Having grown up in a state that has one team in each of the four major professional sports -- those being football, baseball, basketball and hockey -- it’s easy for one or two teams to fall off the radar.

This is the case for the Minnesota Wild in my case.

Having found great interest in the Vikings, Twins and Timberwolves, the Wild simply fell between the cracks for me.

This past season was very interesting to follow throughout the first half of the season, as the Wild at one point had the best record in the NHL and seemed poised to claim a top seed in the playoffs.

Then came the injuries.

In what seemed like the blink of an eye the Wild fell off the face of the Earth in the second half and wound up with the 7th overall pick in the draft.

Then after the draft came free agency. There were plenty of big fish out there and the Wild had money to spend. Speculation had New Jersey Devils captain Zach Parise weighing his options and defenseman Ryan Suter also mulling offers.

Most of the fan base would have been alright with just getting one of these impact players. Getting both however was best case scenario.

I have never been much of a hockey fan simply for the fact that I never played hockey during school and really didn’t have a grasp of the game. But as can happen anytime major free agents are recruited, casual fans or even people who don’t follow the sport can start to gain interest.

The Wild have the beginnings of a solid core with their 7th overall pick this year Matt Dumba, as well as youngster Mikael Granlin, and with the addition of Parise and Suter will make this Wild team a contender next season. And you can expect that I will be following closely throughout what we all hope will be a very deep run into the playoffs.