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11-24-2003, 08:56 PM
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by strib
TSK is this another one of your I don't like him threads so we have to get rid of him? The fans in Minnesota don't like him. You speak for the fans in Minny now or for the other 10 or 12 rumourmongers on their board. And I am sure Doug listens intently to what you tell him.
Another thing is this. The Wild fans I have talked too want us to make another strong playoff run and I don't think we're going to get a top 10 pick. We might end up with a good 15-20 pick again this year (I think if we're lucky we'll squeak in at number 8 with the collapse of Chicago and some tough games ahead).

I am not putting this thread up as I don't like him thread. I've been patient with a lot of Wild players and have disagreed with their picks (some fans have also been a little bit disgruntled at their forward first, defense later).

In total we got maybe 5-6 good defensemen in the system if even that:
Chris Heid
Eric Reitz
Zbynek Michalek
Travis Roche
Jean-Michal Bolduc

The thing is Brad Bombardir is not becoming a very serviceble piece anymore, Brad Brown has flashes but has been benched (5/7 defensemen we ice), Alex Henry might end up staying or might leave for another team (4/7), Willie Mitchell has developed into a bit of an Adam Foote type (he'll go down occasionally with injuries) (3/7), and I don't know how Filip Kuba, Andrei Zyuzin or Nick Schultz are doing. I'm guessing okay. So if we got let's say 4-5 defensemen, Lemaire likes to ice 6 and have 1 in the box. We know that Schultz and most likely Mitchell will be here for a while maybe, MAYBE Kuba and Zyuzin it depends, I can't ever tell.

So who do you bring up for a number 1 defensemen? Brad Bombardir has been our number 1 for a while. Willie Mitchell? Nick Schultz? Filip Kuba? Alex Henry? Andrei Zyuzin? They are solid defensemen but we have no clear cut number 1 defensemen in the system. One might actually pan out in Eric Reitz or Chris Heid or Bolduc but they could take a while. Heid might need another two years in the minors and Bolduc three or four it depends. Reitz could end up being a Bomber or a Brown only time will tell. But for the moment think about it this way:

I want the Wild to draft this year Cam Barker or Wes O'Neill badly. Our forward lines are set for now, we just have to see where they pan out. Draft a couple depth forwards this year but work on the defense. They always said defense takes longer to develop, so I'm curious on to why they haven't drafted very many of them (Schultz, Heid, Reitz, Bolduc and Misharin are all in the system or playing) if they take a while.

If everything goes right I think our lines could end up being pretty damn strong with:

Gaborik- Bouchard/Koivu- Burns
Dupuis- Bouchard/Koivu- O'Sullivan
???- Wallin- Foy

We have a lot of depth at forward to start bringing some in occassionally to see where they might or if they might pan out.

Now with 14 forwards, 7 defensemen, and 2 goalies our future (again if everything works out right) would look like what we have above:

1. Marian Gaborik
2. Pierre- Marc Bouchard
3. Brent Burns
4. Mikko Koivu
5. Pascal Dupuis
6. Patrick O'Sullivan
7. Rickard Wallin
8. Matt Foy
9. Kyle Wanvig
10. Stephane Veilleux
11. Derek Boogaard (hey an enforcer, Lemaire likes using them)
12. Dan Cavanaugh
13. Armands Berzins
14. Mika Hannula

Yeah not great but I didn't add in, Danny Irmen, Marcin Kolusz, Mathieu Melanson, Adam Couchraine, plus some walk ons, veterans, and other draftees that could make the jump.

Our defense doesn't look so bad but it doesn't look great...

1. Willie Mitchell
2. Nick Schultz
3. Filip Kuba
4. Andrei Zyuzin
5. Alex Henry
6. Zbynek Michalek
7. Chris Heid

Now I didn't add Bolduc or Reitz because I don't know what will happen to the three of them, Mitchell, Kuba or Zyuzin. They might stay until their careers are over or they might switch to other teams. We still got Misharin, Reitz, and Bolduc in the system. Yes I know what you're saying now. We didn't draft defensemen because we have more forward positions to fill. I can understand that but we also have the number 1 slot on our defensemen not filled at the moment and it sort of shows this year we are lacking some sort of defensive cohesion. I don't know what happened between this year and last (and it can't be all Sekeras' fault our defense collapsed this badly) but with Bomber not playing to his capabilities is it the fact we don't have a solid veteran and strong number 1 defensemen on the Wild? The only real one that I can see standing out is Bolduc as our number 1 because his potential is so high and we don't know where he is going to pan out too.

The thing is I want to get a clear picture on where the defensive status on the Wild lies. I want to know they got someone like Joni Pitkanen sitting in the minors and moving up the ranks so one day he can take over the defense and guide it. I want a solid number 1 (or in this case 2) defensemen and expand from there. If we drafted a defensemen this year it would probably take 3-4-5 years for him to hit the NHL and work his way up.

The other big thing I can see the Wild doing is pulling the trigger and bringing in another big defensive guy like Brad Bombardir, who served his purpose. But in this case it won't be for under a million, I say around 4-5 million to get a real good defensive threat on our blueline.

So the option is trading prospect for prospect (or solid draft pick) or signing a guy to a couple million dollars. I like number 2 but if we have too many forwards coming through and they aren't all getting enough look at the NHL and they are getting a little bit disgruntled in the AHL and thinking about moving on to another club, I say pull the trigger and make the move.

We did it with Larose and Nycholat (who was finally coming into his own!), lost Henderson in the Larose trade and brought in Bala for Murphy.

And no I am not making this I don't like this guy. Personally, I've tried to side with the prospects as much as possible here and on the Wild site. I know Koivu is extremely raw and he's going to take years for him to get adjusted. He's probably going to see a lot of AHL time before NHL time. But I am hoping he'll turn out to be like his brother sans the injury problem (which he seems to be attracting a lot too). Also I like Wanvig too but like I said if he can bring us a solid defensive prospect that can contribute now then later and maybe come into his own as a solid top 4 defensemen, I would do it, but I think Wanvig might turn into a Wiemer or Scatchard type player. Guy that drops the gloves, puts up respectable numbers, and mucks around the 3rd/4th line but we won't know until he comes up.