celebrated after scoring the third goal for the Wild in the first period.

Wild wraps up long homestand with 4-2 victory over Vancouver

The Wild held off the Canucks on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center to wrap up a stretch of seven straight home games.
Wild defenseman Matt Dumba

Believe it: Wild's Dumba scored when he stopped trying to score

Stuck in a funk, the Wild's Matt Dumba decided to focus instead on how else he could help the team besides scoring goals. He did that, then notched a game-winner.
Zach Parise

Living at the net: Hard work puts Parise on verge of 1,000 NHL games

Not only is Zach Parise on the brink of crossing a threshold into elite NHL company, but his time in Minnesota will soon surpass his start in New Jersey
The Wild's Matt Dumba, left, watches the puck along with Blackhawks' goalie Corey Crawford a moment before Dumba scored the winning goal

Right time and place: Dumba's 1st goal in 34 games gives Wild OT win

After the Blackhawks on Tuesday scored twice late to tie the game in regulation, Matt Dumba's first goal in 34 games sent the Xcel Energy Center crowd home happy.
Nick Seeler was claimed off waivers by Chicago.

Seeler, now with Chicago, reflects on 'pretty crazy last couple of days'

After the Blackhawks claimed him off waivers, Nick Seeler joined his new team at Xcel Energy Center. "Change is hard," said the former Eden Prairie and Gophers player. "But I think this is a good change for me personally."
The Wild’s Marcus Foligno (17) and Carson Soucy watched as the Bruins celebrated their third power-play goal Saturday, this one by David Pastrnak (8

Boudreau: Wild's playoff hopes hinge on next two weeks

Two months' worth of games remain on the Wild's schedule, but to coach Bruce Boudreau, this week and next stand out from the rest.
Nick Seeler

Wild loses defenseman Seeler to Chicago on waivers

Seeler, who had a year remaining on his contract at $725,000 a season, was the odd man out of the Wild lineup this season.
Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk and Bruins left wing Jake DeBrusk watched as a shot by Torey Krug, not pictured, went into the net during the second peri

Playoff push? Wild returns from break with ugly loss to Bruins

The penalty kill earns Bruce Boudreau's wrath: "As bad as you can possibly get in this league," he said.
Wild head coach Bruce Boudreau

Wild needs a sense of urgency in season restart

The Wild resumes play after an eight-day break just five points out of the last wild-card spot.
Wild winger Marcus Foligno shared a cup of ‘tea’ with his daughter, Olivia, at home. He said having her “gives you more purpose in life.”

Nice off the ice: Wild's Foligno plays physical but at home he's a softy

In his third season with the Wild after being acquired in a trade from Buffalo, Marcus Foligno is a fascinating enigma. He leads the team in hits, but is an easygoing big kid at home.
The Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid

MVP and more: Midseason picks for NHL awards

The Star Tribune's Sarah McLellan makes her choices for front-runners, challengers and underdogs.
Eric Staal celebrated after scoring a goal vs. Edmonton earlier this season.

In season of milestones, Staal thrilled for another All-Star experience

The venues have changed, but the spirit of the NHL All-Star Game has remained the same over Eric Staal's 16-year career.
Jordan Greenway slipped the puck past Detroit goaltender Jimmy Howard for a first-period goal, his sixth of the season.

Wild beats Detroit, climbs in standings as nine-day break arrives

Eight different players tallied at least a point for the Wild, which enters the All-Star break and its ensuing bye week five points out of a playoff spot.
Wild left wing Marcus Foligno (17) and center Joel Eriksson Ek (14) celebrated Luke Kunin's goal Monday night vs. Florida.

More than just defense, Wild's third line shows scoring punch

First assembled as a checking line to thwart opponents' top producers, the trio of Marcus Foligno, Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin is now creating its own scoring chances.
Panthers right winger Noel Acciari, right, celebrated in front of disappointed Wild defenseman Ryan Suter (20) and goalie Alex Stalock after Acciari t

'Just gave it away.' Wild falls to Florida on goal with 5.6 seconds left

The Panthers tied the game at 4-4 with about four minutes to play and won on what Wild coach Bruce Boudreau described as "just a crazy goal."
Wild left winger Jason Zucker, left, celebrated with right winger Mats Zuccarello after Zuccarello's second-period goal in a 7-0 rout of the Dallas St

Wild looks for 7-0 rout of Dallas to become springboard

Muffing its lineup card before getting steamrolled on national television to continue a winless streak was a debacle that could have haunted the Wild.
Wild winger Kevin Fiala wants to be creative with the puck, as well as make the smart, safe plays.

Like the Wild, Fiala trying to find his potential

Kevin Fiala is the most skilled player on the Wild and one of its top producers over the past two-plus months. He also happens to be prone to turnovers and untimely penalties, the consequences of offensive risks.
Greg Pateryn (29), Carson Soucy (21) and Ryan Donato (6) celebrated a second period goal scored by Soucy against the Stars.

Rested Wild blows out Dallas 7-0 for historic win

After coach Bruce Boudreau called off the morning skate, Wild players responded. Seven players were responsible for the goals, and 13 totaled at least a point in the rout.
Fiala working to make speed big part of his NHL game

Fiala working to make speed big part of his NHL game

An example of a strength Kevin Fiala brings to the Wild si his speed — an asset his skating coach believes actually became better after Fiala suffered a broken left leg in 2017.
Wild center Luke Kunin slapped at a rebound in front of Lightning goaltender Curtis McElhinney

New-look Wild cools off Lightning, hangs on to beat Tampa Bay 3-2

The Wild on Thursday rolled out a mostly new look to tackle Tampa Bay, which had won 11 of its previous 12 games.
The Wild's Ryan Suter

Wild's Suter denied 'Last Men' All-Star nod, will accept rest

Ryan Suter was a candidate to represent the Central Division in the Jan. 26 NHL All-Star Game but will instead take the upcoming break to heal. Despite being hobbled, Suter hasn't missed any game action.
Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin (71) puts the puck behind Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk with Jared Spurgeon defending for a goal during the first period

Following lineup gaffe, Wild hits 'lowest point of the season' in blowout loss

Greg Pateryn dressed but was listed as a scratch on the official playing roster and had to leave Tuesday's game before it started. The Wild then lost 7-3 to the Penguins.
Vancouver's Troy Stecher (51) blasted the puck past Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk for a second-period goal in Minnesota's 4-1 loss at Xcel Energy Center on

Penalties, crucial lapse cost Wild in loss to Canucks

Two non-calls, a pair of Vancouver goals in 72 seconds and a special-teams takeover instigated by 13 penalties added up in the latest Wild loss.