Target Field

Report: Outdoor game in Minnesota is ‘going to happen next year’


Fans in Minnesota have been clamoring for an outdoor NHL game to be played there for years and now it looks like their wish is going to come true.

According to Michael Russo of The Star Tribune, the Minnesota Wild will not be hosting an outdoor game in the 2014-15 season, but will have one coming their way for the 2015-16 season.

Russo’s word from a NHL insider said the league tried to get a Stadium Series game against the Dallas Stars scheduled for the upcoming season in February at Target Field, but they weren’t able to get logistics figured out for other events (college and high school games) to be fit into the schedule.

There were also concerns over what the condition of the field would be with the date coming so close to the start of baseball season.

All of those issues apparently wouldn’t be an issue for the following season as Russo shared.

The league source said, “At the end of the day, both of us determined that next year would be better. It’s going to happen next year.”

It’s probably true Wild fans will be upset knowing the game won’t happen in the upcoming season because of , but the fact they want to bring the old franchise back to town (the Stars) to be part of the game should get everyone excited for it to possibly happen in 2016.

For now it seems Minnesota fans’ patience will be rewarded, they’ll just have to use a little bit more to bide their time. With things still being up in the air, the possibility they host a Winter Classic is still out there. At the very least, a Stadium Series game would keep fans happy.

Now the biggest question out of this: Would Wild fans be able to handle seeing Dallas possibly sporting North Stars jerseys for the game?

After years of hype, McDavid to play first NHL game

Connor McDavid
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The hype surrounding Connor McDavid couldn’t be much greater, but finally expectations will start to give way to results.

The NHL career that’s been talked about for years will begin tonight when his Edmonton Oilers face St. Louis.

“It’s something that you dream of for so long,” McDavid told “The draft is one thing, but to finally be in this situation is another, so I’m really excited. It’s been a long road; it’s been a lot of hard work. I think a lot of guys’ stories are different in how they get here, but the one common theme is hard work and my story is not any different that way.”

McDavid has transformed the Oilers with his mere presence. Its breathed fresh optimism into a city that have watched this team struggle in its efforts to dig out of the NHL basement. One also has to wonder if Peter Chiarelli would be the team’s new general manager and Todd McLellan its new head coach if Edmonton hadn’t won the draft lottery.

But where will he lead Edmonton? Will he be just the sixth 70-point rookie of the salary cap era? Will he struggle out of the gate, putting the hype into question? Perhaps he’ll draw comparisons to Steven Stamkos, who had a modest rookie campaign by the standards of a highly regarded top pick, but has nevertheless gone on to become a superstar.

That would surprise Stamkos as the Lightning captain feels McDavid is better than he is currently. Just further proof that those lofty expectations are coming from all sides.

“You don’t want to put too much weight on his shoulders; he’s an 18-year-old kid,” Oilers general manager Peter Chiarelli said. “I don’t care how good he is or how good he’ll be, it’s a lot to shoulder if you’re supposed to be the guy and you’re the only guy. Fortunately we have a lot of high-pedigree players that are high picks who have gone through similar situations that he’s going through.”

Edmonton certainly has no shortage of first overall picks, but none as highly regarded as McDavid. But then, few ever are.

Related: There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

There’s ‘a real positive vibe’ in Buffalo, where Eichel will make NHL debut tonight

Connor McDavid
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Jack Eichel didn’t disappoint in the preseason, finishing with six points in four games, including two shorthanded goals.

Tonight in Buffalo, his NHL career will start for real when the Sabres host the Ottawa Senators in regular-season action.

“It’s something I’ve dreamed of my whole life, stepping foot on that ice and making the NHL,” Eichel said, per “It’s kind of been a whirlwind, but you’re finally playing hockey for a living and everything you’ve done your whole life is to get to this point. It’s pretty special.”

The 18-year-old’s debut was front-page news this morning in Buffalo, where the Sabres have been among the NHL’s worst teams since last making the playoffs in 2010-11.

Eichel front page

Granted, even with the additions of Eichel, Ryan O'Reilly, Evander Kane, Robin Lehner and Cody Franson, expectations for 2015-16 remain modest for the new-look Sabres. Certainly, a spot in the playoffs would count as a surprise.

But for the fans of a team that’s barely possessed the puck the past couple of years, it’s night and day.

“People are excited,” GM Tim Murray said earlier this week. “It’s great. They think we’ve improved, and there’s a real positive vibe, I believe.

“That’s what I said to our coaches, ‘I want everybody to be positive. I’m the only guy in the organization allowed to be negative.’ That’s the way I wanted it. If I’m the most negative guy in the city about the team, that’s pretty good.”