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LW Derek Boogaard, D Shane Hnidy, D John Scott
AFTER NEVER quite rallying from a disastrous 3-9-0 start last season, the Wild is committed to opening 2010--11 on a more successful note. "We lost the season in the first month [last year]," says coach Todd Richards. "It did us in mentally."
For psychological support, the Wild brought in a pair of centers with Stanley Cup rings: John Madden, a winner with the Devils (twice) and the Blackhawks, and one of the league's best defensive forwards; and Matt Cullen, who won with the Hurricanes in 2006. Cullen, 33, who grew up in Virginia, Minn., and was a Mr. Hockey finalist at 18, actually brought the Cup to his hometown after he won with Carolina, but the Wild will need to score more often if he's to do that again. Despite a fine year from center Mikko Koivu (above), who led the team with 71 points, no Minnesota player scored more than 25 goals. Marek Zidlicky had a nice 43-point season, but no other blueliner netted more than six goals. To get on track, the Wild needs more than veteran leadership and Stanley Cup rings.
Tom Renney (1st season)