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2010-11 Wild Season Report Card

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Old
04-19-2011, 12:16 AM
  #1
LemaireisGOD
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2010-11 Wild Season Report Card

http://www.stateofhockeynews.com/201...port-card.html

I figured this might lead to some healthy discussion, but its my end of season report card for the Wild; player by player. You agree, disagree...either way, share it!

I would say more but more or less my thoughts on each player are all there.

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04-19-2011, 12:52 AM
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BigT2002
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Not bad, but Clutterbuck gets a B+ in my book. Still would linger for his hits and he wasn't all that consistent through a good portion of the season. Playing with Cullen, he should of been a better player simply put. More speed and a better passer than last year and I honestly expected he would be shooting more than he was.

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04-19-2011, 08:29 AM
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nickschultzfan
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The forward and goalie grades are pretty spot on, but I I have to disagree with you on the defensive grades.

Zidlicky - pre-injury the guy was playing awesome. His 1st half was very impressive, and he looked the part of a top-4 defender. Then he got hurt and forced a come-back when he should have had surgery. B-

Zanon - provided same old shot blocking, but was out of position more than normal and had trouble breaking the puck out. He also showed that he probably could be replaced and the team wouldn't notice much. C

Burns - Awesome first 50 games, then up and down over the last 32. He was pushing to make things happen. But he's still and offensive and defensive force. B

Schultz - Most consistent Dman. Had a decent amount of points for him. Logged big minutes. That says something when the entire team is spiraling out of control. B

Barker - No offensive, but his defense did improve pre-injury. He was playing the body and clearing the front of the net. Then he vanished. C-

Stoner - B is about right.

Spurgeon - Yes, he was effective and it was surprising to see him in the NHL. But too many times the front of the net got packed when he was on the ice. He was good at moving the puck up quickly, but the opponents could establish the cycle and crash the net fairly easy. B-

Scandella - Looked impressive at points, but didn't do anything to force him to stay. C

Falk - Impressive start, then lost it. C.

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04-19-2011, 09:02 AM
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Jarick
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Agreed 100% on all the forwards (and it must have pained you to give Butch an "A" ) and goalies. For defense, I'd probably rate Zanon and Burns a grade lower and Schultz a grade higher, but otherwise agreed again.

Good writeup!

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04-19-2011, 09:55 AM
  #5
LemaireisGOD
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Actually it didn't...

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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Agreed 100% on all the forwards (and it must have pained you to give Butch an "A" ) and goalies. For defense, I'd probably rate Zanon and Burns a grade lower and Schultz a grade higher, but otherwise agreed again.

Good writeup!
First of all, thanks for the props...

Butch earned his grade. No, it did not make my blood boil or make me feel sick inside. I was genuinely impressed with the way he played; and perhaps it was just me but his overall game showed less timidness and he was more assertive. Perhaps he doesn't take his time in the NHL for granted and wants to play as well as he can as long as his body allows him to. Sometimes an injury can tell a player just how fleeting their career can be or just how fast it can end puts a jolt in you to want to make a difference since you don't know how much time you may have.

As far as my grades for defenseman, I'd lean towards what Nick is saying about Zanon. I too felt he seemed far less important this season as a whole; I would've considered him to be the glue that held the blueline together last year but it just wasn't there this time around. He seemed slower and more of a liability. I still think he plays unselfishly and in comparison to Barker and Schultz he's still a value IMO. Could we get rid of him; I believe so. Unless he finds ways to rid himself of the lapses he had this year I think he'll be replaced but there might be a small (limited) market for this guy in a deadline deal IMO. Blocking shots are huge in the playoffs and that's easily the best thing that this guy does...just a thought.

I think the Zidlicky grade is too high. Sure he may have been hurt when he tried to return but I thought his decision making was atrocious. Not to mention I didn't feel we missed him all that much. Even on the power play; the team didn't suffer all that much, no one was scoring enough anywhere but that certainly wasn't just because Zidlicky was out. I stand by my grade of Zidlicky.

The Barker grade Nick gave was equally too generous. Like it or not; he wasn't that great at either end of the ice and wasn't able to stay healthy. It may seem harsh for me to punish those that can't stay healthy but durability is a big thing to me. Because if you're never out there due to injury what are you really giving the team other than headaches as to how they must replace you. Barker might as well not been on this team in my opinion...his contribution was that minimal. Same goes for Latendresse. And for that, they get F's. At best they get an " I" for Incomplete but I felt an "F" was more appropriate.

Enjoying the feedback though! Thanks again!

The rest of my grades I'd say I feel pretty confident about.

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04-19-2011, 10:06 AM
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yet another person who completely misses the point about why Nystrom is here. not saying he's an "A" but if you're grading on how well they perform their role rather than stat lines you shouldn't have thrown a "D+" out there.

Everything else on the offensive side is hard to argue with--Clutter deserves what might be a generous grade because he did get more Clutterbucky this year while he was allowed to play his role. He is a grinder with offensive upside, not a scorer with hitting ability.

Defense:
Seem to be grading Zid on the end of his season, Barker on the beginning of his. Spurgeon gets way too much credit: it isn't just "bigger" forwards that give him trouble. It's any forward larger than him that already possesses the puck and has average stick handling skills. if i were a top six forward and looking at Spurgeon I'd drive him every single time. chances are decent even if he disrupted you that he'd be more out of the play than you would for the ensuing scrum. (edit: LOL assuming this goes down like it did much of the past season where we only have the one defenseman back). We were exposed and exploited as soon as Barker went down and next year will be more of the same if we swap him for someone else like Spurgeon. We get mugged in front of our own net.


Last edited by rynryn: 04-19-2011 at 10:20 AM.
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04-19-2011, 10:42 AM
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Nystrom was supposed to bring a few things: toughness (hitting and standing up for teammates), defensive play, and some offense. He did hit, but he's slower than Clutterbuck and can't just run around and light people up. His defensive play was inconsistent, at times very poor and at times decent, but he ended up a team-worst -16. As for offense, he had 4 goals and 12 points. That's terrible.

Maybe we expected too much from him, but he didn't deliver anywhere near his contract. I thought he was a 10+ goal guy, but looking at his career numbers, he's only had one season above 5 goals. I also see he's been a minus in every year except last.

This looks like an awful, awful contract. $1.4m for a guy who is a decent hitter and energy guy but is extremely replaceable and redundant, not to mention is mediocre defensively and awful offensively? D-/F IMO.

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04-19-2011, 11:03 AM
  #8
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i see nystrom as a character player. toughness in the sense that he wasn't afraid of hitting or getting hit, yes. But mostly because our attitude stank the previous year and most of the roster just floated around w/out much of a sense of urgency. I've said it before: it sucks that we have to (over)pay for attitude alone, but if that's what you need to do to try to get your $ players to look like they give a ****, then it could pay off. Ideally you'd count on your leaders for that sort of thing--to keep guys pumped up or provide an example on the ice (as far as effort goes).

His numbers or hitting might be easily replaced (i'm thinking Gillies might have matured enough for that over this year with Yeo) but again, its more the attitude and ethic Fletcher was after and got. That entire group upped the effort level a lot this year--Staubitz, Madden, Nystrom. Didn't pay off but you could blame that on a combination of things, with depth being the overall killing stroke.

edit: have to say we got what i thought we'd get out of him this season after reading what Flames fans had to say when we picked him up. They were all sorry to see him go (for the assets I believe we brought him for) but weren't willing to pay what we did--it's an acknowledged overpayment, but he was brought over as a example of work ethic and attitude on the ice and he filled that role IMO.

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04-19-2011, 12:35 PM
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$1.4m for a character guy is huge overpayment. And IMO he shouldn't have been in the line up every night. Gillies could bring a lot more to the table for less money.

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04-19-2011, 01:38 PM
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It's just flat out wrong that Nystrom was not brought in to bring offense to the bottom-6.

Yes, he was supposed to bring all those good qualities that posters listed. But Fletcher signed him to that 3-year, 1.4m/year contract because Fletcher thought Nystrom was going do all those things AND put in around 10 goals, all while playing bottom-6 minutes.

Nystrom was billed as an upgrade over your standard 4th line grinder like Earl.

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04-19-2011, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
It's just flat out wrong that Nystrom was not brought in to bring offense to the bottom-6.

Yes, he was supposed to bring all those good qualities that posters listed. But Fletcher signed him to that 3-year, 1.4m/year contract because Fletcher thought Nystrom was going do all those things AND put in around 10 goals, all while playing bottom-6 minutes.

Nystrom was billed as an upgrade over your standard 4th line grinder like Earl.
And he was. The biggest thing that Fletcher was also trying to do was get people in that understood that we needed to get more leadership and positive attitudes in the lockerroom after what he saw last year. Benny Boy/Belanger are two names that came to mind. You bring in players who have either worn a "C" in their hockey careers, or at least the "A" while in the NHL. Does that mean he was worth $1.4M? Probably not in my book, but we'll see how next year goes as well. Keep in mind, there is a distinct reason Calgary fans were upset that he signed with us and not them and there is a reason why all the players on this roster loved the guy too. You need optimistic people to help push the younger players to play harder and to also not get down on themselves if they are in a drought.

This is one of those characteristics that most people forget about when they are "grading" someone on their performance of the year because, to be honest, most of us only have what Russo has printed or what the stat lines show. To me...in all honestly...a lot of this feels like its stat line grading.

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04-19-2011, 02:08 PM
  #12
rynryn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
$1.4m for a character guy is huge overpayment. And IMO he shouldn't have been in the line up every night. Gillies could bring a lot more to the table for less money.
we have plenty third/fourth line guys in the minors that could have been used. If I'm right about our reasons for picking up Nystrom though, they wouldn't serve the purpose--no one is going to look at them as an example of anything; no matter how hard they're working it wouldn't be likely that they'd start yapping at everyone on the bench or otherwise cause people to step it up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by nickschultzfan View Post
It's just flat out wrong that Nystrom was not brought in to bring offense to the bottom-6.

Yes, he was supposed to bring all those good qualities that posters listed. But Fletcher signed him to that 3-year, 1.4m/year contract because Fletcher thought Nystrom was going do all those things AND put in around 10 goals, all while playing bottom-6 minutes.

Nystrom was billed as an upgrade over your standard 4th line grinder like Earl.
something just isn't processing here...Earl can't do what Nystrom does. Or at least it would seem so based on their need to pick up Nystrom. Earl couldn't inspire anyone to get out of a fire for godsake. I will agree that he should have had more goals, but i don't believe for a minute that was why they signed him. you throw in an inordinate amount of gillies and earls with the leadership our established guys have shown and we're back to losing because of lack of nuts. I don't think Nystrom is irreplaceable--i just think he fulfilled his role here and that there weren't really many other options out there when we picked him up. Thus deserving of more than a D.

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04-19-2011, 02:18 PM
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Guys who are leaders and good motivators that can't play hockey are called coaches.

I wonder how much of those locker room / bench / role model / etc players were needed because Todd Richards WASN'T a good leader?

IMO, the team needs a good dose of youth, not more vets who are going to clash with the coach. And the team could use a coach that would bench the hell out of a player that whines to his agent about ice time.

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04-19-2011, 03:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Guys who are leaders and good motivators that can't play hockey are called coaches.

I wonder how much of those locker room / bench / role model / etc players were needed because Todd Richards WASN'T a good leader?

IMO, the team needs a good dose of youth, not more vets who are going to clash with the coach. And the team could use a coach that would bench the hell out of a player that whines to his agent about ice time.
yeah, you may be right. obviously the personality of the team is going to change a lot next season (one would think) so who knows what kind of personalities will come to the fore. I think the problem with Richards' style was he was too respectful of the player's feelings--or at least I read that into all the various "kept my hands out of it" "let them do their thing" type quotes throughout the year. Reading into it, i know, but that also led me to believe that those whose hands he left it in weren't up to the task, either, when left with no direction. Here's hoping the new guy can keep the ship pointed in the right direction.

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04-19-2011, 03:38 PM
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I don't think I missed the point at all...

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Originally Posted by rynryn View Post
yet another person who completely misses the point about why Nystrom is here. not saying he's an "A" but if you're grading on how well they perform their role rather than stat lines you shouldn't have thrown a "D+" out there.

Everything else on the offensive side is hard to argue with--Clutter deserves what might be a generous grade because he did get more Clutterbucky this year while he was allowed to play his role. He is a grinder with offensive upside, not a scorer with hitting ability.

Defense:
Seem to be grading Zid on the end of his season, Barker on the beginning of his. Spurgeon gets way too much credit: it isn't just "bigger" forwards that give him trouble. It's any forward larger than him that already possesses the puck and has average stick handling skills. if i were a top six forward and looking at Spurgeon I'd drive him every single time. chances are decent even if he disrupted you that he'd be more out of the play than you would for the ensuing scrum. (edit: LOL assuming this goes down like it did much of the past season where we only have the one defenseman back). We were exposed and exploited as soon as Barker went down and next year will be more of the same if we swap him for someone else like Spurgeon. We get mugged in front of our own net.
I know Nystrom wasn't brought into score goals and put up big points. It really didn't want to grade him that low, but points do matter; even for him. He got robbed a bunch of times yes...but I liked his physicality and his effort most nights. Yet I think he isn't quite fast enough for what the team wanted him to do. They wanted him to be that other fast forechecker and he just didn't quite have the wheels for it. He delivered the hits; but often it was after they had gotten rid of the puck. Other than the hits; if you're not creating the turnover off the hit because you get there too late what are you really accomplishing.

I never doubted his willingness or his effort most nights. I don't think I shredded him too bad actually.

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04-19-2011, 03:47 PM
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Riiight...

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Originally Posted by BigT2002 View Post
And he was. The biggest thing that Fletcher was also trying to do was get people in that understood that we needed to get more leadership and positive attitudes in the lockerroom after what he saw last year. Benny Boy/Belanger are two names that came to mind. You bring in players who have either worn a "C" in their hockey careers, or at least the "A" while in the NHL. Does that mean he was worth $1.4M? Probably not in my book, but we'll see how next year goes as well. Keep in mind, there is a distinct reason Calgary fans were upset that he signed with us and not them and there is a reason why all the players on this roster loved the guy too. You need optimistic people to help push the younger players to play harder and to also not get down on themselves if they are in a drought.

This is one of those characteristics that most people forget about when they are "grading" someone on their performance of the year because, to be honest, most of us only have what Russo has printed or what the stat lines show. To me...in all honestly...a lot of this feels like its stat line grading.
If its all about just the stats then a lot of the team's defense would been graded much more harshly than they ended up. Is it something to consider; of course it is. Expectations played a role in how I graded, I never expected Nystrom to score 30 points but 20 and at least 10 goals was something I thought we'd see. Was that the whole reason for his grade; kind of but not really.

My grade for Zidlicky was more about his high-risk style which I've never liked. He may have been more stable at the beginning but it didn't last.

I watched just as many games as the rest of you have. I simply call it how I see it. (shrugs)

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04-19-2011, 03:59 PM
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I'm probably just weighing criteria a bit differently--more emphasis on the role in the role player and not as much on how he fills out his roster spot. In this case, i'd be giving Koivu a flat controversial C. Led the team, etc, but he didn't improve over last year, and he didn't really step up in any visible way to his role as a leader. Treading water in the areas he is supposed to be making up for his lack of points (relative his paycheck and other first line centers). The fact that it's noticeable when he's fired up (after a bad call, a penalty, or whatever) means that he isn't playing at full steam as often as he should and he really needs to find something to get him and running for more games. A fired up Koivu is a beast to behold, and one that's very hard for the other team to contend with; he needs to find a way to elevate himself to that level more often if he wants to be better than average as the captain and first line center of a professional hockey team.

edit: lest there be any misunderstanding--i'm not saying that at a "C" Koivu is less valuable or easier to replace than, say Clutterbuck at an "A".

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04-19-2011, 05:14 PM
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Fletcher felt Nystrom could surpass his career-best 11 goal season with the Wild. Didn't show much of that. Calgary didn't miss him, as Tim Jackman gave them the same kind of production while being a better fighter for 550k.

It was quite obvious the day we signed Nystrom we were paying a premium in years and salary to convince him to join us. Just like we paid a premium for Barker, and a premium for Cullen. This kind of talent evaluation is just unacceptable.

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04-20-2011, 07:10 PM
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Great post...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rynryn View Post
I'm probably just weighing criteria a bit differently--more emphasis on the role in the role player and not as much on how he fills out his roster spot. In this case, i'd be giving Koivu a flat controversial C. Led the team, etc, but he didn't improve over last year, and he didn't really step up in any visible way to his role as a leader. Treading water in the areas he is supposed to be making up for his lack of points (relative his paycheck and other first line centers). The fact that it's noticeable when he's fired up (after a bad call, a penalty, or whatever) means that he isn't playing at full steam as often as he should and he really needs to find something to get him and running for more games. A fired up Koivu is a beast to behold, and one that's very hard for the other team to contend with; he needs to find a way to elevate himself to that level more often if he wants to be better than average as the captain and first line center of a professional hockey team.

edit: lest there be any misunderstanding--i'm not saying that at a "C" Koivu is less valuable or easier to replace than, say Clutterbuck at an "A".
I don't disagree with any part of it. Do you think the average fans will give Koivu more heat once his far more expensive contract kicks in next year or will they just love him as they always have even if he now becomes an extremely expensive 60-70 point a season player?!?!

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04-20-2011, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemaireisGOD View Post
First of all, thanks for the props...

Butch earned his grade. No, it did not make my blood boil or make me feel sick inside. I was genuinely impressed with the way he played; and perhaps it was just me but his overall game showed less timidness and he was more assertive. Perhaps he doesn't take his time in the NHL for granted and wants to play as well as he can as long as his body allows him to. Sometimes an injury can tell a player just how fleeting their career can be or just how fast it can end puts a jolt in you to want to make a difference since you don't know how much time you may have.
Trust me, it wasn't just you! Over the years I've been labeled the biggest Butch hater there was... simply because I asked him to do more than he was doing... because I saw he had the ability to do so. Most of the people on the old Wild board would rag on me about it... but I can only call it as I see it.

This year we saw a completely different Bouchard! It was MUCH more of the player I hoped he could become than the player he was prior to the injury... and I actually enjoyed watching him work on the ice. If he can continue that type of play... he definitely has a long-term place in the Wild's future!

Quote:
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Fletcher felt Nystrom could surpass his career-best 11 goal season with the Wild. Didn't show much of that. Calgary didn't miss him, as Tim Jackman gave them the same kind of production while being a better fighter for 550k.

It was quite obvious the day we signed Nystrom we were paying a premium in years and salary to convince him to join us. Just like we paid a premium for Barker, and a premium for Cullen. This kind of talent evaluation is just unacceptable.
That's the problem with the Win-now mentality Fletch was forced to have by CL when we simply don't have the tools to win-now.

I think you will see a change in how Fletcher approaches Free Agency this year now that CL can see we do have quite a bit further to go than he had previously thought.

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04-20-2011, 07:53 PM
  #21
rynryn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LemaireisGOD View Post
I don't disagree with any part of it. Do you think the average fans will give Koivu more heat once his far more expensive contract kicks in next year or will they just love him as they always have even if he now becomes an extremely expensive 60-70 point a season player?!?!
I think that depends wholly on how other players perform--I want to say that if another player or two score around the same amount of points as Mikko and the team continues to lose, public attitude will shift to being less lenient with their appraisal of his intangibles (leadership, competitiveness, etc). If we win, he'll get some of the credit, but only as far as it takes us into the post season. At that point everyone will start trying to figure out two players we could get for $7 million that would push us from a playoff team to a contender. Might take a couple years. Right now he does have the excuse of having less than optimal linemates, but you can ride that one only so far. I have a feeling the new coach will take care of that excuse.

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04-21-2011, 08:35 AM
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I remember during the last off season, when the player A or player B polls are popular, there was a Koivu or Kesler poll, which Mikko won pretty handily at the time. Wonder how well he'd fare after this season ....

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04-21-2011, 02:40 PM
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I remember during the last off season, when the player A or player B polls are popular, there was a Koivu or Kesler poll, which Mikko won pretty handily at the time. Wonder how well he'd fare after this season ....
Either this one:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t...ghlight=kesler

Or this one:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t...ghlight=kesler

I'd like to see what Koivu can do with legitimate top line wingers first, but yeah, after 1 season the Kesler deal looks a lot better.

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04-21-2011, 03:53 PM
  #24
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Originally Posted by Jarick View Post
Guys who are leaders and good motivators that can't play hockey are called coaches.

I wonder how much of those locker room / bench / role model / etc players were needed because Todd Richards WASN'T a good leader?

IMO, the team needs a good dose of youth, not more vets who are going to clash with the coach. And the team could use a coach that would bench the hell out of a player that whines to his agent about ice time.
You don't think Havlat deserved more ice time!? You don't think he could have done more on the PP unit than, say, Miettinen? Once the guy started getting more ice time, he started leading the team in both goals and assists. Richards was dumb to not play him so much the beginning of the season.

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04-21-2011, 03:57 PM
  #25
Surly Furious
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UMD Bob View Post
Either this one:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t...ghlight=kesler

Or this one:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t...ghlight=kesler

I'd like to see what Koivu can do with legitimate top line wingers first, but yeah, after 1 season the Kesler deal looks a lot better.
This one actually:

http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=799694

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