The Wild announced its six-game exhibition schedule for next season today. The team will play a home-and-home with the Winnipeg Jets, oddly two home games against (soon-to-be) Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres and one game at Columbus.
Players report for training camp Sept. 17 with players on the ice for the first time Sept. 18.
Development camp is July 9-14.
The full NHL schedule is supposed to be released later this month, although I'd suspect that if the league isn't sure if the Arizona Coyotes will be playing in Arizona, that could be delayed.
Here is the preseason schedule:
Date Team Site Time (CT)
Sept. 21 vs. Buffalo Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m.
Sept. 22 at Winnipeg MTS Centre 7 p.m.
Sept. 24 at Columbus Nationwide Arena 6 p.m.
Sept. 26 at Edmonton SaskTel Centre (Saskatoon) 5 p.m.
Sept. 27 vs. Winnipeg Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m.
Oct. 1 vs. Buffalo Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m.
On another subject, the Niklas Backstrom story: I've gotten lots of emails asking if it is incorrect that the Wild would be charged a full cap hit if the team bought out Backstrom due to his signing over the age of 35. All I can tell you is Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly, who wrote the collective bargaining agreement from the league's side, has confirmed this in multiple emails since Jan. 10 and GM Chuck Fletcher has verified this multiple times to me -- twice on the phone, once publicly in a side session after his season-ending news conference.
If it's wrong, the Wild has been told incorrectly by the league because it's fully expecting a full cap charge IF it buys out Backstrom.
One factual error: I wrote the Wild couldn't use its compliance buyout on Backstrom last summer because he was hurt. It would have actually been a regular buyout because he signed his contract in the summer of 2013 -- after the currect CBA.
As for Devan Dubnyk, things continue to be slow developing. As I've written and said on the radio, Fletcher will have to chip away at this and multi-task by looking to clear some cap space while also potentially talking goalie trade in case these negotiations go sideways. Dubnyk, a Vezina finalist, is looking for a multi-year deal at serious dollars. I have speculated in the $5 million range on the radio. I obviously have reason to use that figure. As you know, it's not my style to throw stuff against the wall.