Tuesday, June 22, 2010

It's the NHL Offseason too!

The Timberwolves aren't the only bad team in the Twin Cities this offseason. Oh no, the Wild were downright atrocious last year as well. A lot of that had to do with a tough time adjusting to life without Marian Gaborik and life without Jacques Lemaire. A bigger part still was the season long injury troubles of Pierre-Marc Bouchard, who had post-concussion syndrome.
Well, last year, they tried to create a more up tempo attack, which was tough without Gaborik and flew in the face of what they had tried their first 10 years. They didn't have a pivot other than Mikko Koivu with Bouchard on the bench, and their best scorers, like Martin Havlat, were in a lurch without someone in the middle to get them the puck.
There is a lot of work for this team to do, and they don't have the flexibility, really, to do much with it. They have a strong set of blueliners, actually, and with the acquisition of Cam Barker, they have an influx of under contract, young talent, and they may trade from that position of strength to acquire a solid threat up the middle. They also have several talented wingers, though they seem to skew for the rough and tumble enforcer types, like Clutterbuck, Boogaard and now they traded for San Jose's Brad Staubitz. Perhaps that simply means they don't intend to retain Boogaard.
There has been the rumor that the Wild were looking at acquiring Nathan Horton from Florida, but it appears instead he will be traded to Boston. There was also the suggestion the team should look at Tomas Plekanec who excelled for the Canadiens this year, adding him as a free agent. Alas, it now seems the Habs will keep him. What then, for the Wild? Why is it so difficult for this town to add big name free agents, especially when hockey is concerned?
For a city with a fanbase as rabid as the one in Saint Paul, things HAVE to get better. The way things are looking right now, however, it appears that that may take some time.



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