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02-25-2004, 09:57 AM
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That's a difficult question. I don't think he's lost anything in his skills...most of the stuff he does this year is what he did last year....he's actually gained in an area, his defensive awareness. He makes better plays with his stick in his own end, and he's using his speed to catch up to the play, because he has the ability to backcheck like a demon simply because of his tremendous speed. He's using his speed this year, and I think he's really improved his game in his own end. The first 10-15 games when he got back he was trying to catch up to everything, and he had the wrong offensive mindset, probably brought on by the feeling that he owed his teammates for his time missed....durung that time he was trying to show everybody that he was worth the money...Bruno talked about this during that time and also the announcers. He tried to do everything himself and it didn't work and he got frustrated. His lack of offense forced his defensive development. So the holdout actually helped because last year everybody knocked him for being a one way player. He was not solid on his own zone. He is now. His injuries....people have brought this up a bit. In 3 years he's had two hernia surgeries and a shoulder injury. Of those, the only one I suspect right now might be more serious than he or anyone else is willing to let on about is the shoulder. During the holdout he was very hush hush about it and wouldn't really elaborate, but we do know that it was bothering him in Slovakia. Then he had this hip flexor thing, that's cleared up now. So, I don't think he's lost anything in terms of skillset...about the Wild bringing in more skilled offensive talent. Other than what we have in O'Sullivan, Burns, Bouchard, Dupuis, and Koivu, I don't think Doug is going to go get someone. That would put us in the top bottom 6 of the league in payroll. Our #3 spot is precious.

Last edited by Gaborik10: 02-25-2004 at 10:01 AM.
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