Wild open training camp determined to prove they're a contender

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A little more than four months ago the Minnesota Wild ended its 2014-15 season at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks.

Chicago went on to win its third Stanley Cup in six years while the Wild watched the conference finals and Stanley Cup Final from home.

When speaking with reporters during the team's media day Thursday, head coach Mike Yeo, entering his fifth season as the bench boss, said "we have to find a way to get past the second round of the playoffs."

"Otherwise, we’re doing a lot of pretty good things but not the ultimate. So whatever it takes, we have to take a step as a group," he added, via the Star Tribune.

Is Dubnyk for real?

Devan Dubnyk played the hero role for the Wild last season when he launched himself into goalie stardom following a trade from Arizona to Minnesota. He went 27-9-2 in net while posting an insane 1.78 goals-against average. Without Dubnyk, the Wild would have never made the playoffs.

NHL.com has a list of 16 huge talking points entering training camp, and whether Dubnyk is the real deal or a one-off is one of them.

"I don't need to prove anything," Dubnyk recently told Wild.com. "It's obvious that's going to be a question, and I'm sure if I have a bad game it's going to get brought up, and that's just the way sports is.

"Again, it's understanding why I was having the success last year, and I'm fully capable of playing like that."

Dubnyk signed a six-year contract with the Wild over the summer.

Yeo wants revenge

As crazy as it sounds, Yeo is by far the longest-tenured coach among the Twins, Vikings Timberwolves and Wild, the Pioneer Press reports.

Yeo has guided the Wild to the playoffs in three of his four seasons, with each of the last three ending in the postseason at the hands of the Blackhawks.

"I just want another chance," Yeo told the Pioneer Press. "They've set the bar not just for us, but the entire league. They're a real good hockey team. And so we have to be focused on getting to the playoffs. But we're not going to try to hide from them or get around them. We have to expect to go through them."

Training camp notes

You can see Minnesota's 58-player training camp roster right here.

Single-game tickets go on sale Saturday at 9 a.m. at the Xcel Energy Center box office, then at noon Saturday tickets will be on sale everywhere else.

Minnesota is also hosting a practice at the X that is free and open to the public beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday.

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