Michael Russo’s Sunday Insider: Never terrible enough

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 4, 2011 - 7:24 AM

The Wild will miss the playoffs (again) but will not lose enough to stumble into a draft pick like top rookie Jeff Skinner.

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ctillhockeyApr. 2, 11 7:56 PM

Here, here, Mr. Russo. I wholeheartedly agree. One thing the General Manager can do to help the plummet is to sell the UFA's at the trade deadline; not only do we get draft picks but also call up the AHL boys, maybe lose a few extra, and tank in the standings. Fletcher couldn't have done that this year without disrespecting the team who was playing way above themselves at that time. It's just too bad we didn't go on our losing streak prior to the trade deadline. Then Fletch would have been justified in putting the guys on sale, even for a 4th round pick or a bag of pucks. I'm still hoping we can drop 2 or 3 spots. I'm cheering for Toronto against Ottawa right now!

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wildforlifeApr. 2, 11 8:05 PM

All of you seem to think the crowds at the X next year are going to drop off dramatically because of another bad year. Hate to break it to you people but the crowds there will never dip below 17,000. At least not if we keep having .500 seasons like we are now. This state is way too passionate about hockey and there's way too many Wild supporters to let that happen. I personally wish the attendance would drop off big-time so we stop making such a profit thereby forcing Leo and company to finally get serious about making this franchise a legitimate contender by bringing in some big talent to draw the fans back. But until the Wild finally pull an Edmonton I don't see attendance dropping very much any time soon.

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justbecauseApr. 3, 1112:57 AM

Yes, I'm sure the Wild owner(s) is laughing at how it's spending to the cap on a non-playoff team and is happy to keep it that way as long as the fans keep showing up! So you think the Wild are not going to get serious about spending the same amount on a contending team until the fans stop showing up?

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mrblueskyApr. 3, 11 7:47 AM

How do we get out of this cycle? Cant we trade someone to move WAY up in picks? I think everyone on these boards, and in the seats at the X, would watch some terrible hockey for years (like we havent been already) to be able to have a cup contender for years to come! Now we watch poor hockey most nights and will get the 11th pick, big deal. Are we doomed for poordom forever?

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jrolsonApr. 3, 11 7:49 AM

"Why don't we have the Sidney Crosbys and Taylor Halls?" In the case of the Pens, Minnesota does not have a Ray Shero, Mario LeMieux and/or a Dan Bylsma. Start with that. The Wild keep assuming that the lemmings will keep popping $4,000 for a season ticket. Nyet.

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mrblueskyApr. 3, 11 7:49 AM

PS. Are we going to go out and bring some toughness back to the Wild? Or, do we have to watch them get bullied, watch our younger star players get hammered on every night, again, next year? I still dont know why we got rid of Boogie and Scott, not impressed by that decision, at all.

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joshisdrunkApr. 3, 11 8:09 AM

Russo, I though you were smarter than this. You honestly think the coach and GM should look the players in the eyes and tell them to intentionally tank games for the future of the franchise? Even in my pee-wee hockey days, I was never coached to lose a game. I can't imagine that would go over too well with professional athletes, and I don't imagine it would do much as far as gaining respect in the locker room. Not to mention, these guys play for stats which determine their future paycheck. The draft is a crap shoot - sometimes they pan out (B.Burns drafted #20), sometimes they don't (J. Sheppard drafted #9). I, for one, don't want to see any team go out and intentionally throw the game, even if it is a meaningless game.

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schmidty2goApr. 3, 11 9:15 AM

I have said it before and I will say it again. We all knew the Wild was Fools Gold when they were winning at the deadline. Fletcher needed to be the "bigger" GM and look his fans (and owner) in the eyes and tell us our team isn't good enough for a deep playoff run while he sold the five UFA's. It would have given us FIVE picks, helped replace the missing 2nd rounder from Kobasew, helped the Wild fall to where they should have been (the 5th-7th worst), allowed us to check out the new kids... and most importantly, allowed Fletcher the chips to make a big splash (or two with Burns) to really reset this franchise and add the talent needed to be good long term. That is what should have happened... but nobody was willing to see this team for what it was back near the trade deadline. Fools Gold.

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hammond88Apr. 3, 11 9:21 AM

Zach parise...... make it happen fletch. Don't know about the rest of mn but I'm sick of watching the wild get beat on. We are a joke.

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10cuplemaireApr. 3, 1110:34 AM

Amen Russo. Wild should suit up every single player mentioned in this article it has the rights to next year straight out of camp. If this is the future Wild, bring it on!! What in the world would Wild have to lose? Yesterday vs Lightning was capsule of whole season. Wild played their version of "well", got outshot, relied on goaltending to keep within sniffing distance, couldn't score, took some bad penalties, had trouble getting through neutral zone (whats up with Todds new "Drop Pass At Offensive Blueline And Put Your Teammates Offside" play? The new rage), and got completely discombobulated on forward lines after Madden went down because TR still has no idea who can do what together as linemates, much less who isn't doing anything at all anyway and might as well have joined Madden in the locker room and kept other lines intact. That's it. That's what the Wild does. Early in season they were looking for their "Identity" (Gag me). Well, I'd say they found it in the form of a generally weak team, both up front and on D, led by a weak coach who very possibly has had the world record time of 2 years to prove he's in over his head, fed by a weak GM who didn't want to upset "chemistry in the room" at the trade deadline, hired by a weak owner who likes to spend his wifes money. Weakness. It's in their blood. At least for the first 2 years. Step it up and show us SOMETHING, Wild men Leo, Chuck and Todd.

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