MINNEAPOLIS (AP) Before everyone settled in for their fireworks on the Fourth of July, the Minnesota Wild put on quite a show themselves.
Eschewing patience and pragmatism for go-for-it-all aggressiveness, Wild owner Craig Leipold shelled out 198 million for free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to get the State of Hockey all amped up for the coming season.
The season, it turns out, almost didn't come. And now the team that arguably lost more momentum during the NHL lockout than any other is eager to get to work at recapturing it. The NHL and the players' association reached accord on a new collective bargaining agreement Sunday, the 113th day of the lockout. After lawyers from both sides put the finishing touches on the contract and it is ratified, the players will commence with a training camp and get ready for the games to begin.
"Everyone in our organization, the players, the fans were really excited in the summer," goalie Niklas Backstrom said in a phone interview Sunday n...