• Giving Mike Zimmer a new contract was a no-brainer for the Vikings. The coach’s new deal will keep him with the team through 2023. Assuming the NFL plays this season, it means Zimmer will have a chance to match Dennis Green’s 10 seasons. That would tie for the second-longest tenure in club history behind Bud Grant’s 17.
• The Vikings have only five opponents on their schedule who had a winning record last season. The Vikings play four of those five opponents in the first five weeks — Green Bay, Tennessee, Houston and Seattle — before playing the Packers again Nov. 1 and New Orleans on Christmas. The Vikings also have three games against opponents who were 8-8 last year in Dallas and Chicago twice.
• New Browns coach Kevin Stefanski, the Vikings offensive coordinator last year, hired Kevin Rogers, Vikings quarterbacks coach from 2006 to ’11, to be Cleveland’s senior offensive assistant coach.
• Street & Smith’s college football preview magazine picked the Gophers to finish fourth in the Big Ten West behind Wisconsin, Nebraska and Iowa.
• It has to feel great for former Wild President Tod Leiweke to have a name to attach to Seattle’s NHL team in the Kraken. It’s a big success for Leiweke, who will be president and CEO of the club.
• Look for Gophers men’s hockey coach Bob Motzko to make a big push on the recruiting trail for Maddox Fleming, who played for Rochester Mayo and Shattuck St. Mary’s. Fleming is generally considered one of the best prospects in the country for the Class of 2022. He recently made the roster for the U17 United States national team development program. Other Minnesotans on that roster are Cruz Lucius (Grant), James Snuggerud (Chaska), Charlie Stramel (Rosemount) and Ryan Chesley (Mahtomedi).