Sunday's 5 p.m. game against Carolina is "Kids Day" down at the arena. The game can be heard on KFAN and streamed on Fox Sports Go locally.
The Wild and hundreds of season-ticket holders donated almost 3,000 tickets to over 20 community and non-profit organizations. Throughout the game, kids will be able to take part in kid-friendly activities like face painting, balloon artists and coloring sections. Kids can take pictures with player cutouts and get autographs from a player to be announced. Kids will also make the "Let's Play Hockey" pronouncement, skate in the youth starting lineup and ride the Zambino during intermissions.
By the way, if you didn't read today's articles, please go to startribune.com/wild.
There, you'll find a fun read on Scott Stevens making his presence felt and voice heard to the Wild and a notebook from on how Bruce Boudreau wants more from the roster hopefuls.
Also, here's the latest Russo-Souhan Show.
If you'd like to see the show recorded live, please come to Hell's Kitchen in Minneapolis on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
As for Sunday's game, expect the Wild's most established preseason lineup of training camp.
The Zach Parise-Eric Staal-Charlie Coyle line will be unveiled, and Mikael Granlund, Mikko Koivu and Chris Stewart will also get a look. Ryan Suter and Erik Haula are also expected to make their preseason debuts and it sounds like Joel Eriksson Ek and Alex Tuch, who was a bit under the weather today but still practiced, will play.
The Hurricanes get in around 3 and are likely using a young lineup. For instance, Cam Ward -- Staal's good buddy -- won't be playing in goal.
Here are some Boudreau tidbits from after practice today:
-- On tomorrow's lineup: "Sometimes those representative lineups get beat pretty good by a lot of young guys. This is their Stanley Cup, but I think we have to get everybody acclimated to each other, to what I perceive to be the lines, and the best way to do that is in games."
-- On what he wants to see from Parise-Staal-Coyle: "I just want them to get to know each other. I want to see some continuity. ... They're part of our top-6, and we expect them to score. I expect them to be able to defend, too."
I've talked to Parise, Staal and Coyle all about the line and plan to write about that for Monday's paper. Staal's excited to get going on this line.
-- On these last 13 days before opening night: "I think we're getting it. Like yesterday's practice, they started to get the controlled breakout, the controlled forecheck. I think they're getting the neutral zone. So I think now it's just practice, repeat, practice, repeat."
-- I wrote a really cool feature on defenseman Hunter Warner, a Minnesota native, for Sunday's paper. Please give it a read. He has been the biggest surprise of camp and what Boudreau calls the best, feel-good story of camp.
He's a big, physical defenseman who plays the puck with poise. Boudreau told Warner that he reminds Boudreau an awful lot of Josh Manson, who played 71 games for Boudreau last season in Anaheim as a shutdown defenseman.
Boudreau pulled Warner aside after Friday's practice.
"I said, 'I think you have a lot of upside and capabilities and just keep working on it and working on it and getting better and better,' because he's a big man. There's nothing wrong with big defense that can move."
Again, please read Sunday's feature. It's a fun one.
-- This summer, Boudreau met with Parise and Suter because they were obviously around here but only got to talk to Koivu on the phone. So they're getting to know each other.
"I'm definitely going to lean on him with questions," Boudreau said. "He's got a good feel. I coached his brother [Saku], and they know hockey. So why wouldn't you lean on him? I want to get to know how he thinks a little bit."
-- Boudreau said his guess is Nino Niederreiter, back from the World Cup will practice for the first time Monday, but he joked that he first has to meet him to tell him and hoped he'd come to Sunday's game so he could. A minute later, Boudreau walked into another room and there Niederreiter already was in sweats. So, good first impression. Niederreiter, you can tell, is anxious to get on the ice here and secure his top-nine role, whether it's back with Haula and Jason Pominville or maybe with Koivu and Granlund.
Also, in other news, Marc Hagel and Zach Palmquist cleared waivers and were assigned to Iowa.
Talk to ya Sunday.