Not every team in the playoffs gets to hoist the Stanley Cup. Try as they may, 15 teams will end their hockey-related obligations without lifting the Holy Grail of Hockey. We here at MYFO encourage you to erase their substandard play from your collective memory, and join us in wishing them good luck on the golf course starting today.
Next up, Weed Against Speed with the Minnesota Wild, who were knocked out of the playoffs by Big Foppa and the Colorado Avalanche. Believe it or not, Minnesotans actually golf – for a few weeks out of the year, there isn’t snow on the ground. Fancy that.
The Minnesota Wild
What Happened?: More like what didn’t happen. The Wild tried and tried to knock Jose Theodore out of the zone I assume he mistakenly found himself in but all attempts to do so proved futile. Jose has resurrected his game and could very well carry the Avalanche on a deep run if he continues his stellar play. Marian Gaborik got one measly point on an assist in the clunker of a Game 6 and that was that. A depleted blue line only made matters worse and the Wild failed to show up when it really counted, in particular Game 4 when they had the chance to go up 3 games to 1, instead getting ass-plowed, losing all composure and letting the series get tied back up at 2-2.
Their Year On MYFO: In a display of blatant homerism, yours truly ensured the Wild had plenty of exposure on MYFO this year. Some of the stories were compelling, for instance, we were all over the Boogaard Fighting Camp early on in MYFO‘s existence. We also learned that Derek Boogaard likes Portuguese fortified wines and that Mark Parrish likes shitty music and perhaps even passed along this affliction to Josh Harding. Finally, Wes Walz had great difficulty adjusting to the life of a retired athlete.
The Silver Lining: Unfortunately for Wild fans, there doesn’t appear to be much. Heading into one of the most critical off-seasons in the organization’s short life, there is uncertaintly with the management and coaching, as Doug Risebrough is rumored to be in line for the Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager position and if he bolts, head coach Jacques Lemaire will almost certainly resign his position. It might not even take that for Lemaire to step down as he had some difficulty getting through to the players this season and getting them to buy into his defense-first, neutral zone trap style.
The roster situation is in flux as well. With ten unrestricted free agents, including Pavol Demitra, Brian Rolston and Todd Fedoruk and three restricted free agents (Stephane Veilleux, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Kurtis Foster), the roster could look incredibly different when training camp starts next fall. The Wild will almost certainly cut loose the ancient Keith Carney and the ineffective Sean Hill as well as Chris Simon, who became a mainstay in the press box, especially in the playoffs.
The Wild also have to start thinking about what they are going to do about Marian Gaborik, who, although a bust in this year’s playoffs, is the Wild’s only dynamic scorer and truly marketable player. Gabby is heading into the final year of his contract and I would assume the Wild would like to get something done to address that situation this summer.
But hope springs eternal, as they say, and when training camp opens, fans of every NHL team (except Toronto’s, I s’pose) think their squad has a chance. We’ll just have to wait and see.