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-   -   News Article: NHL.com's 30 in 30 articles on the Minnesota Wild (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=1483189)

tyratoku 08-11-2013 11:13 AM

NHL.com's 30 in 30 articles on the Minnesota Wild
 
Each link is to a different article with some small excerpts. There is a lot more at each link.

Core in place, Wild look for a playoff run
Quote:

After failing to qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for a fourth straight season in 2011-12, the Minnesota Wild were willing to do whatever it took to end the frustrating drought.

Owner Craig Leipold spent nearly $200 million to land the two biggest prizes on the free-agent market that summer: left wing Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter.

Suter averaged 27:16 of ice time per game (tops in the League) and was a finalist for the Norris Trophy in 2012-13. Parise led the Wild with 38 points (18 goals, 20 assists) in 48 games. Each played a pivotal role in helping the Wild clinch a playoff berth for the first time since 2008.

"We were fortunate to sign both Zach and Ryan," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "Looking back now, in hindsight with a year removed, I can't even say how lucky we are that we did sign them. You hear horror stories of all these big free-agent signings that don't pan out, and we signed arguably the best defenseman in the League and one of the best goal scorers in the League. Both players lived up to expectations. They're great people."

The Wild's return to the postseason was short-lived. Minnesota was ousted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference Quarterfinals in five games, scoring seven goals. The team obviously was frustrated, but the emergence of defenseman Jonas Brodin and forwards Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker has everyone within the organization excited about what lies ahead.
30 in 30: Coyle, at center or wing, Wild X-factor
Quote:

It's all but a certainty Charlie Coyle will start this season with the Minnesota Wild. Where he'll play is still to be determined.

Coyle was selected in the first round (No. 28) of the 2010 NHL Draft by the San Jose Sharks, but he was traded a year later, along with right wing Devin Setoguchi and a first-round pick in 2011 (center Zack Phillips), to the Wild in exchange for defenseman-turned-forward Brent Burns.

Coyle made a huge impression with Wild brass last season after being promoted from the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League. The 21-year-old was so impressive he found himself playing right wing on Minnesota's top line alongside center Mikko Koivu and left wing Zach Parise. The 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of East Weymouth, Mass., had eight goals and six assists in 37 games in his first taste of NHL hockey.

"Obviously, it's every little kid's dream to make the NHL," Coyle told NHL.com. "But to finally get out there and play and reach that level … it was only half of a season, but it was still the real deal. I learned a lot. I'm with a good organization, a good group of guys, so it was a great experience overall."

He's unlikely to start this season on Minnesota's top line -- veteran Jason Pominville is expected to play right wing with Koivu and Parise -- but Coyle could remain a top-six forward. The question of where he'll play is likely to depend on center Mikael Granlund, another 21-year-old who's vying for a job. Should Granlund make the team, it is conceivable Coyle could be his right wing, with veteran Dany Heatley on the left side.
Dumba tops list of Wild prospects
Quote:

It's difficult to search for positives when a team misses the Stanley Cup Playoffs four years in a row, but the Minnesota Wild were at least able to stock their prospect pool during those frustrating times.

Led by general manager Chuck Fletcher, the Wild, who ended their postseason drought in April, have collected a group of talented, young players who will be expected to have an impact in the NHL in the near future.

Some of Minnesota's young talent already enjoys life in the NHL. Defenseman Jonas Brodin, the Wild's first-round pick (No. 10) at the 2011 NHL Draft, had 11 points (two goals, nine assists) in 45 games last season and led NHL rookies by averaging 23:12 of ice time per game. He was named to the NHL All-Rookie Team.

Forward Charlie Coyle, who was acquired at that same draft in the trade that sent Brent Burns to the San Jose Sharks, made the jump to the NHL from the collegiate and junior levels and had eight goals and six assists in 37 games. The 21-year-old is aiming to be a top-six forward again.

Mikael Granlund, the Wild's first-round selection (No. 9) in 2010, also broke into the League and had two goals and six assists in 27 games. Brodin, Coyle and Granlund are expected to have even bigger impacts in Minnesota this season. With a strong training camp, Granlund, 21, could be the No. 2 center.
{Includes NHL.com's prospect rankings}
30 in 30: Wild questions include Backstrom, Granlund
Quote:

1. How will Minnesota fare in the new Central Division?
2. Can Jonas Brodin actually improve off last season?
3. How durable is Niklas Backstrom?
4. Will Mikael Granlund make an impact?
5. Who will be the physical force on defense?
6. Will Nino Niederreiter thrive in his new home?
30 in 30: Wild youth becoming factor in lineup
Quote:

The rebuild by the Edmonton Oilers has earned more attention because of that franchise's luck in the NHL Draft lottery, but the Minnesota Wild also have amassed one of the best collections of young talent in the past few seasons.

Despite not picking higher than seventh in the NHL Draft since 2005, the Wild have one of the deepest groups of young, potential impact players in the League.

Minnesota's crew was aided by a huge splash in free agency before last season, and the Wild are coming off a return to the Stanley Cup Playoffs. A couple of those prospects were traded to the Buffalo Sabres to add Jason Pominville before the 2013 NHL Trade Deadline, and a few more could join Charlie Coyle and Jonas Brodin as full-time members of the Wild this season.
{includes NHL.com's projected lineup.}

llamapalooza 08-11-2013 12:44 PM

The video on the main page really drove home how much of our forward corps we got rid of. I think losing all four of those guys (Bouchard, Setoguchi, Clutterbuck, & Cullen) at once kind of throws a lot of stuff up in the air. Gonna be a really interesting season, for sure.

I think their assessment of our chances in the Central are a bit harsh. Really, Chicago and St. Louis are the only teams out of the mix that I think are particularly scary.

Giles Ferrell 08-11-2013 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by llamapalooza (Post 70106003)
I think their assessment of our chances in the Central are a bit harsh. Really, Chicago and St. Louis are the only teams out of the mix that I think are particularly scary.

Agreed. People are underestimating how good we will actually be. We should be a lock to finish 3rd in the Central behind CHI and STL. We are clearly better than DAL, NSH, COL, and WPG.

Gaps 08-11-2013 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giles Ferrell (Post 70106169)
Agreed. People are underestimating how good we will actually be. We should be a lock to finish 3rd in the Central behind CHI and STL. We are clearly better than DAL, NSH, COL, and WPG.

I wouldn't say we're a lock, but that 3rd place finish is a realistic scenario. Colorado's defense still sucks, Winnipeg hasn't really gotten stronger, and Dallas is a wild card. Nashville's offense is still pretty pathetic, but if Rinne can get back to his own level, they might give us a run for our money.

llamapalooza 08-11-2013 02:48 PM

I don't think people are underestimating us so much as overestimating those other four teams, who were all pretty bad last year and didn't really take any significant steps forward this offseason.

Victorious Secret 08-11-2013 04:18 PM

Gabriel over Kuemper. :facepalm:

DANOZ28 08-11-2013 07:45 PM

i was shocked at the nhl.com rankings of our prospects, haula should be higher given his age. the fact that we released 4 vet forwards & expect our 2nd line to provide major contributions / secondary scoring is a big ? mark in my book. the fact that we only have to beat 6 teams to make the playoffs does give me hope for this season. i still predict 205 GF & 220 GA which are not playoff #'s.

keppel146 08-11-2013 07:54 PM

yeah those rankings sucked, no graovac on the list. and cuma shouldnt even be on the list.

Sneaky Priest 08-11-2013 10:24 PM

those prospect rankings are total crap. Haula has a legitimate chance to make the roster this year and he's only ranked 7th.

lostpuppysyndrome 08-16-2013 09:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Giles Ferrell (Post 70106169)
Agreed. People are underestimating how good we will actually be. We should be a lock to finish 3rd in the Central behind CHI and STL. We are clearly better than DAL, NSH, COL, and WPG.

"Clearly better" might be a slight overstatement. Highly competitive, sure. However, D is still rather thin behind Suter and Brodin, Heatley has yet to prove he can meet the abilities his old self, Granlund has yet to prove he'll meet the hype of his old self, Backstrom needs to be able to hold up, and Pominville needs to show he's 100%. That said, IF the stars align and all these concerns are allayed, they should have a fairly successful campaign. Zucker is underrated outside of Minnesota, Cookie was a great signing IMO, and Dumba could potentially shore up the D and provide some much-needed defensive clout if he makes the team out of camp. "Clearly better" is clearly overreaching ;)

Also, this is "Bjernhjard," and the Jets WILL exceed all expectations this year. You better be at the game on Nov 23rd.

Minnesota 08-16-2013 02:38 PM

I think Colorado could surprise a lot of people.

Vashanesh 08-16-2013 02:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnesota (Post 70264961)
I think Colorado could surprise a lot of people.

I think they're just as likely to be another lottery pick. Their defense is still a HUGE question mark, they lack a real elite scorer outside of Duchene and who knows if Varly will be healthy for more than the first few weeks of the season.

Minnesota 08-16-2013 03:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Vashanesh (Post 70265455)
I think they're just as likely to be another lottery pick. Their defense is still a HUGE question mark, they lack a real elite scorer outside of Duchene and who knows if Varly will be healthy for more than the first few weeks of the season.

Very true, they're a huge wildcard.

Their young core scares me, though. Imagine Landeskog, Duchene, O'Reilly, Stasny, Johnson, Varlamov, and MacKinnon all clicking at the same time. :amazed:

Puhis 08-16-2013 03:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnesota (Post 70265721)
Very true, they're a huge wildcard.

Their young core scares me, though. Imagine Landeskog, Duchene, O'Reilly, Stasny, Johnson, Varlamov, and MacKinnon all clicking at the same time. :amazed:

That's like Coyle, Granlund, Niederreiter, Zucker, Brodin, Kuemper and Haula clicking at the same time. The difference is that we also have Koivu, Pominville, Parise, Suter and Spurgeon to add to the equation, and still a good goaltender in Bäckström.

I'm not worried.

Jaykay 08-16-2013 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Puhis (Post 70266457)
That's like Coyle, Granlund, Niederreiter, Zucker, Brodin, Kuemper and Haula clicking at the same time

Not really

Minnesota 08-16-2013 04:58 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Puhis (Post 70266457)
That's like Coyle, Granlund, Niederreiter, Zucker, Brodin, Kuemper and Haula clicking at the same time. The difference is that we also have Koivu, Pominville, Parise, Suter and Spurgeon to add to the equation, and still a good goaltender in Bäckström.

I'm not worried.

... Except Landeskog, Duchene, O'Reilly, Stasny, Johnson, and Varlamov are all proven NHLers.

Edit: LMAO, love how you sneakily added Spurgeon. :laugh:

Puhis 08-16-2013 05:12 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnesota (Post 70268749)
... Except Landeskog, Duchene, O'Reilly, Stasny, Johnson, and Varlamov are all proven NHLers.

Edit: LMAO, love how you sneakily added Spurgeon. :laugh:

So is Jonas Brodin, arguably Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker as well. And they're younger.

What we REALLY need is an offensive #2, potential #1C. Granlund was supposed to be that guy, and he may well still develop into one. I dare to say that we have other bases covered.

I mean, we actually have a surplus of top-6 wingers right now. With Parise locked up for foreseeable future as well as Pominville, who is likely to continue, there are only two spots at the wing. We potentially have Zucker, Niederreiter, Coyle and Granlund vying for those spots, and I wouldn't rule out Justin Fontaine yet either. Lucia is also one to watch out for in the future, although he is still a project. Brett Bulmer and Raphaël Bussieres could well develop into useful middle six players as well, and they both play LW IIRC. Erik Haula and Zack Phillips are next centers in line, but they'll have to battle with Granlund and Coyle for that coveted #2C spot.

Of course, it would be optimistic to expect that all of our prospects pan out, but if they do, we quickly find a log jam in the wings.

So yes, I think our future looks good.

thestonedkoala 08-16-2013 06:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by llamapalooza (Post 70108353)
I don't think people are underestimating us so much as overestimating those other four teams, who were all pretty bad last year and didn't really take any significant steps forward this offseason.

Dallas got arguably one of the best coaches in the NHL in Lindy Ruff. They also got a few good centers. How is that not an improvement? Dallas also probably isn't done. They'll tinker. But with Ruff, his teams usually look mediocre but do pretty good.

Winnipeg is a wild card. Trouba could help their defense and they could better adapt to Western hockey (tough, physical) than the run and gun offense out East. They are the biggest wild card.

And if Trotz is behind the bench for Nashville, they are always going to be competitive. It was a rough go without Suter but another year might make them more competitive.

Colorado is meh but who knows. New coach, new philosophy, more offense. No defense but more offense.

There is also the fact that Minnesota LOVES to collapse in on themselves.

Minnesota 08-16-2013 06:09 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Puhis (Post 70269087)
So is Jonas Brodin, arguably Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker as well. And they're younger.

Their young players are more proven than ours. :nod:

:wild

Jonas Brodin: 45 NHL games played @ age 20.

Charlie Coyle: 37 NHL games played @ age 21.

Jason Zucker: 26 NHL games played @ age 21.

:avs

Gabriel Landeskog: 118 NHL games played @ age 20.

Matt Duchene: 105 NHL games played @ age 22.

Ryan O'Reilly: 265 NHL games played @ age 22.

Erik Johnson: 329 NHL games played @ age 25.

Semyon Varlamov: 147 NHL games played @ age 25.

Paul Stastny: 467 NHL games played @ age 27.

Puhis 08-17-2013 09:08 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnesota (Post 70270393)
Their young players are more proven than ours. :nod:

:wild

Jonas Brodin: 45 NHL games played @ age 20.

Charlie Coyle: 37 NHL games played @ age 21.

Jason Zucker: 26 NHL games played @ age 21.

:avs

Gabriel Landeskog: 118 NHL games played @ age 20.

Matt Duchene: 105 NHL games played @ age 22.

Ryan O'Reilly: 265 NHL games played @ age 22.

Erik Johnson: 329 NHL games played @ age 25.

Semyon Varlamov: 147 NHL games played @ age 25.

Paul Stastny: 467 NHL games played @ age 27.

Yeah, well, I wouldn't call Johnson, Varlamov or Stastny "young", as they're over 25 already.

Sportsfan1 08-18-2013 02:20 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Puhis (Post 70282135)
Yeah, well, I wouldn't call Johnson, Varlamov or Stastny "young", as they're over 25 already.

And all three are completely overrated and average hockey players at best. Not worried about Colorado, as long as you don't get into a shootout with them you'll be fine.

All in all I felt good write up about the Wild. Lots of question marks and gamble's this summer, I think they can and will turn out well still for us. However, certainly hope they do because if this winter goes sideways obviously Yeo is gone, but I wonder what Fletcher's fate might be too.

For the record I do not want nor think Fletcher will get fired, but just saying if this year goes south you gotta wonder what will happen. Let's hope not though anyway.

DANOZ28 08-19-2013 06:26 PM

i think colorado is maybe 2 yrs behind the oil, the oilers should make the playoffs with all that talent . you need a team leader / grizzled vet which both dont really have.

Minnesota 08-20-2013 10:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DANOZ28 (Post 70340491)
i think colorado is maybe 2 yrs behind the oil, the oilers should make the playoffs with all that talent . you need a team leader / grizzled vet which both dont really have.

Jagr to the Oil/Avs. :sarcasm:

MuckOG 08-20-2013 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Minnesota (Post 70265721)
Very true, they're a huge wildcard.

Their young core scares me, though. Imagine Landeskog, Duchene, O'Reilly, Stasny, Johnson, Varlamov, and MacKinnon all clicking at the same time. :amazed:

Relying solely on youngsters to carry the team to the next level is not very smart. Look at Edmonton if you don't agree.

Colorado needs to bring in some quality veteran players in addition to the stable on promising young talent if they want to improve.

Beegoalie 08-20-2013 07:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MuckOG (Post 70360433)
Relying solely on youngsters to carry the team to the next level is not very smart. Look at Edmonton if you don't agree.

Colorado needs to bring in some quality veteran players in addition to the stable on promising young talent if they want to improve.


Couldn't agree more..hence why I get a little nervous thinking about the fact that our #2 Center spot and 2-3 top 9 wing spots will be given to unproven players. Along with possibly 2 positions on defense..Thank god one is Brodin though..that takes the edge off...


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