Hope. It's a wonderful thing, just ask Andy DuFresne. And when I look at today's NHL Standings I get filled with hope. Hope for future Minnesota Wild success.
It used to be that a team had to draft in the Top 5 for several seasons in a row in order to accumulate winning talent. Examples include the Ottawa Senators of the 1990's, the Pittsburgh Penguins of about 5 years ago and the Atlanta Thrashers. Oh wait, strike that last one. Anyhow, the point being was that you had to be very bad for multiple seasons in order to succeed down the line.
That theory being in place, the Wild have struggled in recent years, but not struggled enough. No Top 5 picks outside of the disaster known as Benny Pouliot in the last decade. How can this team improve without landing top talent?
Well, faithful readers, there is hope. Teams such as the Phoenix Coyotes and the Colorado Avalanche have given us hope. A team can win without an Ovechkin on the roster. A team can win without any big name stars and only 7,500 people in the stands. (Yes, Colorado, that's a shot at you.)
Take a look at which teams would make the playoffs if they started today. Among them are the Coyotes, Avalanche, Sabres and Senators. All thought to be non-playoff factors for years. All this just proves that if you have a group of good players that play as a team you can win. Hopefully the Wild are on this track.