Separated by roughly 500 miles and set to become divisional foes next season, Winnipeg and Minnesota already had the makings for a pretty healthy rivalry.
Now, there’s more.
On Friday, the Wild traded forward Devin Setoguchi to Winnipeg for a 2014 2nd-round pick, and Setoguchi is already talking about the chance to play his former club.
“It was always said that the rivalry was going to happen between Winnipeg and Minnesota. Now it’s going to grow even bigger for me,” Setoguchi told the Winnipeg Sun. “We probably play each other seven or eight times and that’s going to make it more fun and make it even more (significant) for myself when we play those guys.”
What’s more, Setoguchi didn’t even hear about the trade from the Wild brass.
Down in Mexico to attend the wedding of teammate (now former teammate) Clayton Stoner, the 26-year-old winger found out he’d been dealt after another ex-mate, Zenon Konopka, showed him on his iPad.
To be clear, Setoguchi didn’t sound disappointed or angry at the trade, or how it transpired.
In fact, he sounded downright excited at the possibility of playing on the wing opposite Evander Kane when the season opens in the fall.
“If I do get that opportunity, obviously it’s pretty exciting,” Setoguchi said. “He’s a pretty special player, a pretty electric player.
“He’s a pretty good player and he can do a lot of things other than just shoot.”