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After outcry last year, dance team rules revised

2/12/2016 9:33:49 AM

A new scoring system is in place this year for the dance team state meet to prevent too much copying.

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After another loss, Minnesota Wild's Suter says: 'Everything about this stinks'

2/12/2016 6:39:14 AM

Ovechkin’s hat trick extends nose-diving Wild’s losing streak to seven

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Report of contact between Wolves, Tom Thibodeau has interesting nugget

2/12/2016 6:27:36 AM

ESPN’s Brian Windhorst appeared on ESPN’s Mike and Mike show Thursday (synergy!) and dropped some speculative news that spread like wildfire in the Twin Cities. Here’s what Windhorst said: Sam Mitchell is the interim coach. I don’t think he’s keeping that job long term and I think the people in the Timberwolves organization are already looking at Tom Thibodeau. In fact, I’ll just tell you, sources are telling me that there’s already been some cursory contact between either back channels or whatever between the Wolves and Thibodeau. Sources … cursory … back channels. It’s thin smoke, but it’s certainly smoke that could lead to a fire. Whether it does is another question. Whether any of this chatter in the middle of a season is fair to Mitchell — even if his title is only interim head coach — is a larger question. In my mind, the most interesting thing Windhorst said was this, after he lavished praise on Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns while also noting the Wolves job is still a rebuild featuring lowered expectations: “They’re gonna have another high draft pick, they’re gonna have cap space. I think that’s the best job that’s gonna be available this summer.“ It’s been a long time since anyone could reasonably hold that opinion. When Rick Adelman took over, it was a fairly attractive job, with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love as the anchors. But you could make a compelling argument that Windhorst is correct. Now, there’s a difference between most attractive job and most attractive available job. But still: there are some pretty good coaches out there (and Thibodeau, who had a very nice run with the Bulls, is at the top of my list). If the Wolves really are the most attractive job out there, and they decide to part ways with Mitchell, there’s no reason they shouldn’t be able to make a very good hire.

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Wolves trio of Rising Stars hope someday to rise to very top

2/12/2016 6:27:10 AM

All-Star weekend isn’t just about fun, it’s also about learning from the best players in the game.

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As always, Twins prospect Walker looking to connect

2/12/2016 12:39:47 AM

Adam Brett Walker keeps moving up because of his monster power potential.

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'Strange' stretch eats at Wild's Dubnyk

2/12/2016 12:24:46 AM

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Eastview, Bloomington Jefferson Nordic skiers win individual state titles

2/11/2016 11:20:31 PM

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With camp approaching, Twins prospects impress evaluators

2/11/2016 10:42:27 PM

ESPN ranks Minnesota's crop of youngsters third in MLB for depth of talent.

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With camp approaching, Twins prospects impress evaluators

2/11/2016 10:42:27 PM

ESPN ranks Minnesota's crop of youngsters third in MLB for depth of talent.

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Vikings offseason primer: wide receivers and tight ends

2/11/2016 5:45:00 PM

The passing attack didn’t quite pan out as the Vikings expected in 2015 after they added deep threat Mike Wallace in an offseason trade with the Dolphins and got a healthy Kyle Rudolph back in the offensive huddle. That, of course, isn’t all on the pass-catchers. Pass protection was poor and quarterback Teddy Bridgewater was inconsistent at times. But needless to say, Wallace and fellow Week 1 starter Charles Johnson disappointed. Wallace, who earned $9.9 million, had career lows with 39 catches, 473 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson, meanwhile, lost his job to surprising rookie Stefon Diggs and by season’s end was a weekly healthy scratch. Like Johnson, former first-round pick Cordarrelle Patterson was also a total non-factor for much of the season. Again displaying little attention to detail, he fell behind Jarius Wright and Adam Thielen on the depth chart. At the tight end position, Rudolph was asked to block a little more often in 2015 than he had in recent seasons, which partially explained his modest production. He led the Vikings with five touchdowns, but the expectation was that he would contribute more than just 495 receiving yards. Two of the biggest bright spots came from the draft class. Diggs burst onto the scene to lead the team with 52 catches and 720 yards. Fellow fifth-round pick MyCole Pruitt showed promise, too, from the tight end position. Still, despite the addition of those two to the pass-catching corps, upgrading the wide receiver position should be one of the team’s top two priorities this offseason, along with getting the offensive line straightened out. Vikings free agents: Tight end Rhett Ellison is the only unrestricted free agent. The Vikings value his blocking and versatility, so he is a candidate to re-sign. Thielen will be retained as an exclusive rights free agent. Level of need: High. Diggs has long-term starting potential and Wright is a reliable slot receiver. But the Vikings are still seeking that true No. 1 wide receiver, something they haven’t had in a long while. Specifically, they need a bigger receiver who can make contested catches down the field. Alshon Jeffery could be awfully tempting if the Bears let him reach free agency. There are also options in the draft, though this class of wide receivers is not as stacked as those from 2014 and 2015, according to draft analysts. Stat that stands out: six — passes gaining 40-plus yards for the Vikings in 2015. Only the Cowboys produced fewer big plays in the passing game. Burning question: Is there any chance that the Vikings will actually keep Wallace around? Coach Mike Zimmer praised him for his professionalism after the season. “I would like him back,” Zimmer said. “I just love the kid.” But he also acknowledged that the future is uncertain for Wallace, who is set to make $11.5 million in 2016. The Vikings can release him without any salary cap ramifications. Or they could ask him to take a pay cut, but if you are Wallace, do you want to come back after being underutilized here? It is hard to imagine Wallace remaining in Minnesota, but you never know. Check out the Access Vikings blog tomorrow for a look at the offensive line.

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Access Vikings podcast: Could the Vikings have won the Super Bowl — and where do they stand in 2016?

2/11/2016 7:14:18 AM

Episode 28: Michael Rand and Matt Vensel take a look at the 2015 Vikings in hindsight and look ahead to their prospects in 2016.

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TwinsCentric: Who will round out the rotation?

2/9/2016 10:51:38 PM

The fourth and fifth starter jobs are wide open. Who gets them?

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Gophers' senior core still going strong

1/27/2016 12:17:28 AM

Before his freshman class even stepped on the ice 3-1/2 years ago, Gophers women's hockey coach Brad Frost knew he had a special group.

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Charley Walters: Paul Molitor has Twins on 'pretty good course'

1/25/2016 2:54:49 PM

The Texas Rangers' Jeff Banister was named American League manager of the year last season, but the award could easily have gone to the Minnesota Twins' Paul Molitor, who in his first year led a piecemeal club to a second-place finish in the AL Central behind World Series champion Kansas City after the Twins had finished last in 2014.

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Richard Pitino, Gophers basketball players looking for positivity

1/25/2016 7:42:54 AM

Richard Pitino's basketball team has shown improvement recently, but the University of Minnesota coach is not holding his breath waiting for fans to come flocking back to games.

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Hastings' Lynden Wilson back on the mat - and winning - 5 months after cancer diagnosis

1/24/2016 10:53:46 PM

Hastings freshman Lynden Wilson flipped his opponent to his back with 5 seconds left to win their match by one point in a dual against Farmington in early December.

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Wild say they won't look past Coyotes to all-star break

1/24/2016 9:30:33 PM

Wild left winger Jason Zucker is heading out of town for the all-star break as the Wild have six days off between games.

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Vikings hire former Eagles assistant Pat Shurmur, source says

1/24/2016 4:13:04 PM

The Minnesota Vikings had one of the least productive offenses in the league this season, and coach Mike Zimmer clearly wasn't comfortable with the status quo.

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Timberwolves show new life in win over Grizzlies

1/24/2016 4:12:07 PM

Before Saturday's game, Memphis coach Dave Joerger warned his Grizzlies about how close the Timberwolves had been to turning the corner in the past four games.

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Kevin Garnett brings back 'next question' response to Sam Mitchell

1/24/2016 4:11:41 PM

Kevin Garnett's response was two words, but it will stir many interpretations on what he meant.

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Does Minnesota Wild's victory signal start of Third Annual Rebound?

1/24/2016 4:11:33 PM

SAN JOSE, Calif. -- If there is a positive to take out of the Wild's Third Annual Midseason Slump, it's that they managed to rebound from the other two.

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Twins sign reliever Kevin Jepsen, pick up local lefty Mike Strong

1/24/2016 4:11:28 PM

The Twins signed a right-handed reliever and picked up a lefty on Friday.

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High school boys hockey: Stillwater beats Hill-Murray in likely section playoff preview

1/24/2016 12:10:00 AM

Stillwater established itself as the team to beat in Class 2A Section 4 on Saturday night.

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Vikings pay nearly $18.7 million for Eagan site

1/22/2016 1:07:03 PM

The Minnesota Vikings paid $18.66 million for the expansive former Northwest Airlines property in Eagan, where the team hopes to build a headquarters, a practice facility and a mix of retail and housing.

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