It's already been a full offseason since the Mike Yeo-led St. Louis Blues upset the Wild in the first round of last year's NHL playoffs.
However, on the dawn of their season opener on the road against Detroit, Minnesota will look to get rid of the sour taste lingering from that lost series.
Thursday night is that first step to moving on. The puck drops at 6:30PM central time at Little Caesars Arena in Motor City.
Wild fans got a sneak-peek at the new look lineups yesterday.
Of note for the Wild, it was announced last week that Zach Parise would be absent for the first two games – while he tries to nurse his back into playing shape. A familiar face in Matt Cullen, who returns to the Wild after winning a Stanley Cup in Pittsburgh, will center Minnesota's fourth line Thursday night in Detroit.
As for the Red Wings, despite missing last season's playoffs for the first time since 1990, they return most of their roster from last season.
"We definitely feel we have the talent in here," explained Detroit winger Frans Nielsen. "There is some really high-end talent. We just have to all come together."
Red Wings' defenseman Jonathan Ericsson echoed Nielsen's comments: "We pretty much have the same team as last year, there's not many additions or changes."
Minnesota Wild second-year coach Bruce Boudreau, who missed a portion of the offseason to be with his family following the death of his brother, knows the importance of moving forward after tough losses.
On his early playoff exit, Boudreau said: "I’m not going to re-live it with the players. We’ve got a new team this year. There could be a half dozen different players on the team."
"They don’t need to hear a re-hashing of what went on last year — unless I use it in a positive frame," he added. "There were an awful lot of positives from last year. That’s what I would use."
The 82 game regular season has arrived. So as they say, "Let's play hockey!"