June 26, 2014

Please Not Vanek

According to all reports, the Minnesota Wild are going to try and sign UFA Thomas Vanek when the market opens on July 1st.  Most people seem to think this is a no-brainer and a great get for the team.  A forward who can score is needed and he lives in Stillwater.  HE LIVES IN STILLWATER!  People around here are wetting themselves with excitement.  We might sign a former UMTC Gopher who lives here!  Calm down, people.

For reasons that I won't explain here, it should make no difference whatsoever where a player is from or where he lives.  I'm guessing Wild GM Chuck Fletcher does not care where Vanek lives other than it might give the Wild a better chance to sign him.  My beef with signing Vanek has nothing to do with this, however.  It has to do with the fact that he his 30 years old and his talents are starting to rapidly decline.

Unless your name rhymes with Sheemu Telanne, forwards do not get better after they turn 30.  Their production declines and they get hurt more often.  Are you ok with paying Vanek around $5.0m next season for 20 goals?  Are you ok with paying Vanek $5.0m in 2017-18 for 10 goals?  I am not.

I say use this money to beef up the defense.  And please, Chuck, do not handcuff the team's future ability to sign Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle and Jonas Brodin to extensions next season.

June 25, 2014

The NHL Hosings

I have come to expect this, really.  It is no secret around here that the National Hockey League pays no attention to this hockey-crazy market and the terrific collection of players that make up the Minnesota Wild.  First, Gary Pinhead Bettman passes on the State of Hockey for another Winter Classic, but now the NHL Awards are handed out and nary a Wild is in the running.  Here is a recap:
  • Vezina ~ sure, Tuukka Rask deserved the award and Semyon Varlamov also deserved consideration, but to completely ignore Josh Harding's first 3 months of the season is ridiculous.  Surely Harding was worthly of a Top 5 vote.
  • Norris ~ Ryan Suter should have won, but to not even finish in the Top 3 is an insult to defensemen everywhere.  The dude plays half the game every night and excels.
  • Selke ~ why Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu were not voted for at all is mind-boggling. 
  • Jack Adams ~ No votes for Mike Yeo?
Normally I am a guy who thinks teams that play the "no respect" card and fooling themselves, but clearly the voters for the above NHL awards forgot about our plucky club.

June 7, 2014

Sloppy Joes or Hockey

As luck would have it I have a graduation party to attend at the same time as tonight's Stanley Cup Final Game 2.  While I have avoided recording live sporting events in the past, tonight's game may have to go on the DVR.  Rumor has it there is going to be a wicked good batch of Sloppy Joes at the party.  I just have to be careful not to (a) check Twitter before I get home and (b) not wear a white shirt.  I have a tendency to overload the bun.

Wow, I really didn't have much to say in today's blog post.  I will make sure I have something a bit more interesting come Monday.

June 6, 2014

Sonmor Coming Back?

I seriously didn't know if Jim Rutherford was still alive.  The Pittsburgh Penguins' hiring of Rutherford as their general manager is the Minnesota Wild equivalent of hiring Glen Sonmor as its coach.  Granted I don't watch a lot of Penguins' hockey, but to me it seemed that there biggest problem wasn't coaching or even with most of their roster, but with their goaltending.  Here's hoping Wild GM Chuck Fletcher can swindle Rutherford out of some talent.  Maybe get Matt Niskanen in exchange for a Buick Skylark and a 12 pack of Ensure.

June 4, 2014

Don't Fire Mike Yeo

Granted there isn't any evidence around that I called for Coach Mike Yeo to be relieved of his duties last December (and the previous December), but as I write today I can tell you I no longer feel that way.  Yeo has grown on me and, more importantly this team.  That being the case, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher signed Yeo to a 3 year extension last week.  Good move?  Sure, the team needs consistency.

I liken Yeo to a young Ben Kenobi.  Sure, Yeo (like Obi-Wan) made his share of mistakes early on in his career, but he grew into the role.  Think Kenobi didn't have second thoughts about not pushing Anakin Skywalker into the fiery lava river instead of leaving him alive and burnt?  That act alone would've saved millions of lives come Episodes 4-6.  Granted, Yeo has made some equally poor decisions, but he has gotten better.  Good move.

June 3, 2014

Viewing Guide for the Final

I'll try and be honest here, for the most part.  Since the Minnesota Wild were dispatched by the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2nd round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, my interest in watching the NHL has waned a bit.  I found myself drifting past NBCSN and watching a lot of Anthony Bourdain and reruns of the $10,000 Pyramid.  Side note:  Nipsy Russell was a Pyramid machine!

But now that the Final is upon us, it is a good time to point out some things Wild fans should consider when watching the series:
  • The provincial part of me would like to see Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan hoist the Cup and bring it back to the Twin Cities this summer.  Then again, they both played for Bucky, so screw them.  
  • Would it be ok to cheer for Marian Gaborik?  Not sure how I feel about this one, the guy did spurn the local club for the bright lights of NYC.  Still, I find myself rooting for the guy.
  • Watch Drew Doughty whenever he is on the ice.  He has elevated his normally good game to an elite level.  Best skater on the ice in the last series with Chicago.
  • Test yourself and try not to get too bothered by the idiotic mutterings of Pierre McGuire.  If it helps, remember that the Wild almost hired him as GM instead of Chuck Fletcher.
  • Take a closer look at Henrik Lundquist's game.  I contend he is merely a very good goaltender playing in a fantastic defensive system as opposed to a surefire hall of famer.  His sparkling good looks clearly give the national media an inflated image of his talent.  Don't get me wrong, he's very good, I just don't think he's elite.
  • It's hard not to cheer for Dominic Moore or Martin St. Louis.  Having said that, remember the Rangers also play Daniel Carcillo quite a bit.
  • Get a six pack of Indeed Brewing's Midnight Ryder.  Good stuff.
There you go; enjoy the series!