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  • 4 Minnesota Wild players included in ESPN’s ‘Top 100 NHL players of the decade’ list


    The Minnesota Wild certainly had an eventful decade. They made the playoffs six years in a row (though they failed to make much out of those opportunities), scored lots of memorable goals and, for a brief moment, were the worst team in the NHL!

    Lots of peaks and valleys, folks!

    ESPN released its list of the top 100 NHL players of the decade on Thursday, and four Wild players — Mikko Koivu, Zach Parise, Eric Staal and Ryan Suter — made the cut. A few former Wild players made the list as well, including Thomas Vanek, Marian Gaborik and, of course, Brent Burns.

    Current Wild Players

    89. Mikko Koivu
    What ESPN had to say:

    It’s honestly a bit surprising to see Koivu ranked so low on this list. The 36-year-old has been Minnesota’s captain for the entire decade and just recently reached the 700-point mark in his 1,000th game. Koivu’s made a significant impact in the NHL over the last decade, and it’s unfortunate his legacy may not be fully appreciated by those outside of Minnesota.

    82. Zach Parise
    What ESPN had to say:

    Parise may not rank too highly on ESPN’s list, but he’s certainly been one of the Wild’s most important players since arriving in 2012. With 181 goals and 356 points in 479 games as a member of the Wild, Parise has been one of Minnesota’s top point producers in the 2010s. His contract certainly isn’t ideal, especially considering the possible repercussions of it, but there’s no denying his impact on the Wild for the majority of the decade.

    65. Eric Staal
    What ESPN had to say:

    Staal’s certainly made a significant impact this decade, though most of his statistics were recorded with the Hurricanes. Still, he recorded his 1,000th NHL point with the Wild against the Blackhawks this season, so that stands for something, right?

    46. Ryan Suter
    What ESPN had to say:

    Suter is definitely an ironman. That’s not up for debate. Even at 34 years old (he turns 35 on January 21), he continues to play big minutes on Minnesota’s blue line. He may not be quite as effective as he once was, but there’s no denying that he’s been a key piece for the Wild since arriving in 2012 with Zach Parise.

    Former Wild Players

    96. Thomas Vanek
    What ESPN had to say:

    Pretty good decade for Vanek. Decent stint with the Wild, but nothing to write home about.

    86. Marian Gaborik
    What ESPN had to say:

    Gaborik left the Wild after the 2008-09 season, so none of what he accomplished this decade had anything to do with Minnesota. Still, pretty impressive numbers for the Wild’s all-time leading scorer.

    19. Brent Burns
    What ESPN had to say:

    Oh, what could have been. Burns only spent a tiny portion of the decade with the Wild before being traded to San Jose for Devin Setoguchi, Charlie Coyle and a first-round draft selection. Setoguchi lasted just two season with the Wild and Coyle is now playing for the Boston Bruins. That first-round pick? The Wild used it on Zack Phillips, who has yet to play a single game in the NHL at 27 years old.

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