Westrum or O'Sullivan's chance?
Saw this in the STrib today:
"The Wild lacked such flow, Lemaire said if Chouinard and Koivu can't play Thursday in San Jose, recalling a center from AHL Houston is a must (Erik Westrum or Patrick O'Sullivan?)."
I suppose Westrum deserves the shot the way he's played this season, but I'd sure like to see O'Sullivan in a Wild uniform.
expect koivu to be back in the lineup
O'Sullivan's been on the wing most of the season in Houston, hasn't he? There was a pretty good article on him in the game programs this year.. talked about that a bit. As much as I'd like to see it happen sooner, I think he waits until next season.
Westrum would be lost on waivers and Minnesota would have to foot the tab for that...
Michael Russo, Star Tribune
Last update: February 02, 2006 – 12:41 AM
Fans and several in the local media have campaigned loudly for some time for the 26-year-old Westrum to be given a shot. Playing on a dominating line with Law and Voloshenko with the Houston Aeros, Westrum, a Minneapolis native and former Gopher, is leading the AHL with 71 points and played in Wednesday night's AHL All-Star Game.
It's been reported that the Wild hasn't promoted Westrum because of risks it could lose him on waivers. That's not true.
First, he doesn't require waivers to be recalled because he doesn't make more than $75,000 in the minors. And he would only require waivers to be sent back if he's on the Wild for 10 games or 30 days.
Because the Wild hasn't run out of healthy bodies, Risebrough said there's just been no need to recall Westrum. And, he says, there needs to be some perspective by the Westrum fanatics.
"Somebody that's accomplished something at [the AHL] level doesn't necessarily mean it's an automatic translation [to the NHL]," Risebrough said.
Still, Westrum seems to be in the midst of a breakout year. In four previous AHL seasons, he never had more than 15 goals or 42 points. He's on pace for 40 goals and 118 points.
He's never gotten a long look in the NHL. He played 15 games for the Coyotes in 2003-04, totaling two points, and was demoted early in last fall's Wild training camp.
Risebrough also said just because he's a hometown kid doesn't mean he deserves a free look.
"[The decision to recall him is] not going to be driven because he's from here," Risebrough said. "It is a tremendous responsibility to play at home."
Risebrough learned this playing for the Montreal Canadiens.
"I saw it with all the French guys," Risebrough said. "Mario [Tremblay] had way more pressure to play at home than I did. Jacques had way more pressure than Bob Gainey."
Risebrough said this is why he used to respect former Wild center Darby Hendrickson, who used to play at Minnesota and hails from Richfield.
"He earned his way," Risebrough said. "He got everything he got because of what he accomplished as a player and didn't look for any other consideration."
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