The Curse of the Iowa Wild Captain

Mason Shaw skates during a game with the Minnesota Wild last season against the Seattle Kraken.
Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports.

If I had a nickel for every time the Captain’s Curse struck the Iowa Wild, I’d have two nickels which isn’t a lot, but it’s weird that it happened twice. Thankfully, this curse comes with a good side as well. Both last season and this season, the Iowa Wild have seemingly lost their captain to the Minnesota Wild.

Mason Shaw

During the 2022-23 season, Shaw was named the Captain of the Iowa Wild. He was absolutely deserving of that honor and seemed to take great pride in it. He managed to play two games with the C on his chest before Minnesota recalled him to the big club. No one knew that the captain would not be coming back that season.

Shaw jumped in and made an immediate impact with Minnesota and eventually his recall became permanent. The Iowa Wild were without their captain, but until his injury in April ended his season early, Shaw was making an impact on the fourth line. Teamed up with the Deweys for most of the season, Shaw had 17 points in 59 games. He was practically a one-man penalty killer.

In an odd twist of events, Shaw is back in Iowa with the Wild as he works his way back from his fourth ACL surgery. However, Iowa had named a new captain for the 2023-24 season.

Dakota Mermis

Mermis was a natural choice for Captain of the Iowa Wild. He’s old enough to be considered a veteran, but young enough to still have a good career ahead of him in hockey. Going into this season, Mermis had skated in 27 NHL games over the course of 6 seasons. Unfortunately, with all of the injuries on Minnesota’s blue line, Mermis was called up from Iowa before even making his way down there. Right out of training camp, Mermis stayed in Minnesota because Jared Spurgeon was coming into the season with an injury. Other than a 10-day stint with Iowa, Mermis has spent the entire season in Minnesota.

Once again, the Iowa Wild have lost their captain to the big club. On the good side, this season has been amazing for Mermis as he’s more than doubled the amount of games he’s played in the NHL. During the 2023-24 season, he has played in 36 games and has 7 points (2 goals and 5 assists). Over the other 5 seasons that he has played games in the NHL, he only collected 4 points, so he is on his way to doubling his career point total.

What Does the Future Look Like for Mermis and Shaw?

Mason Shaw is in Iowa mostly to get himself back up to NHL speed. After recovering from surgery and spending the summer rehabbing, Shaw was able to sign an AHL deal and start playing with Iowa. He’s played with them for 9 games and has put up 7 points (3 goals and 4 assists). There is a good chance that the Minnesota Wild will sign him to an NHL deal if a playoff run comes into focus for them.

Dakota Mermis is finally getting a good shot at an NHL career. While he is mostly playing third-pairing time, he has put up a good performance the past few games and shown why he shouldn’t be returned to Iowa anytime soon.

For more Minnesota Wild hockey news and fun, make sure to listen to Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast, updated multiple times a week.

Hockey, Hockey, Everywhere! That's Why I've Been So Busy! Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast

In this episode, Mikki talks about the abundance of amazing hockey between the NHL Playoffs and the IIHF Men's World Championships. She also touches on a few fun facts and rambles a bit too much after too many days between podcast episodes. Links:Her Wild Side Merch Shop!Ticketmaster Affiliate LinkSocial Media:TwitterInstagramFacebookFor more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR   
  1. Hockey, Hockey, Everywhere! That's Why I've Been So Busy!
  2. It's The Playoffs, Baby!
  3. Hockey Culture is Disgusting and Needs to Change
  4. A Post-Mortem for the MN Wild Season
  5. Trading Gustavsson Would Be the Dumbest Idea Ever

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