They may not have made the Stanley Cup playoffs this year, but the Wild aren't leaving Minnesota anytime soon.

Minnesota is known, of course, as The State of Hockey, so it's understandable how hurt we all were back in March of 1993 when former North Stars owner Norm Green ('Norm Greed' as he came to be known) announced he was moving Minnesota's NHL team to Dallas (where they currently reside, known now, of course, as the 'Dallas Stars'.)

Even though I was living back in Wisconsin at the time, I was just as outraged as everyone else here in the Land of 10,000 Lakes that Minnesota wasn't going to have an NHL team anymore. It was just wrong.

But, thankfully, that's not happening with the Wild anytime soon. Because team owner Craig Leipold announced yesterday that Minnesota's NHL team had just signed a new 10-year extension to keep playing at the Xcel Energy Center. This NHL.com story notes that the Wild already had a lease in place through 2025, so this means the team will be playing in St. Paul through 2035.

The X, as it's known, first opened in September of 2000 when the Wild played their first NHL exhibition game with Anaheim. I remember heading to my first game at the X during the Wild's inaugural season, sometime in January or February of 2001. Heck, I still have my Wild team jersey from that season too.

Since then, of course, I've been to the X many times, for both hockey games, and concerts from artists like Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, and John Mellencamp. It's a great place. And it's nice to know that both it --and the Wild-- will be sticking around for a while!

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