Minnesota Wild players will be examined by the team doctor Thursday before hitting the ice to start training for the upcoming season Friday.
The Wild will play their first pre-season game on Monday. The regular season begins on Oct. 13. Veterans like Mikko Koivu, Darcy Kemper and Ryan Sutter are coming back and, of course, the team's leading scorer Zach Parise.
Parise isn't the biggest player on the ice for the Wild, but he's tough, especially in the corners of the rink where pucks land with players in hot pursuit, elbows are sharp, the body blows hard, and stick handling fierce.
Parise is good at all of that, a point that is underscored in a new book called "Hockey Strong," written by Minnesota-based hockey writer Todd Smith. He covers the Wild as a contributing writer for the NHL Network. He spoke to MPR's Cathy Wurzer.
Click on the audio player above to hear their conversation.