Wes Walz has gone to the dark side -- joining the stinkin' media.

The beloved former Wild center has been hired by the franchise to serve on the Wild's broadcast team.

Walz, 41, is expected to serve on the Wild's pre- and post-game shows on Fox Sports North. It's unclear how many games Walz will do, but you can bet he'll be at the arena for home games and probably in studio for road games.

“I’m really excited to be involved with the Wild family again,” Walz  said. “My kids all grew up here, so we have deep, strong roots in this area having played here eight years. I’m looking forward to being around the rink all the time again and pulling for the guys.”

This should be a pretty cool thing. Anybody who knows Walz knows he's well-spoken and has a great eye for the game. It's the reason he was such a go-to quote for us media types. It wasn't just that he could put a sentence together, but it's because we respected how well he could explain what was going on, why things were happening, why they won, why they lost.

He's done it all, too. He was a scorer and a checker. He played in Europe and the U.S. and Canada. People don't realize, he also was a defenseman for a year in Europe. He was a coach with the Lightning.

So that should translate well to the television set. And knowing Walz, he'll do the postgame show while on a treadmill -- while wearing a pair of skates.

"I’m under no illusion, broadcasting is different and the good ones make it look really easy," Walz said. "But I’m really excited about the opportunity to talk hockey and talk Wild and give insight to the things I’m seeing.”

Walz ranks sixth in franchise history with 438 games, sixth with 82 goals, seventh with 182 points, first with 14 shorthanded goals and first in sweat dropped.