With the Minnesota Whitecaps already set to play home games at the Wild’s practice rink, the teams expanded their alliance Monday, when the Wild announced it will assist the Whitecaps in marketing, promotions and other areas during the Whitecaps’ first season in the National Women’s Hockey League.
The Wild will hold “a joint celebration’’ of the teams’ home openers on Oct. 6, creating a doubleheader of sorts in downtown St. Paul. The Whitecaps will play the Metropolitan Riveters at TRIA Rink, the Wild’s new practice facility, at 4 p.m., before the Wild’s 7 p.m. game against Vegas at Xcel Energy Center. The Whitecaps also will be part of the Wild’s promotions at the Minnesota State Fair and partner with the team for three youth hockey events.
In addition, the Wild will offer help with marketing, communications, social and digital media and community relations. The Whitecaps also will practice at TRIA Rink.
“The Wild has been a proud supporter of the Minnesota Whitecaps since their inception in 2004,’’ said Jamie Spencer, the Wild’s executive vice president of business development. “As the Whitecaps get set to debut in the NWHL this season, the Wild is proud to shine an even brighter light on this great team.’’
The Whitecaps are the third member of the five-team NWHL to have an affiliation with an NHL franchise. The Buffalo Beauts now are owned by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the Buffalo Sabres. The Riveters have a partnership with the New Jersey Devils.
The Wild-Whitecaps connection mirrors many aspects of those alliances, including being part of a doubleheader, playing home games at the NHL practice facility and support with marketing and promotions. The Whitecaps will play in another NHL-NWHL doubleheader in December at Buffalo.
NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan said the Whitecaps are “off to a strong start’’ with season-ticket sales and player signings. She expects the new arrangement with the Wild to give the team an additional boost.
“The Wild supporting the Whitecaps in their first NWHL season in so many meaningful ways is important for the club and the league,’’ Rylan said. “There’s no question that Pegula Sports and Entertainment acquiring our team in Buffalo and the New Jersey Devils aligning with the Riveters in the last year has had a significant impact.’’
Wild set national TV schedule
The Wild will have 11 games televised on either NBC or NBCSN this season; nine of them will be played at Xcel Energy Center.
The two games on NBC, both at the X, are Saturday, Feb. 2, against Chicago and Sunday, Feb. 17, against St. Louis.
Wild games on national TV:
Date Opponent Location Time (CT) Network
Tuesday, Oct. 16 Arizona Coyotes Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Friday, Oct. 19 Dallas Stars American Airlines Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Thursday, Jan. 10 Winnipeg Jets Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Tuesday, Jan. 15 Los Angeles Kings Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Saturday, Feb. 2 Chicago Blackhawks Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Feb. 17 St. Louis Blues Xcel Energy Center 2 p.m. NBC
Sunday, Feb. 24 St. Louis Blues Xcel Energy Center 6 p.m. NBCSN
Sunday, March 3 Nashville Predators Xcel Energy Center 6:30 p.m. NBCSN
Tuesday, March 5 Nashville Predators Bridgestone Arena 7 p.m. NBCSN
Monday, March 11 San Jose Sharks Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBCSN
Monday, March 25 Nashville Predators Xcel Energy Center 7 p.m. NBCSN