We are HFboards newest partner, Dailyfaceoff.com. We have posted previews for each team based on their off-season moves, as well as fantasy implications. If you are interested at a outsiders view of the Wild, take a look!
Arrived: Martin Havlat (CHI), Petr Sykora (PIT), Greg Zanon (NSH), Wade Dublielewicz (CBJ), Kyle Brodziak (EDM), Shane Hnidy (BOS)
Departed: Marian Gaborik (NYR), Dan Fritsche, Peter Olvecky (NSH), Stephane Veilleux (TB)
The Wild came painfully close to making their third straight playoff appearance (and first round exit), but finished just short even after winning their last three regular season games. The biggest change this off-season happened in management, as they pried Harvard grad Chuck Fletcher away from the Penguins and made him their new General Manager. Fletcher was quiet in his first off-season in charge, with the only major on ice move being letting talented but injury prone winger Marion Gaborik walk and replacing him with… talented but injury prone winger Martin Havlat. At least they will be paying Havlat less than they would Gaborik to sit in the press box. Signing Petr Sykora as insurance was a temendous decision. He also hired Todd Richards to replace the only man who had ever coached the Wild, Jacques Lemaire.
Minnesota’s defensive style under Lemaire worked well for winning games, but was a nightmare for fantasy managers. Mikko Koivu was the only Wild player to score more than 50 points last year, and he is not even the most famous NHL player in his own family. It will be interesting to see if Richards lets the Wild open up a bit offensively this year, and they should compete for a playoff spot in the West.