See more of the story

While the Wild received a preview of its future at the outset of its development camp Tuesday, the team also addressed its present roster.

Restricted free agents Joel Eriksson Ek, Kevin Fiala and Ryan Donato were among the forwards who secured qualifying offers from the Wild, while winger Pontus Aberg did not, making him an unrestricted free agent.

Center Nico Sturm and Iowa Wild defensemen Louie Belpedio, Carson Soucy and Hunter Warner also landed qualifying offers. Minor league forwards Chase Lang and Dante Salituro and defenseman Michael Kapla didn’t.

Extending a qualifying offer allows the Wild to retain the player’s negotiation rights.

Donato, Belpedio and Soucy also have arbitration rights, and players have until July 5 to elect for arbitration. July 15 is the deadline to accept qualifying offers.

Eriksson Ek, who scored a career-high seven goals last season and improved in the second half amid an expanded role while captain Mikko Koivu was sidelined with a torn ACL and meniscus, is coming off his entry-level contract.

Same with Fiala, the winger the Wild acquired in a trade-deadline deal with the Predators that sent forward Mikael Granlund to Nashville. In 19 games with the Wild, Fiala scored three goals and amassed seven points.

Donato was also added via trade last season, finishing with 16 points (four goals) in 22 games after arriving from the Boston Bruins in exchange for forward Charlie Coyle. He, too, was wrapping up an entry-level contract.

As for Aberg, he was another trade acquisition in 2018-19 — getting sent over from the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for minor-leaguer Justin Kloos — but he struggled to find a niche in the lineup, chipping in a goal and five assists in 22 games. His last deal was for $1.3 million over two years.

Sturm signed as a free agent after completing his college career at Clarkson and did not score in two games late last season.

Soucy, a former Minnesota Duluth standout, had five goals and 15 assists in 66 games for the Iowa Wild last season after playing briefly for the Wild in 2017-18. Belpedio, who played college hockey at Miami-Ohio, appeared in two games with the Wild last season, and had six goals and 21 points in 70 games with Iowa. Warner, a former Eden Prairie defenseman, had seven points in 73 games for Iowa.

Hendricks retires

Blaine native Matt Hendricks has retired from the NHL and joined the Wild as its assistant director of player development.

Hendricks will work with director of player development Brad Bombardir, assisting in the evaluation and development of prospects.

Last season was Hendricks’ 11th in the NHL; after recording two assists in 22 games with the Wild, the 38-year-old was traded to the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 25.

Over his career, Hendricks tallied 54 goals, 116 points and 1,398 hits in 607 games with Colorado, Washington, Nashville, Edmonton, Winnipeg and the Wild.

The St. Cloud State alum and his wife, Kim, reside with their twins, Lennon and Gunnar, in Deephaven.

Schedule released

The Wild will start and end next season on the road, with a glut of home games during the middle of the 2019-20 campaign.

Complete schedules for all teams were released Tuesday.

After beginning the season Thursday, Oct,.3 in Nashville against the Predators, the Wild will play two more road games before its home opener Saturday, Oct. 12, vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins. Overall, six of the team’s first seven games are as the visitor.

But from late December until early February, the Wild will be at home for 18 of 23 games.

It will play 26 games against Central Division foes and 24 against Pacific teams, with 16 games each against the Atlantic and Metropolitan Divisions.

The longest homestand is seven games (Jan. 16-Feb. 6), and there are two four-game road trips (including one to end the season); the schedule also features 11 back-to-back games (down from 15 last season).

Following the Jan. 26 All-Star Game, the Wild will have a five-day bye from Jan. 27-31. The season will last 195 days (11 more than last season).


• Winger Vladislav Firstov is the only 2019 draft pick not participating in development camp. He returned to Russia to get a student visa ahead of his freshman season at the University of Connecticut.

• Center Sam Hentges of St. Cloud State, a seventh-round pick in 2018, is at the camp but not skating while recovering from surgery.