Minnesota Wild hope to name captain before season starts
The Minnesota Wild are aiming to name their captain before the start of the 2020-21 season in January. This is a new chapter for Minnesota and is a major change for the team considering that they were getting better despite falling short of the playoffs in the 2019-20 season.
Mikko Koivu served as the Wild’s captain for the last 11 seasons before the team decided not to re-sign him after their poor finish last season. The former skipper went on to sign a one-year deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets back on October 10. Now the Wild will need a new man at the helm this time.
With the season being primed to start by the 1st of January next year, that means they have more than a month to decide which of their remaining players would likely step up and lead the squad this season. Koivu was named captain back in 2009, and the team rotated the captaincy on a monthly basis prior to that.
The 37-year-old ended his Wild career as the leader in points (709), assists (504) and games played (1,028). That is a lot to live up to for anyone who would step up and be the new captain for the team.
General manager Bill Guerin believes that they are not pressured to name a captain yet but hopes they can come up with a decision before the season begins. However, he did not name any player who could be the next leader for the squad.
‘We'll name a new captain and we'll move forward’, Guerin said. ‘Big shoes to fill, but my personal belief is it's an important position to fill and you just don't want to leave the team in limbo. There's some good guys here, some really good people here’.
Zach Parise and defenceman Ryan Suter have served as associate captains since they were signed back in July 2012. Both players are quite good enough to lead the squad in a new era without Koivu.
Minnesota has to come up with a decision soon so they can get some practices going down the stretch before the big season begins.
Words: Paul Daniel Flores