Now that the 113-day NHL lockout is over, the Minnesota Wild can finally showcase their two biggest offseason acquisitions.
Whether Zach Parise and Ryan Suter can help the Wild match the preseason Stanley Cup hype - or just lead the club to the playoffs for the first time in five seasons - remains to be seen.
The two All-Stars will make their Wild debuts in Saturday night's season opener at home, where they'll meet a Colorado Avalanche team that's looking to end its own postseason drought in 2012-13.
Minnesota led the league with a 20-7-3 record Dec. 10, 2011, but went on to finish 12th in the Western Conference at 35-36-11.
The Wild haven't been to the playoffs since 2007-08 and have only won two postseason series in their 12-year history, but there is plenty of excitement surrounding the club as it gets set to kick off this abbreviated 48-game season.
Minnesota's disheartening final record was due in part to a severe lack of offense. Minus their 11 shootout tallies, the Wild'...