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07-17-2012, 06:36 PM
Playoff losers
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Join Date: Jan 2003
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Originally Posted by MuckOG View Post
Say what you want about Leipold, but Chuck Fletcher has done a pretty good job building for the long term since he took over a few years back. Fletcher built the prospect pool up from one the worst in the NHL to one of the very best. He has shipped out the malcontents and brought in "character guys".

What killed the team last season was the lack of depth. Going into mid-December, the Wild were at the top of the Western Conference, but when the injuries hit their main players (Koivu, Setoguchi, Bouchard, Lattendresse, etc.), there was nobody in the system to fill that void other than career AHLers (Warren Peters, Nick Johnson, etc.)

This season most of our top prospects have turned Pro...and while Granlund may be the only rookie to make the roster, there are now players in the minors (Coyle, Zucker, Larsson, Bulmer) who we feel can contribute more than the fill-ins we've been seeing the past few seasons.

And with Parise and Suter added to the line-up, there is a "trickle down" effect on everyone else. Now players who are 3rd line players and can play on that 3rd line instead of having to play 1st and 2nd line duties.

You can be of the opinion that Leipold is a hypocrite and overpaid for Parise and Suter...but that is the nature of the beast when it comes to free agency. The Wild were not the only team willing to "overpay" for these two guys.

The Wild should make the playoffs this season. My guess is that they can and should grab a 6-8 seed. But the future definitely looks bright.
Danny Heatly is a "Character Guy"???

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