Thread: Speculation: Rebuilding our defense...
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02-27-2012, 10:35 PM
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thestonedkoala
Everyone! PANIC!
 
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Rebuilding our defense...

When Brent Burns was traded last season, Fletcher warned the fans it was going to be a transition year for our defense and that we had to prepare for a rough year from our defensemen. We had some good defensive forwards to help out and we were suppose to have Mike Lundin as well to help fill in the gaps...

So what went wrong?

1/ Zidlicky pulled a Heatley and pretty much forced himself off the team, forcing an already thin defense scrambling to find another defenseman to take his place.

2/ Mike Lundin injured himself, forcing Scandella into the roster. Lundin is still currently missing and instead of being a reliable top 4 defenseman, he is...MIA.

3/ Nick Schultz and Greg Zanon continued to regress and with the new system in place, fell quickly out of favor with the organization.

4/ Scandella hit a wall and didn't progress as nicely as we wanted.

So what went right?

1/ Scandella had a few months of relatively steady hockey but still hasn't shown reliability to be penciled in higher than the 4th defenseman.

2/ Escaping his imprisonment under Denver with all the other midgets and leprechauns, Spurgeon found a welcome home on the Wild blue line, progressing better than anyone hoped.

3/ Falk and Stoner continued to provide steady play from the blue line, as they were given limited minutes.

4/ We finally have a boat load of guys that can shoot from the blue line.

So Fletcher has his work cut out for him this off-season with a relatively thin group of defensemen to work with and an even thinner pool to pull from.

1/ He needs to find at least one top pairing defenseman. Either through a trade or through free agency. None of the guys we have currently or coming in (I'm not ready to pencil in Brodin for anything more than 4-6) are minute munchers and I wouldn't have them playing during critical moments.

2/ He needs to make a decision with Foster. Foster provides a nice shot from the point but he's not known to be a reliable defenseman.

3/ Stoner? Staying or going?

As it stands we have:

xxx - Gilbert
xxx - Scandella
Brodin - Spurgeron
Falk

I would actually try to bump down Gilbert so that it's like

xxx - xxx
Gilbert - Scandella
Brodin - Spurgeron
Falk

That leaves the most important spots open.

I would throw a 7 year, 56 million dollar contract at Ryan Suter and hope he bites. Suter would shore up a pretty thin defense and provide the Wild with a guy that can eat between 20-22 minutes per game, nightly.

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