Returning to Minnesota to face his old team, Arizona Coyotes defenseman Matt Dumba is ecstatic to play against Wild tonight.
Following a decade in St. Cloud, Dumba inked a one-year, $3.9 million deal with the ‘Yotes, transitioning for the “Land of 10,000 Lakes” to the “Valley of the Sun.”
He was one of the main focal points on the Wild’s defensive core, providing grit and bite from the backend when needed.
Spending 10 years on the Wild, Dumba registered 79 goals, 157 assists, 816 hits and 699 blocks in 598 games.
“It’s weird, but also super exciting,” Dumba said on being in Minnesota again. “It’s good to see all these familiar faces, but it’s different to be on the away side.”
“Just being able to see everyone that you did on a daily basis, made so many relationships over a 10-year span with a hockey club. Nice to get back here and check in on everyone.”
*Video via Arizona Coyotes Public Relations X (formerly Twitter) account @AZCoyotesPR*
Coyotes D Matt Dumba talks with the media after today's morning skate about how much he's looking forward to playing his first game in Minnesota since he signed with the Coyotes this offseason. Dumba spent the first 10 seasons of his career with the Wild. pic.twitter.com/p0UkPVd4Fm
— Arizona Coyotes PR (@AZCoyotesPR) January 13, 2024
Before departing for Arizona, he made a lasting impact in Minnesota by not just on the ice, but also off of it as well.
Dumba helped multiple families in dire need during the COVID-19 pandemic through donations, was a key contributor to the Wild’s Hockey Fights Cancer nights and involved in ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students) inside Minneapolis.
During the 2019-20 season, he was the recipient of the King Clancy Memorial Trophy, awarded to a player in the NHL who makes a substantial impact in their nearby communities. Because of his efforts, Dumba was nominated and claimed the sentimental accolade.
Reconvening with the Wild fans means so much to Dumba, and he can’t wait to embrace their loyal support that they have shown him throughout his career.
“It’ll be super nice to be back, just everything that this city has given to me, I am so thankful for that,” Dumba said. “I have a lot of gratitude for my time here and the man that its made me.”
In his first year as a Coyote, he has two goals, five points, 77 hits and 55 blocks in 39 games.