Wild fans speak about the 2011-12 season, the players and the team's future: Part 1 of 2
Written by Derek Felska | 26 April 2012
For Wild fans, all they have to do is to tune into the NBC Sports Network each evening to be reminded this season was yet another failure to make the post-season. 4 seasons have past since the Wild last made the Stanley Cup playoffs. In that time there has been 3 different coaches; with the last year of Jacques Lemaire's tenure and two more under Todd Richards and now one year under the belt of Mike Yeo there has been 4 years of mediocrity where at times the Wild flirted with the idea of playoffs only to come up short. Needless to say, in the State of Hockey and with attendance at the Xcel Energy Center no longer a guaranteed sellout as it used to be, the pressure is on. Perhaps no person is feeling the 'heat' more than Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher. Even though he may have recently been given a 1-year contract extension (giving him two years left on his current deal) I think its safe to say he realizes he needs to start having his club showing some more tangible results. While there is the ever popular notion the Wild prospect pool is brimming with talent at virtually all positions it still could be years before those young players are all contributing to this team. The experts have chimed in, Wild owner Craig Leipold shared his thoughts to the Minneapolis Star Tribune's Michael Russo here. But what do Minnesota Wild fans think? Are they buying what the organization is selling? Are they under the belief this franchise is on the verge of turning it around or do they feel they're following a club that is circling the drain?
So I asked four Wild fans a series of questions about their assessment of the 2011-12 season as well as the current direction of the franchise. Brian Mills, a classmate and Minnesota hockey fanatic like myself. One of these fans are wild.com message board regular KISSArmyMan who you may remember chimed in with his two cents about the Wild's performance at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft last summer. Our other two respondents are regulars of the Wild portion of the Hockey's Future message boards. Jarick, a former wild.com regular who along with a few other fans has their own blog called FirstRoundBust.com, and Se7en a California-based Wild fan. I asked each of these fans 8 questions on a variety of Wild related subjects. So would these fans see things the way Homer Simpson does as they predict the end is near? What sort of end is it? The end of hope or the end of mediocrity?
Management is a big part of success. The Hockey News even noted this in a recent issue where they continue to gush about Detroit Red Wings GM Ken Holland and Assistant GM Jim Nill. So what do Wild fans think of this club's upper management? This is the first portion of a two-part article where the fans give their thoughts about the Wild and its prospects for the future. But let's take it a step farther. What do YOU think? Share your responses in the comment section below. Do you agree with these Wild fans? (click on the link for the rest of the article)
I thought it was a very good read. I like reading the different thoughts us fans have. There seemed to be a lot of Koivu criticism. From a fan standpoint I just wish he would be more forthcoming about the teams affairs and his role on the team as captain, but I guesss he isn't that kind of guy. Just leaves something to be desired I guess. But what do I know I watch the games from my couch he is in the lookeroom and the team is behind him apparently.
It was a rough year and we could really use a good one next year to lift our spirits here in the State of Hockey.
i like these roundtable articles. i think V. Secrets point came off as negative but I'd say there is a point there; if you're on this forum or others constantly as some of us are you have read these opinions and rationale before. But instead of looking for them all over a board or in a 40 page thread it's nice to get a cross section of opinions of different fans on specific topics in one space. if we were forced to tag our posts you could accomplish the same thing with forum searches but who's going to do that.
Wild fans speak about the 2011-12 season and the future, according to fans all eyes will be on Mikael Granlund, Part 2 of 2
Written by Derek Felska | 22 April 2012
How do you respond to pressure? Does it make you anxious or are you cool, calm and collected? Do you feel your stomach tighten or do you break out in hives? How people handle pressure is a big difference maker of what makes certain individuals successful while others fall short. Professional athletes are no different. Terms like 'poise' and 'calm demeanor' as well as 'doesn't panic' are what you want to hear about future prospects. Yet, the pressure of being a prospect is one thing but the pressure of actually delivering on your supposed potential is another. As we finish up our 'Wild fans speak' article, it is abundantly clear that expectations are going to be extremely high for Mikael Granlund who is thought by many to be one of the best players outside of the NHL. Some fans are even referring to Granlund as Baby Jesus, is he going to be able to deliver on being the team's savior? For the most part Granlund has handled the pressure tremendously, and has already accomplished quite a bit by winning a Sm-Liiga championship with HIFK Helsinki as well as a World Championship before he's turned 20 years old. Yet, could the mounting pressure be catching up to him? Afterall, a guy who has been one of the most dominant players in a tough men's league like the Sm-Liiiga should just dominate at this year's U-20 World Junior Championships right? Well yes and no. Granlund did end up being one of the leading scorers in the tournament but in the most pressure packed moment of the tournament for Team Finland, a shootout chance where he could keep his team's hopes alive just watch what took place.
The five fans we talked to discussed Granlund and many other questions pertaining to the Wild and the franchise's current direction. The first fan is Brian Mills, a classmate and a hockey fanatic like myself. One of these fans are wild.com message board regulars in KISSArmyMan who you may remember chimed in with his two cents about the Wild's performance at the 2011 NHL Entry Draft last summer. Our other two respondents are regulars of the Wild portion of the Hockey's Future message boards. Jarick, a former wild.com regular who along with a few other fans has their own blog called FirstRoundBust.com, and Se7en a California-based Wild fan. I asked each of these fans 8 questions on a variety of Wild related subjects.
This is the second portion of a 2-part fan survey. You can see the first part here which includes the responses about Mikael Granlund. I want to take this opportunity to thank each of these individuals for contributing their views. But I'd like to challenge my readers to share their views as well. Do you agree with these fans' assessments of the direction of this club or what do you see happening? Please share your comments below. Without further adieu here is their responses to the final four questions of the fan survey. (click on the link for the rest of the article)