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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
Boston University's Macklin Celebrini is generally projected to be the first overall pick in the NHL draft.

Wild stay put at No. 13 in NHL draft lottery; Sharks get No. 1 pick

San Jose slotted first overall after finishing with the worst record in the league (19-54-9) and having the best odds (18.5%) of winning the lottery. Boston University's Macklin Celebrini is likely to be the No. 1 overall selection in the June 28-29 draft.
Brock Faber had a record-setting season as a Wild rookie defenseman.

Wild's Faber among three finalists for top NHL rookie award

In his first full season with the Wild, former Gophers star Brock Faber was among the league leaders in ice time per game and scored 47 points.
Salary cap issues will have an impact on who's back with the Wild next season.

Wild roster 2024-25: Who stays, who goes after playoff failure?

The Wild's salary cap problems will have an impact of how quickly the team can recover from their failure to make the playoffs. Hockey writer Sarah McLellan looks at who could be gone and why.
Goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury and dejected teammates leave the ice after a deflating loss to the Jets on April 6. The Wild went 0-10-1 against Central

Wild reflect on disappointing season: 'I don't want to be in this spot'

Injuries and inconsistent play, not to mention salary cap woes, kept the Wild out of the playoffs as they ponder what needs to change.
Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury ponders a question from reporters at Xcel Energy Center on Friday.

Wild rumblings: Gustavsson wants to return, Faber played despite broken ribs

Coach John Hynes will lead the U.S. world championship team in May, which could include Matt Boldy.
Wild right wing Mats Zuccarello trips Seattle center Yanni Gourde during the second period Thursday in the final game of the season for both teams.

Wild fall to Kraken in final game: 'Disappointing. Just like our season.'

Kirill Kaprizov scored his 46th goal of the season, but it was another loss in a wave of many that ultimately ended without a trip to the playoffs. The focus now shifts to the NHL draft.
Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov needs three goals against Seattle to set a career high.

Kirill Kaprizov has a shot at career high in goals in season finale

Kirill Kaprizov is three goals shy of his career high, among other individual milestones in play for the regular-season finale.
Marc-Andre Fleury of the Wild took the net before a game in November at Xcel Energy Center.

Who'll be back? Wild's goalie situation taking shape for next year.

Will the netminder of the future be ready? And what about the two veterans? One of those questions was answered Wednesday morning.
Marc-Andre Fleury (29) makes a save against Ottawa earlier this month.

Wild sign goalie Fleury to contract extension for 2024-25 season

The 39-year-old future Hall of Famer joined the Wild during the 2022 season in a trade-deadline deal with Chicago and played his 1,000th game this season.
Wild defenseman Brock Faber fights off Kings winger Adrian Kempe to control the puck during Monday night's game in Los Angeles.

Wild's defense had all kinds of problems — and one breakout star

Brock Faber's emergence as an all-purpose specialist should make the former Gophers standout a Rookie of the Year finalist and a big part of the Wild's future.
Frederick Gaudreau is the newest parent on the Minnesota Wild. “Our hearts have been exploded in the best way possible,” he said.

Gaudreau returns as a new parent for Wild, who top Kings

"Our hearts have been exploded in the best way possible," Frederick Gaudreau said after leaving the team to be with his wife, Kjersten, for the birth of their son.
Wild left wing Liam Ohgren (28) skates with the puck against the Golden Knights during the first period Friday in Las Vegas.

Wild visit Kings for their season's penultimate game

The Wild finish their road trip with a shot at revenge against Los Angeles.
The Wild's Matt Boldy (12), Kirill Kaprizov, center, and Joel Eriksson Ek (14) formed one of the most effective lines in the NHL this season.

Wild's scoring was top heavy, but balance wasn't there

Kirill Kaprizov, Joel Eriksson Ek and Matt Boldy did most of the heavy lifting among the forwards.
Wild rookie Liam Ohgren (28) celebrates after scoring his first career NHL goal, coming in his second game, Saturday night against the Sharks in San J

Wild rout Sharks 6-2 behind mish-mash lineup of veterans and prospects

Liam Ohgren scored his first goal, Jesper Wallstedt made 27 saves and Kirill Kaprizov scored twice to give him 44 goals on the season.
There were a lot of scrambles around the net this season for the Wild, but not many of them resulted in goals.

What went wrong for the Wild this season? A little bit of everything.

The Wild's chief Central Division foes were faster, stronger and more skilled. As a result, the season comes to an end without a trip to the playoffs.
Making his NHL debut, Wild left wing Liam Ohgren (28) looks on during a first-period faceoff against the Golden Knights on Friday night in Las Vegas.

Despite loss in Vegas, 'Dream come true' for Wild's Ohgren

The rookie from Sweden made his NHL debut Friday night as a disappointing Wild season draws to a close.

Wallstedt to make third NHL start as Wild visit Sharks

Wild goalie Jesper Wallstedt will make his third NHL start looking to follow his 24-save shutout of Chicago last weekend.
The Minnesota Wild's 19th pick, center, Liam Ohgren, puts on his jersey during the first round of the NHL hockey draft Thursday, July 7, 2022 in Montr

Liam Ohgren will make NHL debut for Wild tonight vs. Vegas

The Golden Knights are still fighting for a playoff spot but have been playing poorly in recent games.
Matt Boldy of the Wild fights for the puck with Colorado's Andrew Cogliano on Tuesday in Denver.

Being a spoiler is best Wild can do in season's final games

A steep tumble over the last few weeks has left the Wild out of the NHL postseason for only the second time in the last 12 years.
Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon (29) handles the puck against the Wild in Denver on Tuesday. MacKinnon had a hat trick before the end of the second

Wild eliminated from playoff chase after thrashing by Avalanche

The Wild finally ran out of chances to salvage their season by losing again to Colorado. Kirill Kaprizov kept scoring, but little else went well for Minnesota.
“I’m done,” Avalanche forward Brandon Duhaime said. So was his car after Duhaime's prank war with Marc-Andre Fleury hit an apex.

Prank war between Fleury, ex-Wild teammate Duhaime reaches truce

It started with quips about Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury being advanced in age and ended with former teammate and current Avalanche forward Brandon Duhaime's car missing tires and buried in dirt.
Kirill Kaprizov has had another 40-goal season for the Wild.

With Kaprizov on a role, Wild try to find any success against Avs

The Wild's record against Central Division teams is a major reason why they likely won't make the playoffs.
Wild center Marat Khusnutdinov takes a close-range shot on Jets goalie Connor Hellebuyck on Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

Russian rookie learns Wild's rules — including an odd one about Kaprizov

What to wear, soccer contests, who eats first, what happens after games. It's been an education in the rules, both written and unwritten, for Marat Khusnutdinov
Wild goalie Jesper Wallstedt makes a save against the Blackhawks during the second period Sunday afternoon in Chicago.

Wallstedt makes Wild history in shutout victory over Chicago

Rookie Jesper Wallstedt had a rough NHL debut a few months ago and was motivated by it. He set two new Wild standards in Sunday's 4-0 win.
Jets left wing Kyle Connor scores on Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury during in the first period Saturday at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild lose to Jets again 4-2 despite Kaprizov's two goals

Winnipeg finished off a four-game sweep for the season series vs. the Wild, who are 10 points back of a playoff spot.
Wild goalie Jesper Wallstedt didn't have a great debut earlier this season in Dallas but will get another shot Sunday.

Wild call up Jesper Wallstedt to start Sunday in Chicago

The Wild begin a five-game road trip with six games to go in the regular season. Wallstedt, 21, will get another shot in net after a lopsided debut.
Chicago's Connor Bedard leads all rookies in goals, assists and points.

Wild at Blackhawks preview: Five-game road trip kicks off with Bedard rematch

The Bedard-led Chicago offense will test a Wild team on the second half of a back-to-back.
The Jets' Rasmus Kupari puckhandles away from Wild center Joel Eriksson Ek on Feb. 20, the team's last meeting.

Wild vs. Jets preview: Winnipeg's forward depth will test Wild

Winnipeg has won all three meetings this season heading into Saturday's matinee.
Marco Rossi has been one of the top-scoring rookies in the NHL this season with 20 goals in 75 games.

Wild nominate Rossi for NHL's Masterton Award

Rossi is having a strong rookie season after recovering from myocarditis.
Colorado left wing Jonathan Drouin, center, celebrates a goal against Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson during the second period Thursday.

Playoff dream takes another hit in Wild's loss to Avalanche

The 5-2 defeat dropped the Wild two more points from the final playoff spot on a night with a lot of shots but little success to show for them.
Wild center Mason Shaw scores his first goal of the season Tuesday night against the Senators at Xcel Energy Center.

Shaw caps latest comeback by finally scoring for Wild

Young forward Mason Shaw has battled back from four major knee operations — and showing off his scoring touch came at just the right time for the Wild.
Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon was tied with Tampa Bay's Nikita Kucherov for the NHL scoring lead with 127 points before Wednesday's games.

Wild-Avs game preview: Colorado has high-scoring MacKinnon

The Wild's playoff hopes are rapidly dwindling, but two more points are up for grabs.

Foligno will miss rest of season after surgery for groin injury

Marcus Foligno is the second Wild player to have season-ending surgery: Captain Jared Spurgeon hasn't played since January.
Wild centers Jacob Lucchini (27) and Vinni Lettieri celebrate Lettieri's winning goal during the third period at Xcel Energy Center on Tuesday.

Wild escape Senators' surge for 3-2 win, make headway in wild-card race

Ottawa capitalized on the power play to rally from a 2-0 deficit before Vinni Lettieri scored late to end the Senators' five-game win streak.
Liam Ohgren skates at the Wild development camp in July, 2023.

Wild first round pick from 2022 arrives, will play in Iowa

Liam Ohgren was the 19th overall pick two years ago and has been skating in Sweden.
Minnesota Wild right wing Ryan Hartman (38) and Anaheim Ducks left wing Max Jones (49) fought for control of the puck along the boards in the second p

Hartman gets 3-game ban for hurling stick near refs after Wild loss

League officials noted that Ryan Hartman returned to the bench after Saturday's loss and threw his stick on the ice while berating the referees.
Ottawa goalie Joonas Korpisalo gets some help in front during his team's victory over Edmonton on March 24.

Wild face another must-win game vs. suddenly hot Senators

Ottawa has won five in a row while the Wild face another must-win game.
Vegas winger Jonathan Marchessault, right, is congratulated by center Ivan Barbashev after Marchessault scored an empty-net goal in overtime to beat t

Wild lose 2-1 in overtime to Golden Knights, get zero points with goalie pulled

Desperate for two points in the playoff chase, they instead got zero because Jonathan Marchessault scored into an empty net in OT.
Wild players celebrate Ryan Hartman's long empty-net goal near the end of Thursday's 3-1 victory over San Jose at Xcel Energy Center.

Wild vs. Golden Knights preview: Defending champs pose tough challenge

Vegas is on a five-game point streak with wins in its last seven, and the Wild looked uninspired on Thursday despite picking up a victory.
Wild left winger Matt Boldy (12) and Sharks defenseman Henry Thrun (3) battle for the puck during the first period Thursday. Boldy later scored the go

Wild score twice in third period to polish off pesky Sharks 3-1

Goals by Matt Boldy 18 seconds into the third and Ryan Hartman's empty-net goal in the final minute finally earns the victory over last-place San Jose.
Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin battles for the puck Thursday against San Jose. His return from injury will be crucial if the Wild are going to make up g

Wild get healthy and get a win, but playoff chances are still day-to-day

Eriksson Ek and Brodin returned from injury Thursday, giving the Wild back their best center and top defenseman — but eight points separate the team from the playoffs.
Kirill Kaprizov is closing in on 40 goals this season for the Wild.

Wild-Sharks game preview: Eriksson Ek, Brodin back in lineup

The Wild are coming off their longest hiatus since the All-Star break, but Thursday's game vs. San Jose offers a great chance to get back up to speed, Sarah McLellan writes.
Joel Eriksson Ek (14) could return to the Wild lineup Thursday night against San Jose.

Math is not Wild's favorite subject right now

Minnesota is a long shot in the NHL playoff race and needs to add up a few victories down the stretch.
Jack Peart played for the U.S. national junior team at the 2023 championships in New Brunswick.

Wild sign St. Cloud State defenseman and 2021 Mr. Hockey winner

The Wild signed St. Cloud State defenseman Jack Peart to a three-year, entry-level contract that begins next season.
Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury watches the puck slide out of the net after a goal by Blues left wing Jake Neighbours, front, during the first period Sa

Wild fall to Blues 5-4 in overtime to lose more ground in playoff hunt

They blew two leads and have the potential to fall further behind with a four-day break coming up.
The Wild are chasing the Blues in the Western Conference wild-card race heading into the teams' final matchup of the season.

With four-day break looming, Wild need a win to keep pace

Getting past the Blues on Saturday will be vital for the Wild, who are guaranteed to lose ground in the playoff race next week.
St. Louis Blues' Nick Leddy chases after a loose puck along the boards as the Wild's Sam Steel defends during the first period Tuesday

Wild vs. Blues preview: Season series finale is a must-win

The teams are battling for playoff seeding in the Western Conference with time quickly running out.
Members of the Kings celebrate after center Phillip Danault (24) scored a first-period goal in L.A.'s 6-0 rout of the Wild on Wednesday night.

Big chance, big fail. Wild lose 6-0, miss opportunity in playoff chase.

Beating the Kings would have moved the Wild within one point of the final playoff spot. Instead, they fell behind quickly, yielded two own goals and replaced Marc-Andre Fleury midgame.
Wild defenseman Jonas Brodin underwent an MRI on Wednesday for a lower-body injury after being hurt against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday. He missed We

Wild defenseman Brodin undergoes MRI, misses Kings game

The extent of Jonas Brodin's absence on a depleted blue line is unclear; Dakota Mermis filled Brodin's lineup spot.
Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov (97) scores as Ducks defenseman Gustav Lindstrom (28) and right wing Brett Leason (20) defend during the second period

Wild blank Ducks in Gustavsson's return; Brodin injured on hit

A nearly wholesale lineup shuffle occurred after a ho-hum first period and the Wild responded by running away from the lowly Ducks. Victory came at a price, however.
Los Angeles Kings left wing Kevin Fiala, right, takes the puck as Anaheim Ducks right wing Jakob Silfverberg reaches for him during the second period

Wild at Kings preview: A pair of unexpected kindred spirits

With both teams on the second night of a back-to-back and harboring a vested interest in the West wild-card race, the Wild should prioritize a structured effort.
Wild goaltender Filip Gustavsson makes a glove save at Colorado on March 8, when he finished with 38 saves in a 2-1 overtime loss.

Goalie Gustavsson will get off the bench for Wild soon

After watching Marc-Andre Fleury for four straight games, an unusual pattern from what the Wild had done previously, Filip Gustavsson will be back in action.
Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury (29) only had to make 16 saves in a shutout of the Ducks on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center. Minnesota will look to k

Wild look to start back-to-back with win at Anaheim

Sarah McLellan's take: The Wild have a chance to answer St. Louis and Vegas after both gained ground in the Western Conference playoff race over the past two days.
The Blues' Jordan Kyrou beats Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury in the shootout for the winning goal Saturday night.

Blown chances against rivals keep Wild on shaky playoff ground

A shootout loss to the Blues over the weekend is part of a pattern: Win against the NHL's bottom-feeders without having similar success against better teams.
The Blues' Brayden Schenn, arms raised, celebrates after scoring past Wild goalie Marc-Andre Fleury early in the third period Saturday. The Wild force

Wild fall in shootout, squander chance to improve playoff hopes

Instead of climbing to within two points of a playoff spot and building a buffer between them and their closest competition, the Wild now have only a one-point lead over the Blues.
Marat Khusnutdinov confers with Wild teammate Kirill Kaprizov during the first period against Anaheim on Thursday at Xcel Energy Center.

A reason for hope: Khusnutdinov joins Wild lineup in dominant victory

The Wild need every point they can get in the playoff race, and their Russian prospect's debut against Anaheim offered plenty of hope.
Scott Perunovich and the Blues will look for a repeat of their March 2 victory over the Wild on Saturday night.

Wild at Blues preview: Central showdown pivotal for both team's playoff hunt

After losing to St. Louis earlier this month, the Wild get a chance at a do-over to keep pace in the wild-card chase.
The Wild's Kirill Kaprizov advances the puck as Anaheim center Mason McTavish defends during the third period Thursday. Kaprizov continued his hot pla

Wild, Kaprizov stay on a roll with 2-0 shutout over Ducks

Marc-Andre Fleury turned in a 16-save shutout as the Wild won for the third game in a row and are 5-0-1 in the last six.
Even with this Jacob Lucchini goal waved off because of goaltender interference, the Wild beat the Coyotes 4-1 on Tuesday to stay in the playoff hunt.

Marat Khusnutdinov will make his Wild debut tonight

The Wild are still chasing Vegas for a wild-card berth, and Anaheim presents an opportunity to make up more ground.
Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stops a shot by Coyotes right winger Dylan Guenther, right, Tuesday night at Xcel Energy Center.

Fleury's surge gives Wild hope as season winds down

The veteran goalie is on a hot streak as his team keeps playoff hopes alive. And he's ready for a heavier workload, if that's what the Wild want.
Minnesota Wild left wing Kirill Kaprizov gets a shot on goal off in the first period.

Kaprizov scores twice as Wild skate past Coyotes 4-1

The Wild improved to 4-0-1 over their past five games and took a third consecutive victory vs. Arizona to boost their chances at a playoff spot.
The Wild's Marcus Johansson celebrated after scoring a goal in the second period Wednesday night.

Marcus Johansson returns as Wild urgently chasing points

The Arizona is reeling entering Tuesday's game at Xcel Energy Center, but they have been surprisingly pesky against the Wild.
Marat Khusnutdinov practices with the Wild at Tria Rink in St. Paul on Monday.

Khusnutdinov eager to hop into lineup, learn ways of the Wild

A standout in the Russia's KHL, Marat Khusnutdinov arrived in Minnesota over the weekend as the team tries to salvage a playoff berth.
The Wild's Matt Boldy (12) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal to win 4-3 in overtime against the Nashville Predators on Sunday at Xcel Ene

Wild take huge risk, earn needed reward in OT win over Nashville

Key players involved didn't know an NHL rule that would have had big consequences in the standings if things had backfired when coach John Hynes pulled the goalie with the score tied in overtime.
Wild center Connor Dewar controlled the puck with Flames center Elias Lindholm in pursuit during the first period Thursday.

After trade deadline, Wild reflect on up-and-down season

With three players now on different teams, players and executives examine how Wild got here.
Predators defenseman Roman Josi has a knack for scoring against the Wild, with 38 points in 43 career games.

Wild vs. Predators preview: Central rivals set for final clash

Sarah McLellan's breakdown: Nashville is on an 11-game point streak, the third-longest in franchise history.
Colorado right wing Valeri Nichushkin puts the puck on net as Wild defenseman Brock Faber covers in the first period Friday.

Wild catch a break late, but lose in overtime to Avalanche

Valeri Nichushkin broke a 1-1 tie on a 4-on-3 power play midway through overtime after an unsuccessful penalty shot by Mats Zuccarello late in the third but successful challenge by the Wild to overturn an Avalanche goal.
Wild forwards Pat Maroon, left, and Connor Dewar were coveted by other teams at the NHL trade deadline Friday afternoon.

Wild use trade deadline to build for future

In shipping away Pat Maroon and Connor Dewar, the Wild made future-focused decisions indicative of the present: They are chasing a playoff spot they may never catch.
Wild goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury makes one of his 23 saves Thursday night to help pick up two points in the standings.

Undeterred by 7-second blip, 'Flower kept us in it' for two key points

After allowing the fastest two goals in franchise history, Zach Bogosian and Joel Eriksson Ek scored to ignite a Wild rally before Brock Faber and Connor Dewar applied the finishing touches.
Avalanche C Nathan MacKinnon is the NHL’s leading scorer after back-to-back four-point performances lifted him past Tampa Bay’s Nikita Kucherov.

Wild at Avalanche preview: Colorado will be a handful, with trade deadline playing in background

The Wild will have a tough task against an Avalanche team - and captain - that are dominant on home ice.
Wild forward Brandon Duhaime gave the team speed and toughness.

Wild make first move ahead of trade deadline, deal Duhaime to Avs

Brandon Duhaime, who spent his entire career in Minnesota, was set for free agency at the end of this season.
Wild winger Kirill Kaprizov scores his third goal of the game and what proved to be the winning goal Sunday in the third period vs. the Sharks. Simila

Wild at Coyotes preview: Rest should help Wild start banking points again

The Wild face Arizona, with Kirill Kaprizov a goal shy of his third consecutive 30-goal season.
Pat Maroon has been a solid pickup for the Wild, but he might be trade material.

Five questions loom as the Wild approach the NHL's trade deadline

The team doesn't have to go on a fire sale, but there are questions. Such as, what about Marc-Andre Fleury? Who else could be gone?
Defenseman Zach Bogosian brings grit and steady play for the Wild.

Wild re-sign defenseman Bogosian with two-year deal

Tough and steady, veteran Zach Bogosian has become important on the Wild blue line.
Wild right wing Ryan Hartman (38) passes to a teammate while defended by Sharks center Luke Kunin (11) in the first period Sunday.

Wild's playoff hopes take big hit. They'll need wins, help to recover

Welcome to the Western Conference wild-card race where climbing is like crawling and a slip is practically a spiral.