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2013 Wild Preview: Zach Attack

Derek VanRiper

Derek VanRiper

Derek is the Senior Baseball Editor for, where he's been a two-time finalist for the FSWA's Baseball Writer of the Year award, and winner of the Best Football Article on the Web (2009) and Best Baseball Article on the Web (2010) awards. Derek also co-hosts RotoWire Fantasy Sports Today on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (XM 87, Sirius 210) from 11a-2p ET on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The Wild entered the lockout shortened 2012-13 campaign with heightened expectations after making pair of long-term commitments to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, giving each player a 13-year, $98 million contract in free agency. With the presence of a top-tier scorer for the first line, and a high-end blueliner stabilizing the defensive corps, second-year head coach Mike Yeo led the Wild to the franchise's fourth postseason berth in 12 seasons.

As the eighth-seed in the Western Conference, the Wild were met with the challenge of an opening round matchup against Chicago. The Blackhawks' depth proved overwhelming for the Wild, and the series ended in five games while the only Minnesota victory came in overtime when the series returned to St. Paul for Game 3. Even with the early exit from the playoffs courtesy of the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, the season can be regarded as a successful one for a few reasons.

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