Since I've been belittled by posters here and ignored greatly, I've decided to wrap it up and head on home. With the passing of my Godfather, I found how trivial this board is and how plain idiotic it is to bicker about which prospect is better than this prospect when we hardly know anything about their transition to the NHL. We can only guess but hell guys like Malkin could break their arm tomorrow and never play. It's about the game here and now, not some distant future down the road where we can only guess. Things happen like Blackburn's shoulder or Snyder's tragic death.
My final thoughts:
- Pouliot: The guy needs to get his head out of his *** and play some hockey. He has the talent and the skills but he needs to deflate his ego and realize that it's not all about him. It's about the team. Yes he can elevate his game but he needs to do it on a nightly basis. Do I think he can make the team this year? Yes. He has the size and the ability. Plus Lemaire might want to take a hands on approach with the kid. Do I want him to make the team? No, he has the ability but his game isn't all there yet. A year in the AHL might deflate his ego a bit when he starts playing against some tough competition with seasoned NHL veterans. Am I excited to see him play? Yes, I'm really excited but I want to see some consistancy and some teamplay from the guy. No more stupid penalities, no more games off, play hard and play now.
- Voloshenko. Personally I like Voloshenko better than O'Sullivan and was happy to hear he wasn't traded for Demitra. The guy can garbage goal but he has soft enough hands that he can sniper. He has that rare ability that some players lack and that's getting gritty and down and dirty to score a goal. He went unhearld in his first year in North America but I bet you some scouts were scratching their heads on how they passed up on the guy. Skating issues? Overblown. Hands? Vastly underrated. If Pouliot had the drive that Voloshenko has, Pouliot would be hands down a franchise player. Voloshenko is close to it for the Wild. He is that good of a player. I think he's ready to go now more than ever.
- Khudobin. The guy needs confidence. One bad goal and he goes to pieces. He could be the next great Russian goaltender or a bust. Only time will tell. But he needs to have more confidence in his play and shake that one bad goal. He has the ability to elevate his game as seen in some of the International Games but when he lets in one bad goal, he goes to pieces. I have confidence that he'll shake the bug and become a solid goaltender for years to come. Harding/Khudobin battle for number 1 goaltender? Could happen in a few years.
- Reitz. Favorite prospect. Injury bug has sidelined him a few times but the guy plays hard every night, sticks up for his teammate and plays tough. He is exactly what the Wild needed before they picked up Carney and even though Carney is signed for the next two years, Reitz could pick up on some of Carney's touches and become a solid 4-6 defenseman like Mitchell. I fear that if the Wild trade Reitz he'll become a Michalekesque type mistake. He might go unhearld like Voloshenko in his own way but Reitz has worked hard to get where he is and he should be rewarded. He didn't do bad in his call up and defensemen do take longer to develop.
- Clutterbuck, Irmen...Bailey? I like Bailey. He's been underrated by Wild fans and I personally wouldn't want to match up against these three any day of the week. Bailey is the type of player the Wild could use when they shipped of Stevenson. A tough center with an edge to his game.
- Koivu. I like this guy. Many of you had doubts and were very impatient with the kid but I liked what I heard from our overseas guys and he didn't disappoint in his NA debut. Not a real big point producer, he'll be called upon as a two-way center who'll chip in 15-20 goals a season, given the circumstances but I think that he'll be a solid 2nd center in Lemaire's system. Watch for Lemaire to start inserting him in the top lineup.
- Our European prospects. I personally think Minnesota has a very underrated and very understated European crop of prospects. Khudobin, Sprunger, Madsen, Walker, Olvecky, Hovinen...All of these guys could be solid contributers for the Wild. I like the upside of Sprunger and Madsen's game. I talked about Khudobin. Walker intrigues me, given his age and his development and how far along his progress is. Olvecky could become a good checking winger. Hovinen is my next favorite prospect after Reitz, given his height but also his immense (in more ways then one) potential as a goaltender. I think and hopefully I'm right that he'll develop his game and be a solid, if not spectaculor goaltender. Something about those late round European goaltenders.
- Sheppard. Glad we picked this guy. Good character, good head, hard worker, and someone we could use. Power forward all the way.
- Thelen. Disappointed by his game but he's starting to pick it back up. I think he's underrated by posters here because of his lackluster year on a bad team and his miserable outing at MSU. I think that once he hits the AHL and starts really developing, people will take notice of his game.
- Kassian. Knee jerk reaction, bad one at that. It's like kicking the doctor after he taps your knee. I don't like this prospect because we got Boogaard and we can't get anything by trading him. Maybe a late round pick if that. Welcome to the Wild, Kassian. Unfortunately, you'll be booed everytime you hit the ice.
- Erickson. Where the **** did you go? You've been all over the place except for the Wild's prospect camps.
- Kolusz, Misharin. We hardly knew ye. Good luck on playing in...where again?
In the larger perspective of life, these board is a welcome distraction from my life. As a pair of heroes from my youth once said: "It's a case of mind over matter." "Yea ... I don't mind and you don't matter." I think its fun to keep up-to-date on prospects, but in the larger picture, this is pretty insignificant. So tolerating bickering, one-upsmanship and trash talk is no big deal for me, cuz I appreciate the insight into the NHL that I gain from these boards. Reality is out here ... somewhere ... and has little to do with these boards.