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The Minnesota Wild are a professional North American ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL). The team plays in the Central division of the NHL’s Western Conference. The Wild were founded as an expansion team in 1997 but did not start play until the 2000-2001 season. In the 2002-2003 season, the Wild made their first playoff appearance and advanced to the Western Conference finals before losing to the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim (now the Anaheim Ducks). Since that time, the team has only made the second round of the playoffs twice. The Wild have won just one division title and no conference or Stanley Cup championships.
The Wild play their home games at Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Until the MLS team Minnesota United FC moved in 2019, the Wild were the only major professional sports franchise to play in Minneapolis. The team has yet to have any former players inducted into the NHL Hall of Fame, but former head coach Jacques Lemaire was inducted as a player in 1985. The team has retired the league mandated number 99 for Wayne Gretzky and the number 1 to honor their fans. They have yet to retire a former Wild player’s number.