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What are we trying to accomplish this season?

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Old
10-20-2009, 03:50 PM
  #1
thestonedkoala
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What are we trying to accomplish this season?

I'm utterly confused by what we are trying to do this season; are we rebuilding? Building? Trying to make it to the playoffs? Trying to win the Stanley Cup?

While, I understand that every team's goal at the beginning of the year is to win the Stanley Cup; there can only be 1 team that can win it.

The Kobasew trade makes me think we are trying to at least get to the playoffs this year. Or at least rectify some part of the season.

Going into the season, in the back of our minds, we knew if the perfect storm didn't happen, it'll be a long, long season. And it didn't. We're having growing pains. We're having trouble adapting one system into another. We're still having issues with injuries and players not playing up to their expectations.

But this, this is something we should have known. We should have prepared for.

I am very afraid we're going to have a middling season where we aren't good enough to make the playoffs but not bad enough to have a lottery slot. We need prospects. We need youth.

It isn't going to take over night to switch over from DR/JL. It's going to take a few years as we swap out players, swap out parts. We knew this. We understood this, or at least I thought people did. And yet people have some expectation that we were still a playoff caliber team. Do I want them to be one? Hell yeah. But we just face lifted the entire organization and are working a new one in.

So tell me; what are we trying to accomplish this season?

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10-20-2009, 09:53 PM
  #2
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I think the Wild entered this season believing they could make the playoffs, and although they are off to a horrid start, I think that they have every right to still think that way.

With an all-world goalie in Niklas Backstrom and the ingredients for strong special teams, I don’t see why Minnesota cannot attempt to rebuild on the fly while still being a team contending for a lower-half playoff position. By “rebuild” I mean develop some of the younger players on their roster while judging what veterans (and cap space) needs to go in the offseason.

There has been a lot of early debate about whether the Wild’s problems are in switching from a defensive-minded, trapping team to one with an aggressive forecheck and a defenseman joining the rush. It’s impossible to diagnose this early whether that’s the issue, but I think talent-wise Minnesota is best suited for a more conservative approach. Maybe not as much as when Lemaire was in charge, but definitely not mirroring what San Jose does, because the Wild simply do not have the personnel to replicate the Sharks’ offensive system.

I think the Wild need to take advantage of having a goalie of Backstrom’s caliber every season that they can. Don’t get delusional and think you can be San Jose when you have a lineup full of grinders, just stick to playing tight defense and winning close games. If Minnesota wants track meets all season then they’re going to end up in the draft lottery, but if they tighten things up and go back to a modified version of what’s worked in the past then I think they have the goods to make the Western Conference playoffs. From there, and with a goalie like Backstrom, they could definitely steal a round. I know it sounds crazy based on how they’ve looked so far, but they are going to get a lot of guys back from injury at some point and they just added a perfect fit for their team in Kobasew. Be patient, I think Minnesota- while far from being a Cup contender (but how many teams actually are?)- will be a solid team this year.

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10-20-2009, 11:28 PM
  #3
thestonedkoala
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Given the state of our prospect depth and well we have now Glass Groin II, a sniper is badly needed for this team. I rather go out and draft one then overpay, and if it means a bad year, it means a bad year. Playoffs also could damage this team as that means we won't be buyers or sellers at the deadline and thus means guys like Nolan that have a little trade value, walk.

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10-21-2009, 09:09 AM
  #4
BigT2002
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My personal opinion:

This team is special in a way that other teams like the Lightning and even the Penguins are not. Bare with me now before you flame.....

Minnesota is a very proud state and most would probably consider hockey our birthright because of how many players come out of here and actually make impacts inside the NHL (keep in mind that even Crosby played at the High School level in Minnesota). If any team in the NHL should never see the lottery draft, it is the Minnesota Wild. Our first two seasons saw us at 68pts and 73 points. It was a slow uphill battle from then on which constituted us as only be mediocre as we only have 1 season over the century mark. However, the team hasn't even been around for a decade yet and we already have won our Division....considered one of the toughest in the NHL year in and year out.

So it is because of that, that this team should be making every effort to at least compete on the ice. Our players deserve that and most importantly our fans deserve that. What confuses me is how many of these "fans" are beginning to jump off the wagon because we are off to the worst start in the franchises 9 year history without considering everything that has taken place over the offseason, preseason, and now. New GM. New Coach. New System. Loss of the franchise player. Key members injured during preseason. Key members injured during the first four games. What do you want them to do? Do you just want them to roll over and die now and just forfeit the rest of the season to guarantee that we get the #1 overall? Fletcher is looking out for what he best can....the fans first and foremost. If you have an issue with how the team is performing look no further than these "key players" that everyone was saying would have breakout years because they were no longer in defensive minded systems. Burns, Sheppard, Benny, etc have all performed pretty bad so far when they were the players who kept saying this system was the best thing to ever happen.

So what are we doing? I would say that we are attempting to at least compete as much as we can without just giving away wins. We had a very difficult road trip that took us through how many playoff teams?? San Jose, Anaheim, Vancouver? Give them some time to find their legs and to find out what changes they need to make in order to put together a competitive team. We are not the Red Wings and have an unlimited prospect pool to pull from, or a Blackhawk team that has been blessed with enough high picks to get amazing talent from centerline to blueline. If that is the issue, then blame former management/coaches who pissed away picks and kept this team fighting for playoff spots year in and year out. But remember that those picks were traded away mostly to keep a certain player that is wearing a Blue Shirt happy, and this team was forced to compete because they wanted to make this state proud. Give it time...

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10-21-2009, 11:10 AM
  #5
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I do not think any one knows what we are trying ot do at this point.

By the trade dead line one of two things will happen.

A. We trade away the like of Nolan, Johnnsson, Brunno, Backstrom, Kobesew, Zidlecki, Belanger and we then declare we are in a rebulding phase.

Havlat, Koivu, Burns, Harding, Sheppard, Schultz, Clutterbuck can all easily be here for 5 years. Add in some young up and comers, a few 1st and in year 4-5 we should be on top.

B. We trade the likes of Sheppard, Gillies, Cuma, Harding, and make a push for hte play offs.

I do not see us sitting on out hands. Its still early and we have no idea what this team will do. So i am not ready for the fire sale today. But at some point this year we have to shake it up a bit.

I would wait until game 20 when everything cycles through. JL had the team playing hard right away. Now that we are a timing team we might not "get it" until mid November. But htat leaves a lot of hockey left.

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10-21-2009, 12:01 PM
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MN_Gopher View Post
I do not think any one knows what we are trying ot do at this point.
Well I hope at least two people do

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Originally Posted by MN_Gopher View Post
By the trade dead line one of two things will happen.

A. We trade away the like of Nolan, Johnnsson, Brunno, Backstrom, Kobesew, Zidlecki, Belanger and we then declare we are in a rebulding phase.
Always thought Brunno was going to stay this time around till he retired. Always felt like he was going to get a front office position with the team. Backstrom won't be traded though, namely because it could only be to a team that has the caproom for a $6M/yr salary. Put it this way, you could theoritically do it with like Washington, but would take on Theodore and who knows what else. Same can be said with Kobasew....contract hit isn't bad, but we are over the cap at this point now.

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Originally Posted by MN_Gopher View Post
Havlat, Koivu, Burns, Harding, Sheppard, Schultz, Clutterbuck can all easily be here for 5 years. Add in some young up and comers, a few 1st and in year 4-5 we should be on top.
Harding will be traded before anyone else listed leaves. However, his stock needs to take a huge jump for us to get any type of payout.

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Originally Posted by MN_Gopher View Post
B. We trade the likes of Sheppard, Gillies, Cuma, Harding, and make a push for hte play offs.
Through in Benny into that group and hope it comes in the area of picks, because this team will not make the playoffs even with a successful November/December. We always hit a sour note in the middle of the winter.

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Originally Posted by MN_Gopher View Post
I do not see us sitting on out hands. Its still early and we have no idea what this team will do. So i am not ready for the fire sale today. But at some point this year we have to shake it up a bit.

I would wait until game 20 when everything cycles through. JL had the team playing hard right away. Now that we are a timing team we might not "get it" until mid November. But htat leaves a lot of hockey left.
I agree with this.

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10-21-2009, 12:58 PM
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Always thought Brunno was going to stay this time around till he retired. Always felt like he was going to get a front office position with the team. Backstrom won't be traded though, namely because it could only be to a team that has the caproom for a $6M/yr salary. Put it this way, you could theoritically do it with like Washington, but would take on Theodore and who knows what else. Same can be said with Kobasew....contract hit isn't bad, but we are over the cap at this point now. .
I have nothing against Brunno or Kobesew. But they are missing pieces, not corner stones. In the buisness sense they are assests that other teams will need and be happy to take on. Unless things change drastically. Those two are not enough to push us over the top. I could see Backsrom going if like a Broeduer or another top flight goalie gets hurt. 6 mil is tough but if a team needs a goalie that bad they will find a way.



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Harding will be traded before anyone else listed leaves. However, his stock needs to take a huge jump for us to get any type of payout..
I think he goes as well. But if he looks great and team does not. Why keep a 6 mil goalie? Backstrom is like having a 3 stall heated garage and no car.

Contracts are pro rated right? The real problem is always keeping the guys the next year. Some teams will take on that mess after the cup run.

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10-21-2009, 01:22 PM
  #8
BigT2002
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Originally Posted by MN_Gopher View Post
I think he goes as well. But if he looks great and team does not. Why keep a 6 mil goalie? Backstrom is like having a 3 stall heated garage and no car.

Contracts are pro rated right? The real problem is always keeping the guys the next year. Some teams will take on that mess after the cup run.
Contracts are prorated, and since we'll be in the last 1/4 of the season it would only be like $2M tops. What is the killer is that he will still get $6M for the next few years though. Teams like Chicago, Detroit, or Philly can't afford that and still sign assets in the FA period. That is why Harding is a huge asset and tradebait because he's still under $2M, which means probably $250k cap hit to most teams. We can benefit with a lot of these teams who can't sign all their RFA's next season with something like that....especially if they aren't playing them either.

My personal opinion that these players should not even be considered to be traded unless the price is very right:

Schultz, Burns, Clutterbuck, Brodziak, Koivu, Backstrom

The rest of this team should be considered up for grabs at any point in this season. We need to get another scoring line in order to compete and that is something we haven't possessed in quite a long time.

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10-21-2009, 03:49 PM
  #9
thestonedkoala
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[QUOTE=MN_Gopher;21706658]I do not think any one knows what we are trying ot do at this point.

By the trade dead line one of two things will happen.

A. We trade away the like of Nolan, Johnnsson, Brunno, Backstrom, Kobesew, Zidlecki, Belanger and we then declare we are in a rebulding phase.
[quote]

Bruno and Kobasew are staying through this year along with Backstrom. We have thin forward depth unless we are getting forwards back from a trade. (thanks DR and Fletcher).

Quote:
Havlat, Koivu, Burns, Harding, Sheppard, Schultz, Clutterbuck can all easily be here for 5 years. Add in some young up and comers, a few 1st and in year 4-5 we should be on top.
It's hard to tell what Sheppard is going to be at this point. Harding is gone. He'll either hit FA or he'll be traded. Havlat seems like Gaborik light.

Quote:
B. We trade the likes of Sheppard, Gillies, Cuma, Harding, and make a push for hte play offs.
Add Leddy and Pouliot in there as well if we are going to make apush for the playoffs along with our 1st. This would be very bad for the Wild.

Quote:
I do not see us sitting on out hands. Its still early and we have no idea what this team will do. So i am not ready for the fire sale today. But at some point this year we have to shake it up a bit.
Given the amount of comings and going a fire sale wouldn't be bad as we clear out the deadwood from the team.

Quote:
I would wait until game 20 when everything cycles through. JL had the team playing hard right away. Now that we are a timing team we might not "get it" until mid November. But htat leaves a lot of hockey left.
It does and does not. I think we have a few guys that simply aren't up to snuff anymore.

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10-21-2009, 06:24 PM
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BigT2002
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It does and does not. I think we have a few guys that simply aren't up to snuff anymore.
3/4 of the team isn't up to snuff anymore, nor have some of them ever been. Fact is, this is a team that has extreme difficulty signing high list Free Agents to it.

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10-22-2009, 09:27 PM
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So tell me; what are we trying to accomplish this season?
Play some hockey.

More? Ok:
1) the coaching staff is trying to implement their system
2) the front office is trying to implement their style
3) both are evaluating players to see how they fit into both system and style
4) the front office is looking for opportunities to
a) get players that fit the style they want
b) turn assets into picks to populate the farm system with players that fit the style they want

I don't think anything that's happened so far goes against that list, but I could be wrong. So far, I think the team's doing a pretty good job (edit: by team I mean coach and office.. off ice.. on the ice, obviously not so much of a good job). I'm a little confused as to why our guys stop moving their feet and start watching the puck as much as they do in our end. Richards needs to fix that in a hurry. I also question some of his line decisions, but I'm no expert. Fletcher's done a great job so far, if you ask me.

I think the worst thing they could do is make a significant move early in the season. The league cap situation means we're not going to be bringing in any serious offensive help or moving out any contracts we don't like. Fletcher should keep the phone lines open of course, but I doubt you'll see much happen until bubble teams need a bump or we get closer to the trade deadline.

This off-season will be the one to watch, I believe.

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10-26-2009, 11:10 AM
  #12
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Originally Posted by ceber View Post
Play some hockey.

... I'm a little confused as to why our guys stop moving their feet and start watching the puck as much as they do in our end. Richards needs to fix that in a hurry. I also question some of his line decisions, but I'm no expert. Fletcher's done a great job so far, if you ask me. ...
I agree that Fletch is doing a good job. I have confidence that if moves need to be done that he is the right guy to do them. I'm also perplexed as to why the guys are coasting and watching. For example, Why has Havlat become a passenger instead of a leader?

The Wild this season are like that boy that's always been polite at home, but suddenly develops a behavior problem at school. I think they should be sent home with note to their parents.

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10-26-2009, 05:46 PM
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well the goal first and foremost is to win it all.

We have the talent to get to the playoffs, but its a matter of how fast this team can adapt to Richard's system and philosophy.

But the Kobasew trade was Fletcher adding a piece that fits the system, for this year and the next.

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10-26-2009, 10:45 PM
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we do have the talent to make the playoffs...

In the AHL.

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10-29-2009, 02:54 AM
  #15
BigT2002
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Really wish I knew what was going on with this team. They can be terrible one period and then on fire the next like they just turned on the light switch. Tonights game was living proof of that IMO.

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10-29-2009, 04:55 PM
  #16
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this is what will happen...

Firesale at deadline, as this team has a lot of dead weight and contracts it would love to move, as we are not goingutt to be a playoff team, and this system is not designed for the guys we have now, we need a big time revival of players in next 2 years.

Guys you keep
-koivu
-backstrom
-burns
-schultz
-clutterbuck
-Havlat ( unless a real good offer comes around )

Guys you dangle for draft picks and or young talent
- Nolan
-sykora
-brunette
-johnnson
-zidlicky
-bouchard if you can move him
-pouliot
-sheppard


Yeah I'm forgetting a few people here...

Then you solidify yourself as a bottom 3 team, in the league, not that we need help with that.

Draft the best forward possible ( seguin, hall, kabanov, grandlund)

You have 3 young D prospects who have potential - cuma, leddy, Scandella.

D is going to be fine, just draft all offense you can.

You NEED to add 2 young impact players next year somehow, 1 will be a seguin/hall type player, and the there you trade for sign in FA.

Build around Mikko, havlat, clutterbuck, *Seguin type player* and 1 nice FA. Yes we need to do much more, but that's a start.

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