Staff Directory 6134705

Sarah McLellan

Minnesota Wild and NHL | Reporter

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
The Wild roster will have opening in 2022-23 based both on performance and the team’s need to stay under the NHL salary cap.

Who goes, who stays? A player-by-player look at the Wild roster

It's more than just salary cap issues that will shape the Wild for next season. There are roster spots and roles that need to be hammered out based on merit.
Wild coach Dean Evason at his season-ending news conference Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Evason stands by decision to start Fleury in bulk of playoff games

Stanley Cup-winning experience gave Marc-Andre Fleury the edge over Cam Talbot, Wild coach Dean Evason said, but the team was happy with the play of both.
Wild General Manager Bill Guerin spoke at his season-ending news conference Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

'We'll deal with it,' Wild GM Guerin says of painful salary cap squeeze

Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury could stay, but 30-goal scorer Kevin Fiala might be out of team's price range.
Kevin Fiala had a strong regular season, but didn’t score in the playoffs.

Fiala knows he could be gone from Wild despite best season of career

The Wild could be forced to trade Kevin Fiala after he became a 30-goal scorer for the first time. Several factors are part of the unusual situation.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury went 9-2 with a 2.74 goals-against average and .910 save percentage after the Wild acquired him from the Blackhawks on March

Wild's goaltending situation is a major question after playoff defeat

Cam Talbot is under contract for another year; Marc-Andre Fleury is a free agent after starting five of six postseason games. The Wild's goaltender situation is no longer as clear as before.
Kevin Fiala, who scored 33 goals on an expiring contract, is among the players the Wild must make decisions about.

Wild has big roster decisions to make while confronting financial issues

After loading up at the trade deadline and then fizzling out in the first round of the playoffs against St. Louis, the Wild is now forced to confront the reality of its new budget. Why is the money so tight?
Tyler Bozak of the Blues scored against Wild goalie Cam Talbot on Thursday night in St. Louis.

Wild's season of promise scotched with quick playoff exit

The Blues turned out to be a bad matchup for the Wild, and a late goalie change provided no magic tonic.
St. Louis Blues players celebrate after a goal against Wild goalie Cam Talbot during the second period in Game 6

Blues deliver final blow to season, knock Wild from playoffs in 5-1 thrashing

The Blues have pestered the Wild for months — spoiling the Winter Classic at Target Field, interrupting the team's franchise-record pace and now ending Minnesota's season.
The Wild’s Frederick Gaudreau (89) shot the puck against the Blues’ Justin Faulk (72) during the first period.

Wild-Blues Game 6 recap

A quick look at the series finale.
Wild goaltender Cam Talbot stopped a shot by Calgary’s Elias Lindholm on April 28 at Xcel Energy Center.

Talbot brings 'team-first mentality' into Wild net for Game 6

Idle since April 28, Cam Talbot saw his first action after Marc-Andre Fleury started the series' first five games.
Wild goalie Cam Talbot, who went 13-0-3 to close the regular season, appears to be making his series debut in Game 6 vs. the Blues.

Cam Talbot starts for Wild in net for tonight's Game 6

Talbot was the first goalie off the ice during the Wild's pregame skate, suggesting he'll make his first start of the best-of-seven series. He last played two weeks ago against Calgary.
Wild center Tyson Jost looked to stickhandle against the St. Louis defense in Game 3 on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild confronts reality of must-win Game 6. Evason: 'It's desperation.'

The Wild will need to pull off the gutsiest rally of the season at St. Louis, since a crunch-time U-turn is necessary to avoid being ousted from the playoffs tonight.
Kirill Kaprizov chased a loose puck on Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.

'If we had 20 of him ...' Kaprizov's performance was showstopping

The second-year Wild winger scored twice Tuesday and has nine goals in 12 playoff games, a pace unseen in team history.
Vladimir Tarasenko (91) gets the puck past Wild goalie Marc Andre Fleury for a goal in the third period Tuesday during Game 5

Wild falls apart late, 2-1 lead becomes 5-2 loss to Blues in Game 5

The Wild is one loss from being out of the playoffs despite a historic performance by Kirill Kaprizov, which ended up being overshadowed by Vladimir Tarasenko's third-period hat trick.
Wild winger Nic Deslauriers delivered a rugged check to the Blues’ Tyler Bozak during Game 4 of the teams’ first-round NHL playoffs series.

Wild treads fine line between physical play and penalties vs. Blues

When Wild players have jostled with the Blues after the whistle, penalties — and St. Louis goals — have been the result. But coach Dean Evason and the players also realize they have to keep being physical to create scoring chances.
The Wild is back at Xcel Energy Center for Game 5 against the Blues on Tuesday night.

Despite Sunday's loss, Wild not looking at changes for Game 5

There were signs at practice that coach Dean Evason will not make changes for tonight's game at the X, which will move the winner within one game of winning the playoff series.
Kevin Fiala (22) scored 33 goals during the regular season but has only one point through four playoff games.

Wild needs more from Fiala's line to successfully battle Blues

Kevin Fiala's line, which includes Matt Boldy and Frederick Gaudreau, has scored just one goal heading into tonight's Game 5 of the playoffs. 'We'll have a chat with them,' coach Dean Evason said.
Mats Zuccarello of the Wild and Blues captain Ryan O’Reilly went after the puck during Sunday’s Game 4 in St. Louis.

Wild hopes to take advantage of home ice in Game 5

Both teams have won on the road as the Western Conference playoff series is tied at two.
Blues center Jordan Kyrou (25) snapped a shot past Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for the first of his two goals in St. Louis’ 5-2 Game 4 victory in

Wild fails to cash in on opportunities, falls 5-2 to Blues in Game 4

Two goals in a 54-second span in the second period gave St. Louis a cushion that the Wild couldn't wipe out, and the series returns to Tuesday's Game 5 at Xcel Energy Center tie 2-2.
Wild teammates Kirill Kaprizov (97) and Jared Spurgeon (46) celebrated after Kaprizov tied the score in the first period Sunday in St. Louis. But the

Wild fails to generate another multigoal comeback

For the fourth time in as many games in this series, the team that scored first went on to win.
Wild winger Frederick Gaudreau worked the puck against the Blues’ Jordan Kyrou on Sunday in St. Louis.

Wild-St. Louis Game 4 recap

A quick look at Sunday's game.
The Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov scored his third goal of the game against St. Louis goalie Ville Husso during Minnesota’s 6-2 victory in Game 2.

Wild looks to fill 'tip jar' of pucks all the way to the Stanley Cup

Inspired by a road trip to Nashville last month, the team is dropping a puck into a bucket for every playoff win, and the goal is to get to 16.
The Wild’s Joel Eriksson Ek (14) celebrated with linemates Marcus Foligno, left, and Jordan Greenway (18) after scoring in the first period in Game

Wild's 'GREEF' line is checking and scoring vs. Blues

Jordan Greenway, Joel Eriksson Ek and Marcus Foligno are facing St. Louis' top line, and contributing on offense, too, with four goals in three games.
Wild goalie Marc Andre Fleury

Both teams staying with goaltenders in Wild-Blues series

Marc-Andre Fleury and Ville Husso continue to hold things down as series switches to St. Louis.
The Wild’s Joel Eriksson Ek works the puck against the Blues’ Jordan Kyrou during the first period in Game 3

Wild takes control of series with Game 3 blowout win over Blues

From the start - 39 seconds in, to be exact - the Wild was on its game and cruised to a 5-1 win to go up 2-1 in the series.
Wild-St. Louis Game 3 recap

Wild-St. Louis Game 3 recap

A quick look at Friday night's victory.
The Wild has dropped seven in a row to the Blues at Enterprise Center ahead of playing Game 3 on Friday night.

After Game 2 success, Wild not making lineup changes tonight

The Wild has lost seven in a row at Enterprise Center — where Games 3 and 4 will be played tonight and Sunday — getting outscored 35-15 in those games.
Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov (97) celebrated with teammates on the bench — and waited for hats to be removed from the Xcel Energy Center ice —after

Kaprizov changed little, but outcome was much better in Game 2

The Wild was held scoreless by the Blues in Game 1, but standout winger Kirill Kaprizov helped change that with a hat trick in a 6-2 victory that evened the first-round, best-of-seven series at 1-1.
Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek stuffed the puck past Blues goalie Ville Husso in the second period of Game 2 on Wednesday. Eriksson Ek reached career hi

Eriksson Ek's value always appreciated by his Wild teammates

Joel Eriksson Ek is a physical presence, a clutch scorer and one of the NHL's top defensive forwards. His play sparked the Wild's resurgence in Game 2 against the Blues on Wednesday to even the series at 1-1.
Kirill Kaprizov (97) of the Minnesota Wild gets the puck past St. Louis Blues goalie Ville Husso for a goal in the third period Tuesday, May 4, at Xce

Kaprizov's hat trick conquers the Blues for a night in Wild's Game 2 win

Kirill Kaprizov had three goals, Joel Eriksson Ek added two and Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 32 saves as the Wild tied the series at one game apiece.
Defenseman Alex Goligoski, who won a Stanley Cup with the Penguins in 2009, subbed into the Wild lineup for Dmitry Kulikov in Wednesday’s Game 2 aga

Wild adds experience for Game 2 as Goligoski joins the lineup

Defenseman Alex Goligoski sat out Game 1, but slid in Wednesday when Dmitry Kulikov was scratched.
Minnesota Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury deflects a shot during the first period of the team's NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche, Friday,

Fleury stays in goal in Game 2; Goligoski replaces Kulikov on defense

This will be Alex Goligoski's first playoff game with the Wild, but he has 43 games of Stanley Cup experience and was with the Penguins when they won it in 2009.
Minnesota Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon

Spurgeon fined $5,000, says he's 'not very happy with myself' about penalty

The illegal hit to an opponent's ankles was unusual for Jared Spurgeon, who was runner-up last season for the NHL's Lady Byng Trophy that recognizes sportsmanship.
Blues winger David Perron put the puck past Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury in the third period, completing his hat trick in St. Louis’ 4-0 victory in

Wild must solve power play riddle, penalty kill issues to battle Blues

The inconsistency from the Wild's special teams is not new, but the consequence for the team hit hard in its Game 1 loss to St. Louis. Will things change tonight?
David Perron of the St. Louis Blues celebrated after getting the puck past Minnesota Wild goalie Marc Andre Fleury (29) for a goal in the third period

Blues continue dominating Wild, grab home-ice advantage with Game 1 shutout

Whether it's been an afternoon matinee in St. Louis or the middle of winter at Target Field or Monday's 4-0 win at the X, St. Louis has continued stumping the Wild this season.
Minnesota Wild left wing Matt Boldy (12) pushed Vegas Golden Knights center Jonathan Marchessault (81)into the boards in the first period. The Minneso

A spectator last season, Boldy now a key figure in Wild lineup

Rookie Matt Boldy had a strong second half after recovering from an fractured ankle suffered in preseason.
The Wild and Blues are meeting in the playoffs for the third time.

'Confident' Wild renewing rivalry with Blues in Game 1 tonight

Marc-Andre Fleury was the first Wild goalie off the ice at the morning skate, which usually indicates who the starter is going to be.
The Wild brought in three-time champion Marc-Andre Fleury, the reigning Vezina Trophy recipient as the NHL’s top goalie and a shoo-in for the Hall o

Meet goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who plays better 'when I'm having fun'

In addition to a future Hall of Famer, the Wild also acquired a practical jokester nicknamed "Flower" who talks to the goal post and wears flashy gear when they traded for Fluery in March.
Marcus Foligno and Wild fans celebrated a goal on Tuesday.

Wild's injured Foligno vows to play: 'It'd feel wrong sitting out'

A knee-on-knee hit in the season's final regular-season game seemed likely to sideline winger Marcus Foligno.
Wild forward Kevin Fiala says he’s “pretty proud of the whole season” after recording career highs in goals, assists and points.

Wild's Fiala playing his best hockey but thinks he has 'much, much more to go'

Kevin Fiala posted career highs in goals (33), assists (52) and points (85) during the regular season.
Kirill Kaprizov, left, and Mats Zuccarello found strong chemistry with the Wild this season.

Kaprizov and Zuccarello have creative connection for Wild

Next up for the Wild's dynamic duo of Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello is to translate their talent to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Wild’s Jordan Greenway checked Colorado’s Erik Johnson into the Avalanche’s bench during the second period Friday. Greenway scored twice in

Wild beats Colorado for home ice, loses Foligno to injury on illegal hit

Marcus Foligno was kneed by Kurtis MacDermid, who received a game misconduct, in the first period. Foligno's status for the playoffs, which begin Monday, is uncertain.
Wild General Manager Bill Guerin: “Making the playoffs is nice, but that’s not enough.”

As Wild sets records, Guerin points to different kind of milestones

General Manager Bill Guerin said there are higher expectations as the team enters the playoffs and a first-round matchup against St. Louis that could be one of the NHL's best.
Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov took a shot on goal in the first period. He later scored in overtime, lifting the Wild over Calgary 3-2 at Xcel Energy Cen

Kaprizov scores winner in OT as Wild's special teams shine vs. Calgary

Playing a playoff-caliber opponent, the Wild took a step closer to home-ice advantage as Kirill Kaprizov scored 44 seconds into overtime to secure a 3-2 win.
Winger Kevin Fiala (left, with winger Mats Zuccarello) scored the game-winning goal in overtime in the Wild’s 3-2 victory over Colorado at Xcel Ener

Wild-Colorado game preview: Fleury to start regular-season finale

The Wild is 1-1-1 vs. the Avalanche this season, winning the last meeting 3-2 in overtime on March 27.
Cam Talbot finished with 31 saves, including this stop in the third period.

Thursday's Wild-Calgary game recap

Kirill Karpizov notched his 106th point of the season, scoring the game-winner in overtime.
Trading for goalie Marc-Andre Fleury was one of several roster moves General Manager Bill Guerin made at the NHL trade deadline to improve the Wild’

Earlier shellacking by Flames prompted Wild roster enhancements

Being outscored 12-4 by Calgary in consecutive games in February and March was General Manager Bill Guerin's motivation to bring in players to supplement the team's depth, toughness and goaltending.
Wild goalie Cam Talbot is 12-0-3 in his last 15 starts.

Talbot back in net for Wild in second-to-last game of season

Cam Talbot will be back in net for the Wild, his first start since last Thursday, and none of the team's injured players will return against Calgary.
Antoine Roussel of the Coyotes gets the puck past Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury for a goal in the third period Tuesday.

Wild's long points streaks end with loss to lowly Coyotes

Tuesday's 5-3 loss to Arizona, which scored four goas in the third period, was the Wild's first in regulation since April 5 and only the second in 22 games.
Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek (14) has two goalls and one assist in back-to-back games.

GREEF line — Greenway, Eriksson Ek and Foligno — back together again

They had not played together since April 12 because of injuries and illness. Without his normal linemates, Eriksson Ek had two goals and an assist in each of his past two games.
Tuesday's Wild-Arizona game recap

Tuesday's Wild-Arizona game recap

A quick look at Tuesday night's shocking loss.
Marc-Andre Fleury will make a third straight start for the Wild vs. the Coyotes on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Fleury starts again for Wild; Foligno, Greenway return vs. Coyotes

The Wild kicks off the final week of the regular season against the Coyotes at Xcel Energy Center, and Marc-Andre Fleury will once again be in net.
Wild players mobbed Dmitry Kulikov (7) after he scored the game-winner in overtime Sunday in Nashville.

Wild gameday: Coyotes first of three home games to finish regular season

The Wild is trying to get the second seed and home ice for its playoff series against the Blues.
Predators goaltender David Rittich stopped a shot by Wild winger Kevin Fiala on Sunday night in Nashville.

Wild's Fiala is NHL's second star for the second consecutive week

Four goals and seven assists in four Wild victories have fueled the winger's hot streak.
Jared Spurgeon

Spurgeon's perseverance earns him Masterton Award nomination

The Wild team captain, who ranks among the team's best-ever, has been a standout through adversity during his NHL career.
Wild defenseman Dmitry Kulikov snapped a shot past Predators goaltender David Rittich with 1.3 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Wild a 5-4 wi

Kulikov beats the OT buzzer, scoring to spark Wild over Predators 5-4

Dmitry Kulikov found the net with 1.3 seconds remaining, and Joel Eriksson Ek's assist on the goal was his third point of the game.
Wild-Nashville game recap

Wild-Nashville game recap

A quick look at Sunday night's game.
Kirill Kaprisov didn’t score his first goal this season until November, but that didn’t stop him from hitting 101 points on Friday.

Slow start didn't stop Kaprizov, Fiala from building momentum

Kirill Kaprizov and Kevin Fiala are first and second in team scoring and have set franchise records before the end of the regular season.
Kevin Fiala is one point shy of tying Marian Gaborik for second most ever in a Wild season.

Wild's Fiala setting records, broadening his game in a career year

Wild left wing Kevin Fiala is leading the NHL in goals, assists and points since April 8, when his current streak began.
Mats Zuccarello did not travel with the team to Nashville after picking up an injury against Seattle on Friday.

Wild vs. Nashville preview: Final away game of regular season

The Wild visits Bridgestone Arena on Sunday night.
Wild goaltender Cam Talbot celebrates with Dmitry Kulikov after the Wild defeated Montreal

Talbot reflects on the journey after picking up 200th NHL win

The Wild goaltender hit the milestone in his second consecutive start against Vancouver on Thursday.
Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek (14) scores a goal in the first period vs. Seattle on Friday night in St. Paul.

One for the record book: Wild's victory over Seattle brings new milestones

Kevin Fiala's five assists set a new Wild franchise record on a night Kirill Kaprizov continued his eye-popping second NHL season in a 6-3 win over the Kraken.
Wild-Seattle game recap

Wild-Seattle game recap

A quick look at Friday night's game.
Wild left wing Kevin Fiala wraps around the back of the net before scoring a goal against Vancouver goaltender Thatcher Demko during the third period

Another big night for Fiala as Wild locks in playoff series vs. St. Louis

The 6-3 win over Vancouver — sparked by a Wild rally in the third period — made certain a Wild vs. Blues first-round series. But home-ice advantage is still up for grabs.
Wild rookie forward Matt Boldy (12) has kept making big plays after getting his first start on Jan. 6.

Boldy keeps making plays as a rookie forward for Wild

He scored in overtime in his first game with the Wild, had a hat trick in another and scored between his legs in a win over Montreal on Tuesday.
Thursday's Wild-Vancouver game recap

Thursday's Wild-Vancouver game recap

Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello both had a goal and two assists for the Wild.
Goalie Marc-Andre Fleury, who is 6-1 since  the Wild traded for him, will get the start against Seattle on Friday.

Wild faces surging Kraken at Xcel Energy Center

Seattle has won a season-high three games in a row, with help from rookie Matty Beniers, who has a point in each of his first four games.
Wild goalie Cam Talbot is coming off a 26-save shutout on Tuesday in the 2-0 win at Montreal.

Wild goalie rotation ends with Talbot getting second straight start tonight

For the first time since Marc-Andre Fleury debuted last month, the Wild will start the same goalie for a second consecutive game
Former Wild coach Bruce Boudreau took over in Vancouver on Dec. 6 and has a 30-13-9 record since.

Wild finishing season with five of six at home, starting with Vancouver

The Wild returns home where it is 10-0-1 in its past 11 games at the X. The Canucks are still outside the Western Conference playoff picture, but making a late-season push.
Minnesota Wild goaltender Cam Talbot (33) makes a save on Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Tue

Fiala, Boldy score memorable goals in red-hot Talbot's 2-0 shutout

Kevin Fiala became the Wild's third 30-goal scorer of the season, and Matt Boldy made a highlight-reel play to score. Cam Talbot made 26 saves at Montreal to go 11-0-3 through his past 14 starts.
Wild-Montreal game recap

Wild-Montreal game recap

A quick look at Tuesday night's victory.
Mitch Chaffee met with the press corps after the Wild’s morning skate in Montreal on Tuesday.

Iowa's top goal scorer makes NHL debut for Wild

Mitch Chaffee was signed out of UMass in 2020. He scored 22 goals in 45 games for Iowa.
Rudolfs Balcers of the Sharks and Wild winger  Kirill Kaprizov fought for the puck on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild safely in playoffs, but plenty at stake as season winds down

A battle with St. Louis for home ice is front and center as the team faces Montreal on Tuesday night.
Cole Caufield (22) has 18 goals for the Canadiens this season.

Wild gameday: Mitchell Chaffee called up, could make NHL debut

The Wild has a game in Montreal and will be without Marcus Foligno, who tested positive for COVID-19.
Kevin Fiala (22) and Jared Spurgeon (46) of the Wild celebrates a game-winning overtime goal by Spurgeon on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center

Fiala's huge game clinches playoff spot for Wild in OT win over San Jose

Kevin Fiala scored the goal that sent the game into overtime and took the shot that was deflected into the net by Jared Spurgeon — Fiala's third assist of the game — for the 5-4 victory.