Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast

 In this episode, Mikki explains why it would be best if the Minnesota Wild kept all three goalies around. She also laughs at the Kirill Kaprizov haters, talks about the prospects who've been given a chance at the end of this season, and her attempts to write a hockey romance book.

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Creators & Guests

Wild Hockey Fan | Cozy Mystery Writer | Mom of 2 | MN Raised | She/Her | Hockey Takes that No One Asked For

What is Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast?

Her Wild Side combines hockey knowledge with a side of vibe checks. The weekly show will have game breakdowns, any topical news about the MN Wild, and fun things going on surrounding Wild's social media. This show aims to be informative while also sparking good conversation about the Wild and hockey in general without having to keep everything serious.


welcome to her Wild Side Hockey Podcast.

I am your hostess, Miki,

aka HockeySheWrote,

and we have one game left

of the Minnesota Wild season.

I'm currently dressed in all

black in mourning of the season.

You know,

we'll do a deep dive into the

season kind of in the next episode,

which is episode 35.


I had a few things I just had to

jump on and address.

Now, first of all,

I want to say I like to put

out a couple of episodes a week if I can.

We'll see what that looks

like during the off season.

But I know I've been a

little absent and I just

want to quickly say that

while I might duck out here and there,

I will never.

You can't get rid of me is

what I'm saying.

You cannot get rid of me fully.

I will always be around.

We just have some medical

issues going on in my family.

Nothing major.

You know, it's not anything major.

Just some chronic conditions

that flare up.

And when that happens,

it just means that I have

to dump a few things off my plate.

And unfortunately,

work is the first thing to

be dumped because that's

why I work for myself in the first place,

because we need that flexibility.

So, yeah, I will never actually leave.

You will never.

Be rid of me.

Here's what I want to get on and say,


This is the biggest thing I

wanted to talk about.

So we're going to start with

it right off the jump,

which is the Minnesota Wild

goalie situation.

This morning,

actually just a few hours ago,

the Wild announced that

they have re-signed

Marc-Andre Fleury to a

one-year $2.25 million

contract extension.

This is not a surprise.

Not a surprise at all.

It's been pretty evident in

the last few weeks here

that Fleury is still

playing at the top of his game.


And that he doesn't want to be done.

You know, he is still having fun.

He is still able to play the

way he's always played.

And he doesn't want to be done.

And honestly, you know what?

Good for him.

You know?

Watching him has been amazing.

I think it's very easy to

say what a good goalie he is.

It's very easy to rattle off stats.

But I think until you watch

some of his highlights and

watch him play in person,

do you really understand

how incredible he actually is?

I think it was a couple months ago,

I wrote an article about him

Just saying that he is the

last of his kind.

There is never going to be a

goalie like Marc-Andre Fleury again.

There just is not.

He plays in a style that is

not used anymore.

I mean, sure,

there are other goalies who

are definitely known for

their agility and their flexibility.

And they can make kind of

the big saves sometimes.

But that's all of Fleury's style of play.

Right now,

most goalies are depending more

on being able to read the

plays and know where to set themselves up,

you know,

square themselves off to the

play and go from there.

Whereas Flurry actually

enjoys a challenge.

I think...

While being out of place is not good,

I think sometimes he

actually likes it because

then he's able to make those big saves.

He loves to do the big

windmills and to just

really be the one sprinting

back into the net.

And he has fun with it.

He has fun with it.

I am not 39, 40 years old.

He's going to turn later this year.

But I hope everyone...

is able to have a job that

they enjoy like that.

I think Minnesota also needs

to realize how blessed we

are to have him here.

And not only here,

but the fact that he chose to be here.

He said that his two options

were to retire or to sign

one more year in Minnesota.

He was not about to let

himself be traded to a cup contender.

He was not about to sign a

one-year contract with another team.

He wanted to be here.

And that says volumes about

the wild organization,

the wild locker room and players.

And I think the state of Minnesota,

the state of hockey fans, all together,

I think that really speaks

volumes to how much he is enjoying it.

I don't have to say that

it's been a tough year.

It has been a terrible year.

This is probably the worst

hockey season the Wilds

have had in a long time.

A long time.

And that's not just missing

the playoffs either.

That's just...

one thing after another.

It's like every time something went right,

something else went wrong.

Every time we got an injured player back,

someone else was injured and out.

And every time we started to

get things back on track,

it's like something else would happen.

It just

It's just a great thing that

Fleury is so willing and

wants to come back for one

more year to an

organization that I think a

lot of fans were worried

about how that was going to

affect him long term, I guess.

But this goalie situation

that I'm talking about is

not just about Fleury.


There is Marc-Andre Fleury

just signed the one-year extension.

Philip Gustafson has two

years left on his extension

from last summer.

And then Jesper Wallstedt is down in Iowa.

I believe he's got one more

year on his ELC before he

will be eligible to sign

another contract.

And there are a lot of

people calling for Gus to be traded.

I think part of that is just

the whole Minnesota fan mentality.

Oh my God.

He had an off year, a terrible year.

And even though sometimes he

did play great, actually,

I'd like you to remember that.

Let's move him out, like pack him up,

ship him out.

Like, let's go.

I think you need to look at

the whole picture here.

I think people are

forgetting the entire situation.

First of all,

yes flurry can still play at

an amazing level but even

he himself says you know he

is almost 40 years old and

while he is an incredible

physical shape he just he's

been playing in the nhl for

21 years that takes a toll

on his body and it will

take him longer to recover

from things it will take

him longer to um get over

injuries and I think that

needs we need to remember that now

Volstead has come up.

He started two games.

We're not going to talk about Dallas.

We're not going to talk about that one.

But he started two games in the NHL.

They were against the

Blackhawks and the Sharks,

who are arguably two of the

worst teams in the league.

But he looked great.

He looked ready, and he was...

He was ready for that.

But I don't think that means

that he is ready for a full-time NHL job.

I do not think that

necessarily means that he

is ready to go up against

some of the better teams in the league.

I think he's getting there.

One more year in the AHL and

another year of development

is going to be great for him.

People seem to forget how young he is.

And part of that, I think, is that,

you know, he is a big guy.

He's got a very deep voice.

He seems like an adult.

And technically he is, but he is only 21.

And, you know, for that matter,

even Gustafsson is, gosh,

I want to say 25.

They are both so young.

So having Fleury around for

this other year is really

going to be great to mentor

these two young goalies.

It's been great so far for both of them,

for both of our Swedish goalies.

Trading Gustafsson right now

is the dumbest thing that they could do.

He has shown that he does have

that ability.

He's got, he had Vesna level stats.

And even this year,

there was a chunk of time

where he played like that.

But just because he had a

more off year than on does

not mean to ship him out.

We need a younger goalie, um,

to back up flurry and be

able to take on some of

those harder teams,

which we know that Gustafson can.

And, uh,

also to be able to mentor

Volstead once he moves up to Minnesota.

Because if we trade Gus and

we have Fleury leave after

the next season,

who do we put with Volstead in the NHL?

This is not just like something, you know,

there's not NHL level

goalies just ready and

available for good prices.

You know,

I think thinking that we will

deal with that later on

down the road is a mistake.

Bill Guerin even said something about,

you know,

when you have the chance to sign

a Hall of Fame goalie, you sign it.

And I agree.

So he signed Fleury and he kind of said,

like, after that,

we'll figure the other stuff out.

And he mentioned that the

one thing that Gustafson

needs to work on is his physical fitness.

That was the same thing last season.

And you know what?

He did.

He went back to Sweden.

He worked on his physical fitness.

When he came back into training camp,

he looked totally different.

He had slimmed down.

He had put on muscle.

And he did what they wanted him to do.


I think it's not so much fitness that

they need, but the...

They need him to be more,

I don't know what the word

I'm looking for.

It's not so much the

physical strength as just

being able endurance.

They need to,

he needs to build up his endurance.

So he has shown that he is

able to take feedback over

the off season and put in

the work and he will do it

again this season.

I think coming into this season,

the 2023-24 season,

he had also just become a father.

And that's something, becoming a parent,

bringing a new member into your family,

especially one that does

not know how to talk,

can only cry to let you

know they need something.

And you are 100% in charge,

in control of all of their needs.

I think that puts more

stress on a person than

people might think,

especially because it seems

like Gustafsson would be a

more hands-on dad.

You know,

I could see where some of the NHL

hockey players,

I could see where maybe

they are not as hands-on.

But I just, you know,

I get the feeling that

Gustafsson is hands-on and

that it really affected him

more than he maybe thought it would.


The Wild and their goalie situation.

The Wild need to, you know,

have Fleury run for this one more year.

They can cut down kind of

the games that he's playing potentially.

And he is available to

mentor the two young Swede goalies.

They need to keep Gustafsson

and keep shaping him and

help him with the areas of

his game that he needs.

I think it's also going to

be very telling that next

year he will be playing

behind a more defensively sound team.

I'm going to knock on some wood,

but I'm going to say I

don't think there's any way

we can have as many

injuries next year as we did this year.

People are forgetting the

kind of team that these

goalies were playing behind sometimes.

So I think Gus will show

that maybe he's not Vesna level,

but I think he is much

better than he was for the

majority of this year.

And then Wallstead,

he can be in Iowa one more year.

He can take more time to

develop and he knows that.

He even just developed like

between his start in Dallas

that we're not going to

talk about and being pulled

up for these two starts at

the end of the season.

There was even just in those few months,

it's like he knew what they

needed him to do and he did it.

He came back and he was more prepared.

Again, he's going to go back.

He's going to take this

summer to develop what

needs to be developed.

Next year,

we could have almost not quite a

three goalie rotation,

but pull all set up more,

give him more games,

harder opponents and judge

from there throughout the season.

I think letting go of

Gustafson would be a huge mistake.

And I think people who are

saying to trade him are

being very short sighted.

All right.

We're going to close the

book on the goalie situation.

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And now...

Back to me.

One of the funniest things

this season has been

figuring out how much the

Wild live rent-free in other fans' heads,

like fans of other teams.


we're not going to get into the whole

Faber thing and how

obsessed Chicago fans are with Faber.

But there was one,

I think it was a Kings fan,

who was just appalled with

Kirill Kaprizov and posted

20 different messages all

in a row about how much he

hates Kaprizov and how dumb

he is and all this stuff.

And I'm sorry,

if you're going to beef with

someone on the wild...

You pick Kirill like I know

that obviously we know why

he picked him because

Kirill has always played

well against the Kings.

He is always there to make

him look foolish and put in

some good goals.

So I get that sense of it.

But if you look at Kirill,

he is just a golden haired

baby face angel Russian man.

how can you hate him?

He just, he is the most happy person.

The only happier one is Flurry.

But like right after Flurry,

it is Kaprizov.

And so how you can hate that smiley man,

I don't know.

But you chose the wrong person.

You can hate Hartman.

Lots of people hate Hartman.

We don't.

We love him.

Hate on him.

He doesn't care.

He really doesn't.

The other thing that

happened this last weekend

was that I was able to go

to the Frozen Four with my dad.

And I don't think I've

talked about this in the podcast.

I did talk a little bit

about it on Twitter and stuff.

But my parents, as you know,

are huge gopher hockey fans.

They have been to the last

three Frozen Four tournaments.

Las Vegas, Florida.

Maybe this is the third one.


so they always get tickets right

when they are released.

And obviously,

they are usually assuming

that the Gophers will be

making an appearance.

And unfortunately,

that was not the case this year.

But my dad and I still went

and had a lot of fun.

I went with on Thursday for

the semifinal games.

My mom came up for the weekend,

but she was like, look,

the Gophers aren't playing.

I'm not going to go watch the games.

I will come up.

I will stay in a hotel.

I will eat at restaurants.

I will go shopping.

I will not watch the games.

And she did not.

We had great fun,

my dad and I. I've talked

before about how hockey is

a family thing.

That's how we show love.

And it was really fun to

just spend a day with my

dad at the Excel Center,

a rink that I'm at

frequently and know a lot about versus,

you know, he's usually at Mario G. So

I just want to say that, you know,

it doesn't have to be an

NHL game to be fun.

Hockey is hockey.

And it's going to be fun no matter what.

Even though...

I knew maybe two names of players.

I knew that on Denver,

they have a Minnesota Wild prospect.

So that was really fun to

watch him and just see how he was doing.

Ridley, Rieger, Lorenz.

I did think for a minute.

Rieger, Lorenz.

Number 14 on Denver.

Played great,

especially in the final game.

I believe he had a goal and an assist.

Really fun to watch.

Also fun to watch Macklin

Celebrini because we all

know that he is going to go

first overall in the draft, most likely.

And just to see kind of the

plays that he can put together,

that was really fun.

He's just so young.

He's 17 and he was playing

on the college team.


as much as I would love the Wilds to

draft him,

I know that they're not going

to be able to because

there's like no way the

Wilds are going to win the

lottery for the draft.

But, you know, who knows?


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Welcome back.

Now, as I said before,

we still have one game left of the season,

so I'm not going to totally

close the coffin lid yet.

But as sad as it has been,

kind of going into this last stretch,

knowing that they're not going to make it,

and even before that,

knowing that it was a large, like,

it's just so unlikely that

they would make it anyway.

There was still just, you know,

there was still hope.

There was still fun.

And it's been really fun to

watch the prospects that

Minnesota has brought up, brought over.

Kuznetdinov has been really fun to watch.

I think he's having...

A little trouble adjusting

to NHL versus KHL,

but he is getting there.

He's been really fun to watch.

He's very physical.

I really liked that they put

him on a line with Liam

Ogren once Ogren came over from Sweden.

The two of them together...

Just they seem like maybe

they could have some chemistry.

Ogreen is kind of also just

big physical guy.

He's already shown that he can score.

He's had a goal and assist.

And I think he's played

maybe even two assists by

now in just a handful of games.

It was fun to get well said

a few more times.

Starts in the net and not just starts,

but like good games.

His second game,

he had his first shutout in the league.

And against San Jose, he played great,


So really just trying to

boost those stats so that

they don't look so terrible

after that Dallas game.

Who else will we be seeing?

Beckman was here for a while.

He was a little in and out of the lineup,

but it was still it was

nice to get him some some play time.

And now this is not a prospect,

but Alex Goligosky,

he is on expiring contract.

He is 38 years old.

He has shown that he just he

has slowed down.

But it's been nice to get

him out for his last few games.

I think he's played the last

two games for sure.

And I want to assume he will

play tomorrow also,

just to kind of shut out his career.

So as sad as the end of the

season has been,

I think we can kind of look

at some of that as a positive.

watch this last game and

just see how they do.

I also think it's fun to see

that even once it was

totally impossible for the

wild to get a playoff spot,

they're still competing.

You know, they are professional athletes.

That's what they do.

They're not just going to like, Nope,

no playoffs.


Let's just phone it in.

Like, no, that's, that's not how it works.

And one more last thing

before we say goodbye is I

have kind of talked about

this a little bit on social media again.

I am working on a hockey romance book.

And while it will be a romance,

I think I really want to

make it tongue-in-cheek a bit, you know,

because there's just so many...

other hockey romance books

that have the most

ridiculous situations or

are written by somebody who

has never been like on an

NHL ice rink and like does

not understand how it works

or they don't know how the draft works.

They don't know how

contracts work or any of that.

So I kind of, you know,

I'd like to write one that

is a bit kind of, you know,

like winks at itself.

and is supposed to be silly

and I've gone back and

forth because I didn't want

to totally make like a like

a satire like a parody

because I don't want to

actually like anger people

who actually like hockey

romance books but I would

like to kind of like

balance that line so all this to say

I don't know.

I'm working on it.


kind of an off-season project that I

can work on since I've been

focused on articles and

podcasts and stuff during the season.

Although I am going to pick

some teams for the playoffs

that I'm going to follow.

But again,

we can talk about that more in

the next episode.

But who we are going to talk about here,

who we're going to follow,

and the end of the season.

So before I wrap up,

I would just like to give one more plug,

which is for my merch shop.

There's a link down below in

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And there are Hawkgirl

Hockey Club same shirts, stickers,

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Just a fun way to support the show.

And if you ever have any ideas of...

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see from my show I would

love to hear it because you

know why not um but until

then let's all enjoy the

last minnesota wild game

tomorrow night and we're

going to put all the

positive vibes out there

and then we will talk about

who we need to shift the

vibes to once the wild

season is over so until

then I will see you all later bye