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
Brett McLean, left, joined Wild General Manager Bill Guerin at a news conference Tuesday at RiverCentre.

Wild assistant McLean named coach of team's minor-league Iowa affiliate

Assistant Brett McLean is taking over as head coach of the Wild's American Hockey League affiliate in Iowa, meaning Wild coach Dean Evason will be adding to his NHL staff
Bill Guerin watched a Wild practice from the general manager’s booth at Tria Rink in St. Paul during last season.

Wild's offseason moves will be vital, but limited by financial issues

Management is focusing on the future instead of the past as the Wild wade deeper into an offseason that's low on salary cap space yet ripe with significance.
The Wild’s lack of salary cap space will play a role in deciding who stays and who is gone for the 2023-24 season.

Will they still be Wild? A player-by-player look at the roster

The Wild have little flexibility in their budget but plenty of decisions to make when it comes to their roster. Hockey writer Sarah McLellan's outlook for each player on the team as it relates to the 2023-24 season.
Wild General Manager Bill Guerin, right, and coach Dean Evason met with reporters Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild GM unconcerned with the past, says season was not a failure

Bill Guerin cited salary cap issues and said the latest first-round playoff exit was "not the narrative for this team" as they build toward bigger goals.
Marco Rossi (left) and Calen Addison, rookies in the Wild season just ended, will be asked for more next season.

Wild look for more from young players Addison, Rossi

The team needs growth from defenseman Calen Addison and center Marco Rossi in their second seasons to help deal with a tight budget.
Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson had the second-best goals-against average in the NHL (2.10) last season. He will be a restricted free agent eligible

Gustavsson, Fleury ready to see how Wild handle goalie situation

"Call me when the contract is done," said Filip Gustavsson, who will be a restricted free agent this summer. "Not going anywhere," said Marc-Andre Fleury.
Wild players (clockwise from top left) Brock Faber, Joel Eriksson Ek, Marcus Johansson and Matt Dumba. were left trying to comprehend the end of their

After another early playoff exit, Wild left to ponder the what-ifs

From Joel Eriksson Ek's broken leg to Kirill Kaprizov's scoring slump, players were left with more questions than answers.
In the company of defenseman Jared Spurgeon, Wild center Connor Dewar reacted to the Wild’s elimination from the playoffs Friday after a Game 6 loss

After a season spent honing a playoff edge, Wild reach a dull conclusion

A 2022 postseason flop caused the team to change its approach, but the fix failed vs. the Dallas Stars.
Players react to the Wild’s elimination from the playoffs as they leave the ice after the loss to Dallas. The Minnesota Wild lost 4-1 to the Dallas

Missing offense, lapses on defense end Wild's season in 4-1 loss to Dallas

The same issues that pushed the Wild to the brink of elimination also ended their season: A meek offense thwarted by Stars goalie Jake Oettinger and and defensive lapses that led to Dallas goals.
The Wild’s Kirill Kaprizov, right, and Dallas’ Esa LIndell chased the puck during Game 4 on Sunday.

Kaprizov-Zuccarello split among line changes for Wild

The adjustments, designed to revive a sluggish offense, separated Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello, and also included Matt Boldy and Marcus Johansson being split up.
Wild-Dallas Game 6 recap

Wild-Dallas Game 6 recap

A quick look at Friday night's series finale.
Wild coach Dean Evason said he thinks everyone will be available for Game 6, “but you never know.”

Wild won't set Game 6 lineup vs. Dallas until after warm-ups tonight

Ryan Hartman and Mats Zuccarello didn't practice Thursday; Hartman skated Friday morning, but Zuccarello did not. "We think everyone's available," coach Dean Evason said. "But you never know, right?"
Roope Hintz (24) celebrated a Dallas goal near Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson during Game 4 on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.

Game 6 preview: Wild need to cool Stars' Hintz

Dallas forward Roope Hintz has scored or assisted on six of the past seven Dallas goals.
The playoff series has not been smooth skating for Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov.

For Game 6, Wild's Kaprizov aims to end longest scoring outage of career

Of his mental game, the forward said he's frustrated. The physical part? "I feel great; 100 percent."
Wild winger Mats Zuccarello took a shot against Vegas in Game 6 of a playoff series in 2021. The Wild won 3-0 to force a Game 7.

Wild roster packed with players who have forced a Game 7

The team won Game 6 against Vegas in 2021 and aims to "play with urgency" against Dallas on Friday.
Coach Dean Evason talked from behind the Wild bench with referee Steve Kozari (40) and linesman Ryan Gibbons (58) late in the third period of Game 5 i

Penalties, missed chances make Wild a desperate team

The team's physical style has worked against it as Dallas enters Game 6 needing only one win to end the Wild's season.
Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson, left, and defenseman Jonas Brodin, right, are two of eight Swedish players on the team’s roster.

Wild should feel right at home with two November games overseas

The games in Stockholm vs. Ottawa and Toronto, part of the NHL's Global Series, will feature a Wild team that currently has eight native Swedes.
Linesman David Brisebois (96) escorts Minnesota Wild's Marcus Foligno (17) off the ice after Foligno was issued a game misconduct in the first period

Foligno ejected early, Wild on edge of elimination after 4-0 loss to Stars

Marcus Foligno was an onlooker less than 2 1⁄2 minutes into the game. If the Wild don't win their next two games, all of them will be onlookers as the playoffs continue.
Linesman David Brisebois escorts the Wild’s Marcus Foligno off the ice after Foligno was issued a game misconduct in the first period of Game 5.

Wild's Foligno given game misconduct in first period of Game 5

After having two controversial penalty calls go against him that turned into power-play goals for Dallas in Game 4, Marcus Foligno lasted just over two minutes into Game 5 before receiving a game misconduct.
Tuesday's Wild-Dallas Game 5 recap

Tuesday's Wild-Dallas Game 5 recap

Stars goalie Jake Oettinger earned his second career playoff shutout after making 27 saves.
Wild head coach Dean Evason isn’t concerned about playing in Dallas.

Evason on Game 5 in Dallas: 'Our game translates home or away'

After losing home-ice advantage to the Stars, the Wild will need a win on the road to keep their season going. Where they play doesn't appear to concern coach Dean Evason.
Marcus Foligno puts up a stink after the Wild winger was called for a second period penalty on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild won't change style: 'That's the way hockey is supposed to be played'

Marcus Foligno had a couple of questionable penalties in Sunday's loss to Dallas, and both were costly as the Stars scored power-play goals.
Stars goalie Jake Oettinger stopped a shot by the Wild’s Marcus Johansson in the closing seconds of Sunday’s game.

Solving Oettinger is key to Wild's hopes of advancing past Stars

The former Lakeville North athlete frustrated the home team on Sunday, when the Wild had lots of good chances that went for naught.
Tyler Seguin (91) of the Dallas Stars gets the puck past Minnesota Wild goalie Filip Gustavsson (32) for a goal in the second period during Round 1, G

Two Foligno penalties become two Dallas goals in Wild's 3-2 loss to Stars

Dallas evened the series at two gales each, scoring power plays goals after two controversial penalties on Marcus Foligno. "It's a joke," he said afterward.
Wild defenseman John Klingberg, center, celebrated after defeating the Stars in Game 3.

From wedding invites to playoff foes, Wild's Klingberg knows Stars

The former Dallas defenseman was an offensive catalyst in Friday's Game 3 victory. "We'll chat in two weeks," he said of his friends and former teammates.
Wild wingers Marcus Johansson (90) and Mats Zuccarello (36) tried to stuff the puck past Dallas goaltender Jake Oettinger on Friday night.

'Yeah, I like skating': Johansson's dazzling speed fueling Wild

Marcus Johansson has fresher legs in his second stint in Minnesota and has clicked on a line with Matt Boldy.
Joel Eriksson Ek has played only 19 seconds since suffering an April 6 lower-body injury.

Eriksson Ek's status? Wild expect to know more Sunday

Coach Dean Evason said the team didn't know if Eriksson Ek reinjured himself in Game 3.
Jared Spurgeon (46) helped celebrate a goal by Wild teammate Ryan Hartman (38) vs. Dallas on Friday night.

Wild vs. Dallas, Game 4 preview: Lead after three games is a rarity

The Wild held the Stars to a lower-than-normal 24 shots in winning Game 3.
Wild right wing Mats Zuccarello celebrated his first-period goal with Kirill Kaprizov (97) and Ryan Hartman (38) in the first period of Game 3 at Xcel

Wild return serve, blow out Stars at Xcel to take 2-1 series lead

Mats Zuccarello scored twice and goaltender Filip Gustavsson made 23 saves in his return to the crease as the Wild dominated at home.
Joel Eriksson Ek, who had 23 goals and 61 points in the regular season, made his season playoff debut on Friday.

Eriksson Ek returns for Game 3 but exits on first shift

Joel Eriksson Ek, who had been out with an injury since April 6, lasted only 19 seconds against Dallas before leaving down the tunnel toward the dressing room.
Wild-Dallas Game 3 recap

Wild-Dallas Game 3 recap

The Wild kept the Stars power play from doing damage.
Wild centers Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Hartman have been sidelined with lower-body injuries.

Evason: Getting top two centers back for Game 3 would be big

Wild coach Dean Evason on having Joel Eriksson Ek and Ryan Hartman ready to play Dallas tonight: "All positions are important, clearly. But when you have your arguably 1-2 center icemen out, it's difficult, right?"
Roope Hintz scored a hat trick for Dallas on Wednesday against a Wild team that came out flat and never quite recovered.

Which Wild team will show up: Game 1 sizzlers or Game 2 fizzlers?

Game 2's lopsided loss in Dallas wasn't the first time the Wild haven't played like they're supposed to play. But the more identity crises they have, the costlier they get.
Marc-Andre Fleury of the Wild got the start in net for Game 2 and gave up seven goals to the Stars on Wednesday night in Dallas.

Wild didn't surprise Dallas coach by starting Fleury in goal

The move was a surprise to many after Filip Gustavsson played well in Game 1's double-overtime victory.
Wild winger Matt Boldy tried to get a shot past Dallas goalie and Lakeville native Jake Oettinger Wednesday night in Dallas.

Wild return to St. Paul with Dallas series tied 1-1

The next two games will be played at Xcel Energy Center before shifting back to Dallas for Game 5.
Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin (91) pressures as Minnesota Wild’s Marc-Andre Fleury (29) defends against a shot in the first period.

Gustavsson sits after record-setting opener, Sundqvist returns to action

Marc-Andre Fleury gave up seven goals on 31 shots in a 7-3 defeat, for a .773 save percentage after Filip Gustavsson set a team postseason record with 51 saves in Game 1.
Dallas Stars center Tyler Seguin celebrates after scoring against Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the first period of Game 2. Fleury allowed seve

Fleury starts in goal, calls play 'embarrassing' in 7-3 Game 2 loss

The Wild switched goalies and it didn't go well against Dallas. But Marc-Andre Fleury's play wasn't the only thing that went wrong for Minnesota the loss to Dallas that evened the series.
Stars center Roope Hintz had a hat trick and an assist in Game 2 against the Wild Wednesday night.

Wild-Dallas Game 2 recap

The Wild gave up seven goals, a franchise record for the most allowed in a playoff game.
Joe Pavelski lays on the oce after a check from Matt Dumba in Game 1.

Stars' Pavelski out for Game 2 after Dumba hit; Wild call up Walker

Sammy Walker is being recalled from Iowa because of uncertainty surrounding the status of several players. Ryan Reaves said the Wild needs to outmatch Dallas' intensity: "They're going to come out swinging,"
Dallas Stars' Max Domi, center left, and Minnesota Wild's Matt Dumba, center right, both being held by officials are escorted to the penalty boxes aft

'Built for this.' Wild comfortable with chaos, rough stuff in playoff opener

From the get-go, the urgency of the postseason was palpable, but the Wild skated as they did in February and March during the double-overtime victory over Dallas in Game 1.
The Wild’s Matt Dumba, right, and Dallas’ Max Domi were escorted to the penalty boxes Monday night after Dumba leveled the Stars’ Joe Pavelski w

After big hit, Dumba ready to be bad guy when Wild, Stars play tonight

After delivering a hard hit to Dallas' Joe Pavelski in Game 1, Wild defenseman Matt Dumba embraced the crowd's reaction and stood up to physical play by the Stars.
Ryan Hartman celebrated after scoring the game-winner in double overtime to send the Wild past the Stars in Game 1.

Hartman's double-OT goal wins for Wild, ending team's longest game

It was 1 a.m. this morning when Ryan Hartman flipped the puck past Dallas goalie Jake Oettinger to end a battle of superb goaltending. For the Wild, Filip Gustavsson set a franchise playoff record with 51 saves.
Filip Gustavsson kept his eye on the puck against the Stars on Monday night and Tuesday morning, finishing with a franchise playoff record 51 saves.

Gustavsson gets first playoff start — and sets Wild franchise record

The choice between Filip Gustavsson and veteran Marc-Andre Fleury didn't become official until Gustavsson led the Wild onto the ice for pregame warmups.
Sam Steel, left, and Gustav Nyquist celebrated Steel’s goal in the second period.

Wild vs. Dallas, Game 1 recap

Ryan Hartman, Filip Gustavsson and Jake Oettinger all earned stars in a lengthy playoff opener.
Minnesota Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson (32) was first goalie off the ice at Monday morning’s practice, which typically means he’ll be the star

Evason keeps Wild's Game 1 lineup vs. Dallas tinged with mystery

The Wild are keeping their Game 1 lineup vs. the Stars under wraps. But there was a hint in practice about who would be the starting goalie.
Winger Marcus Foligno’s season with the Wild has been up and down, but his leadership skills are always on display.

After season of struggles, can Foligno give Wild needed playoff boost?

There was a string of nagging injuries and of the demise of his longtime line with Joel Eriksson Ek and Jordan Greenway. But Marcus Foligno is the prototypical playoff performer whose play can shape a series.
In three games, Wild newcomer Gustav Nyquist has made an impact. He set up two goals and scored one vs. Chicago in his Wild debut and assisted on two

Wild's Nyquist takes little time to get up to playoff speed

A shoulder injury limited Gustav Nyquist to three games after his Feb. 28 trade to the team, but he was productive as soon as he hit the ice.
“I feel like I’m starting to get back to myself,” Wild star Kirill Kaprizov said after missing 13 games in March and April with a lower-body inj

Kaprizov looking for wins vs. scoring goals in playoffs

Typically the Wild and Kirill Kaprizov's offensive output go hand-in-hand but the star winger says team victories are better than individual accolades.
Matt Boldy has emerged as a leader at age 22 in his first full season with the Wild.

Boldy becomes a scoring leader as Wild enter the NHL playoffs

The 22-year-old got a big contract in January, and was one of the league's hottest players in March in the absence of Wild superstar Kirill Kaprizov.
Key forwards for the Wild were Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy. Eriksson Ek will miss the start of the playoffs because of an injury.

After not winning playoff series since '15, these Wild built differently

Last year's run-and-gun team fizzled in the playoffs, so this year's team learned how to win the close games. Game 1 of the playoffs is Monday at Dallas.
Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, shown in a game from last December, played in his 598th career NHL game Thursday night.

Dumba and the Wild. Is their time together close to an end?

On an expiring contract and with the Wild facing an offseason budget crunch, Matt Dumba could be beginning the last leg of his career with the team. He's trying not to think about it.
Wild center Frederick Gaudreau, being defended by the Predators’ Ryan McDonagh (27) during the first period Thursday, received a five-year, $10.5 mi

Gaudreau gets five-year deal as Wild end regular season with loss

Because the Wild were locked in third place earlier in the week, their last game before the playoffs had no bearing on the standings. But that's not how Frederick Gaudreau played.
Wild-Nashville game recap

Wild-Nashville game recap

A look back at the final regular-season game.
Nick Swaney

Wild leave seven behind for final regular-season game in Nashville

Seven veterans didn't make the trip and two players, including former UMD star Nick Swaney, will make their NHL debut after being called up from Iowa.
Ryan Hartman of the Wild got into a net-front dustup during Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg.

Hartman suspended for Wild's final regular-season game after illegal hit

While Ryan Hartman can return for Game 1 of the playoffs, the Wild have injury issues with a couple other key players on their roster.
Mason Appleton (22) of the Winnipeg Jets get the puck past Minnesota Wild goalie Marc Andre Fleury (29) for a goal in the third period Tuesday, April

Wild's shot at Central title disappears in 3-1 loss to Jets

Winnipeg locked up the last playoff spot in the Western Conference, while the Wild lost their fourth game in their past six to finish third in the Central Division.
The Wild’s Matt Boldy tried to stuff a shot behind Predators goaltender Juuse Saros in a Nov. 15, 2022, game in Nashville. The Wild, who play in Nas

Wild face Predators to conclude productive season on the road

A victory in Nashville could tie the 2006-07 season for third-most points in franchise history and tie the team mark for road points.
Wild-Winnipeg game recap

Wild-Winnipeg game recap

A quick look back at Tuesday night's game at Xcel Energy Center.
Wild winger Ryan Hartman has 15 goals and 22 assists this season.

After uneven season, Wild's Hartman enters playoffs with confidence

The winger has had ups and downs but looks to shine again on a line with Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello.
Minnesota Wild’s Marcus Foligno (17) fights Chicago Blackhawks’ Andreas Englund (28) during the third period. Foligno was ejected for holding Engl

Foligno looks for fight, Johansson finds late goals rallying Wild to win

The Wild trailed Chicago, which is tied for fewest points in the NHL, late in the third period when Marcus Foligno responded to an opponent with fists and Marcus Johansson scored two quick goals in the 4-2 victory.
Matt Boldy celebrated after scoring in the first period.

Monday's Wild-Chicago game recap

Former Gopher Brock Faber had a team-high 21 minutes, 49 seconds of ice time in his NHL debut.
The Jets’ Mason Appleton battled for the puck with the Sharks’ Mario Ferraro in front of San Jose goalie James Reimer on Monday night.

Gameday preview: Wild wrap home regular season slate vs. Jets

The Wild return home to face a Winnipeg team that has yet to beat them this season.
Marco Rossi joins the Wild for the final week of the regular season.

Streaking from the U to the NHL, Faber debuts for 'banged up' Wild

About 48 hours after playing in the men's Frozen Four title game, Brock Faber debuted for the Wild, who were missing four key players.
Mason Shaw’s tenacity earned him the Wild nomination for the Bill Masterton Trophy this season.

Fighting through setbacks, Shaw named Wild's Masterton nominee

The 24-year-old winger suffered his fourth ACL tear on April 1 after sticking in the NHL for good this season. Mason Shaw's resiliency is what led to being nominated for the award.
It didn’t take long after the Gophers’ national championship game defeat for captain Brock Faber to officially join the Wild.

Wild sign Gophers captain Faber; he'll be in Chicago for Monday's game

Hours after the gut-wrenching loss in the championship game at the NCAA men's Frozen Four, the former Gophers captain signed a three-year, entry-level contract.
Marco Rossi has 50 points for the Iowa Wild this season.

Pair of Iowa callups joining the Wild in Chicago

Forwards Marco Rossi and Nic Petan got promoted against one of the NHL's worst teams.
Gustav Nyquist, seen against the Carolina Hurricanes in Columbus on Jan. 7

Gustav Nyquist returns from injury, makes Wild debut

It's his first action since being acquired in a trade with Columbus, but he's worked hard to acclimate himself with his new teammates.
Wild defenseman Jake Middleton falls while reaching for the puck against St. Louis Blues right wing Kasperi Kapanen during the second period Saturday

Wild reach 100 points with 5-3 victory over Blues

The Wild had been 0-2-1 in their past three games before Saturday night's victory, which included a pair of shorthanded goals.
Saturday's Wild-St. Louis game recap

Saturday's Wild-St. Louis game recap

With the victory, the Wild reached 100 points on the season for the sixth time in franchise history.
Penguins goalie Tristan Jarry blocked a shot by Joel Eriksson Ek of the Wild on Thursday. Eriksson Ek left the game later because of an injury.

Kaprizov will return to Wild lineup, but Eriksson Ek is week-to-week

Kirill Kaprizov has missed the past month because of a lower body injury. Joel Eriksson Ek was hurt blocking a shot in Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
Ryan Hartman has five points in three games against the Blues this season.

Blues on a hot streak despite playoffs elimination

St. Louis will miss the playoffs this season for the first time since 2017-2018.
Jeff Carter (77) scores in the third period of the Wild’s 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh.

Eriksson Ek, Sundqvist hurt as Wild drop 3rd straight in loss to Penguins

This is the Wild's longest losing skid since they went 0-3 coming out of the All-Star break two months ago, and they held a team meeting after the 4-1 defeat.
Wild center Frederick Gaudreau has eight shootout goals in 13 attempts this season.

Gaudreau staring down Wild shootout goal record with career year

Center Frederick Gaudreau tied the franchise record of eight, set by Mikko Koivu in 2006-07, on Monday against Vegas.
Wild-Pittsburgh game recap

Wild-Pittsburgh game recap

Penguins winger Rickard Rakell had the decisive goal and an assist.
The Wild are in Pittsburgh on Thursday to face a Penguins team vying for a wild card seed in the Eastern Conference.

Wild plays at Pittsburgh as three-team race atop Central resumes

Marc-Andre Fleury will start in goal for the Wild against his former teammates as the team seems to return to sole possession of first place in the division.