The Minnesota Wild are a professional Men's Ice Hockey Team rooted in Saint Paul, Minnesota. The Minnesota Wild was founded in 2000 and the Xcel Energy Center in downtown St. Paul became the home arena. The Minnesota Wild are members of the Northwest Division of the Western Conference of the NHL.
In 1997, the NHL announced that Minnesota had been awarded an expansion franchise to begin play in the 2000 to 2001 hockey season. The six final team names for the NHL franchise were: Minnesota Blue Ox, Minnesota Freeze, Minnesota Northern Lights, Minnesota Voyageurs, Minnesota White Bears and Minnesota Wild. The unveiling of the Minnestoa Wild name and logo happened in front of the Aldrich Arena. The Minnesota Wild announced its first sponsorship agreement with Minnesota Wild MasterCard from First USA. The state of Minnesota agreed in legislation to fund $65 million of the $130 million projects cost with Xcel Energy Center. In 1999, Minnesota Wild announced a 26-year partnership agreement with the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission.
In 2000, the Minnesota Wild first season officially started with first-ever head coach Jacques Lemaire. The Minnesota Wild team picked Marian Gaborik to lead the new hockey franchise through its first season. In 2001 to 2002, the MN Wild would get off to a great start. However, Minnesota Wild would finish in the last place with a losing record. Along the way, Marian Gaborik had a solid season with 30 goals, no sophomore slump, and Andrew Brunette led the team in scoring with 69 points. In 2002 to 2003 Gaborik spends much of the season competing for the league scoring crown, and the Wild, in their first ever playoff appearance, made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals before being swept by the Anaheim Mighty Ducks who won 4, Minnesota, 0.
In 2003 to 2004, the Minnesota Wild season started shorthanded with both Pascal Dupuis and Marian Gaborik holding out. In a deep hole, the Wild could not climb back into the NHL playoffs despite finishing the season with five wins of their last six games as they finished last in the division with a record of 30-29-20-3. In 2004 to 2005, the season was cancelled due to the NHL lockout. Former Wild player Sergei Zholtok died from a heart condition, during one game played in Europe, in the arms of former Wild player Darby Hendrickson. In 2005 to 2006, Minnesota Wild finished in last place, eight points behind Vancouver; along the way, Marian Gaborik set a new franchise record for 38 goals in a season and Brian Rolston set a new highest point total of 79 by a Wild player in a season. In 2006 to 2007, Minnesota Wild traded the 17th overall pick and prospect Patrick O'Sullivan to the Los Angeles Kings for veteran Slovakian Pavol Demitra.
The 2009 season saw great changes to the Minnesota Wild Coaching Staff, MN Wild Roster and general feel of Minnesota Wild Hockey. The Minnesota Wild hired Todd Richards to be the new head coach for the team and after a bittersweet goodbye, the Minnesota Roster let go of Gaborik. Minnesota Wild Head Coach Todd Richards made it clear that the Minnesota Wild Team was going to see big changes, with a faster more agressive skating style, Richards worked to bring the MN Wild out of the slump they had fallen into.
Although Richards did not see the immediate results Minnesota Wild fans had hoped for, Minnesota Wild tickets have become a hot item again. The Minnesot Wild can boast a sold out Xcel arena every game and the waiting list for Wild season ticket holders is long. Local ticket brokers are the best way to buy Minnesota Wild tickets to single Wild home games. So if you are wanting to go to a Minnesota Wild game, get your Wild tickets ahead of time, instead of scrambling at the last minute outside of the Xcel Energy Center.