The Minnesota Wild will open the most anticipated season in team history Saturday night at the Xcel Energy Center against the Colorado Avalanche (8:00 pm, WJON).

Wild fans all over the State of Hockey rejoiced when Minnesota signed the top two free agents on the market back on July 4th. Minneapolis native Zach Parise and former Nashville defenseman Ryan Suter each signed identical 13-year, 98 million dollar contracts.

Fans remained patient throughout the NHL lockout and were rewarded when the owners and players agreed to a new collective bargaining agreement January 6th, with a season start date of January 19th.

If there was any doubt that the fans would welcome the league back with open arms in Minnesota, it was quickly erased on Wednesday night when the Wild distributed over 18,000 tickets to a free scrimmage at Xcel Energy Center.

Expectations have never been higher for the Wild, and the State of Hockey is ready to follow the team as they make a run at the Stanley Cup.