ST. PAUL -- In the midst of another successful Hockey Day Minnesota -- with Parade Stadium in Minneapolis serving as this year's host site -- the Wild announced on Saturday night, Jan. 18, that Mankato will serve as next year's host site.
The 15th annual celebration will be hosted at Blakeslee Stadium on the Minnesota State Mankato campus.
More details, including the official date, matchups, and the schedule will be announced at a later date, according to the Wild.
"We are thrilled for Mankato to host Hockey Day Minnesota 2021," Wild president Matt Majka said in a release. "With passion for all levels of hockey in the city, including their Division I men's and women's hockey teams at Minnesota State University, Mankato, we believe the community has demonstrated tremendous enthusiasm and commitment for hosting a great celebration at next year's Hockey Day Minnesota."
As for Hockey Day Minnesota itself, coach Bruce Boudreau noted that he's completely leaned into the spectacle over the past few years.
"I know it's a big deal and I told the players out there that it's a big deal," Boudreau said. "We take pride in Minnesota and our hockey roots and the amount of people that play the game up here."
Balancing the blue line
After missing half of this season with sports hernia surgery, Greg Pateryn is officially back on the blue line.
That's created a log jam of sorts for the Wild with fellow blue liners Brad Hunt and Nick Seeler on the outside looking in.
As far as Boudreau is concerned, the depth is a good problem to have, even if it means sitting players that deserve to play.
"Something I learned very early with coaching is there are things that we don't like to do that we have to do because it's the right thing," Boudreau said. "That's sort of the philosophy that I live by with coaching. You don't always like to do those things. You just have to do them to help the team win or make the team better."
And he ever forgets, he has a sign in his office that reads, "I don't know the secret to success, I do know the secret to failure is trying to make everybody happy."
It's as simple as that.
Rest as a weapon
After somewhat surprisingly giving the team the day off earlier this week, Boudreau hinted that it's something he might continue to do moving forward as a way to manage the workload.
"We want to make sure that they are at their best at game time," Boudreau said. "Not at their best during practice or in the afternoon after practice or anything like that. We want them at their best right at game time. That's what we're trying to manage."
That also means actual practices might be a little lighter.
"I'm pretty sure they have the systems down now," Boudreau said. "It's just doing the right thing at the right time because nd when we do the right thing at the right time good things usually happen to this team."
Keeping it rolling
Don't think for a second that Boudreau is satisfied with the impressive win over the Tampa Bay Lightning earlier this week. As much as he relished that type of performance, he challenged his team to build on that moving forward.
"Listen," Boudreau said. "Until we do it consistently it doesn't mean anything. It's great to break the losing streak and play well at home. Now we have to do it again and again and again and again. Just doing it once is not enough."