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Boudreau: Wild's Staal to start season alongside Parise

Gregg Forwerck / National Hockey League / Getty

Bruce Boudreau expects a big bounce back from Eric Staal.

The new head coach of the Minnesota Wild is already penciling in his lines for the upcoming season, envisioning the former Carolina Hurricanes captain playing with one of the faces of the franchise, Boudreau told Paul Allen of KFAN Sports Radio on Thursday.

Maybe I'm out in left field, but I think Eric is going to have a great year. I think there's been circumstances for the last two years that haven't been well, but I am pretty sure that he is really excited about coming to Minny, and he is really excited about playing.

He's going to start off with Zach (Parise), and probably Charlie Coyle on the right. Eric and Charlie are big men. Zach works harder than anybody around. I think it's going to be a highly successful line. At least I'm hoping it will be.

Staal recorded 13 goals and 39 points in 83 games split between the Hurricanes and New York Rangers this past season, the lowest output of his career since his rookie year (31 points in 2013-14).

The 31-year-old signed a three-year, $10.5-million contract with the Wild and appears primed for an opportunity to produce for his new team.

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