Wild Insider: Time is running out on Wild coach Richards

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 25, 2011 - 11:37 PM

An inability to reverse the Wild's late-season slide is only one piece of what might be the end of his coaching run here.

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hammersteinMar. 25, 1111:13 PM

Well, this is Fletcher's team ... a bunch of third-line grinders.

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kerchiefMar. 25, 1111:23 PM

I think that Richard's job should be safe for the same reasons that Fletcher's job is. You can only work with what you're given, but that is obviously not the way that it works. He probably would have been better off being the coach after the coach that replaced Lemaire. The players that were under contract and in the system when he was hired were acquired to play a completely different style than what he was brought in to implement. ///// A complete rebuild is almost impossible with the contracts and Fletcher going into his third year, but here's hoping that he has the smarts and the creativity to pull off some bold moves this off season. Cheaper and deeper should be the plan. Faster and meaner would be nice also.

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bhrnew1lMar. 25, 1111:32 PM

Mister Know it all says: It is as you say Mister Russo, maybe its fair and maybe its not. I do believe he worked very hard and nobody likes to see anybody lose their job that they worked hard at. Leo should have regrets as he really stepped out on a limb changing a direction of a franchise that had overachieved when he bought the team and a franchise that will go down in history as a model of how to build an NHL team from the ground up. Fletcher maybe will workout but I have my doubts. Leo needs to sink money in management- leadership and if by doing that he goes outside his budget then cut back on player salaries

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bugmenot99Mar. 25, 1111:57 PM

When Richards was hired I thought we should have grabbed laviolette because I was more familiar with him and knew he knew how to win. Having said that, CL would be insane to fire Richards...what new results with a different coach would he expect with the ham and eggers and their bad contracts that we have now?...I think this is where Scottie would say, "I can't change the laws of hockey, Captain". JL had a good system with a bona fide scorer in Mary-ann that Richards didn't have the luxury of possessing, and even with that how many times did we make the play-offs in 9 years? 3..with 2 1st round bounces. The Western conference is on fire...if we were in the east we'd have a much better chance and this would not even be mentioned now. Get Richard's a bona fide scorer and another year and see what CF can do with the feces DR left for the team.

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embodiedroseMar. 26, 1112:00 AM

Listen when the Vikings were losing everyone was calling for Childresses head. That was one horrible season. Richards has had two and I'm sick and tired of spending thousands on season tickets. If Richards is not fired and if next year is the same story I will not renew my season tickets. Money down the pipes three years in a row. State of hockey I do not think so.

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april24Mar. 26, 1112:01 AM

If Richards takes the fall for this I will lose even more faith in this franchise. Contrary to what Russo states, there doesn't need to be a fall guy to pacify fans. That's the problem in sports and business in general. Rather than sticking to your guns and doing what's right, you make a move to give the appearance of "doing something." Who does that serve? Certainly not the team who will need to start all over with a new coach and systems, etc...If this team had been terrible all year long I could see a change but the fact that Richards even had this team in contention this long shows he's doing something right. Every publication had the Wild finishing last at the beginning of the season and not even being close to the playoffs but TR has been able to make them competitive. So, to Mr. Leipold I say "have your GM do his job and get creative to relieve cap space and tweak your lineup to add scoring." But, if your only interested in giveing the appearance of "making a change" go ahead and fire TR. Just know that you'll be proving yourself just as lazy and uncreative as every other business who lays people off or fires people when the going gets tough. It's character time. Do you have any?

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iamwhoamMar. 26, 1112:02 AM

The solution in MN seems to be just fire coaches. A few like Brad Childress have been deserved. But Tubby, Rambis and Richards? Richards has had his hands tied pretty much and Rambis is a good coach with a young team. It's Minnesota, after all, and a lot of the holier than thou players just don't want to play here (See Ricky Rubio). Tubby is one of the best coaches in college basketball - still. It's not Richards' fault that the players just tanked and didn't show up for the last 2 weeks. If the Wild/Wolves are still in the same spots two or three years from now, then look at making changes. The circus of changing this coach to that is the worst thing that could be done. To be fair to Jerry Kill, the Gopher FB program has stunk or, at best, been mediocre for over 2 decades so when he goes out the other way in 2 years he should not feel too badly.

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shipkyMar. 26, 1112:19 AM

So when the team is winning its good coaching, when they're losing its bad players? Sorry, but it takes more than "let the players play" to be a good coach. Richards just doesn't have what it takes to be a coach for this team, every response he has is as lame as he is, "well I'll look at the tape". If coaches aren't important to the team, then tell that to Quineville, Laviolette, Babcock, etc.

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vikesapMar. 26, 11 1:08 AM

I think Chuck Fletcher is the right guy for the job. I also think that Todd Richard's job should be safe after this year, its not the system, its the players. This team lacks a bona fide goal scorer that almost every team in the Western Conference playoffs has. Anti Miettinen is a joke that gives 50% effort. Burns is talented offensively but is a major liability on defense. Bouchard is overpaid. Schultz is overpaid. Doug Riesenborough mismanaged this team for years and the current staff is paying the price. It will take time but CF is restocking the cupboard to infuse talent for the future. It is not Todd Richards fault the team failed to make the playoffs. The team cannot score, and you cannot win in the nhl without goal scorers.

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northstars91Mar. 26, 11 1:12 AM

Not fair to take it all out on the coach...

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