Michael Russo’s Sunday Insider: Fletcher weighs options

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 12, 2012 - 9:00 AM

The Wild's GM feels like his young players form a strong group, but there's that pressure to make the playoffs.

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bobo72Feb. 11, 12 5:53 PM

There is something wrong with Fletcher's analysis. Without skilled veteran players on your top two lines, you're simply not going to compete in this league; these young guys can only supplement an already decent team, for they will all become of prime age--and earning power--at the same time. In other words, you need to build with equal parts skilled veterans, future superstars, and role players. That's how it's done in Detroit, San Jose, Boston, and Pittsburgh. And no matter the promise of "the young guys," only one of them figures to be a top-six forward anytime soon: Mikael Granlund. Thus, even if this team does bag Parise in the off-season, it's only going to have four top-six forwards on its roster. Seto is nothing but a glorified third line wing, and PMB and Lats are done as Wild players. Therefore, why not make a trade for a top-six forward? If not, where are yo going to find the other two, in free agency? This is the problem with Fletcher's mentality. It's fundamentally flawed. Mikael Granlund will need two skilled veterans as wings on the second line next year. If he doesn't have them, this team will again be in the bottom third of the conference. Nothing changes if nothing changes.

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downsideupFeb. 11, 12 7:11 PM

This team playing for and trading for the playoffs is just silly. Trade some dead weight and inflated contracts, and tell that fans this is to make the team better for years, not a one and done playoff run. As fans we deserve more. Look where playing for one year the Vikings.

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floridascottFeb. 11, 12 7:36 PM

I think the Wild should fire Mr. Fletcher and hire Bobo immediately. Clearly he knows much more and has more experience than the current Wild GM.....So what do you want Fletch to do? The roster is the roster. He can't magically change that. He has to work with what he was given and that was no prospects and the contracts of PMB, Schultz ect...Also, every team you listed you above used almost exclusively their home grown players to win the Cup. As I also recall Sid and Toews won the Cup at the age of 20 while captaining their team. So you can win with young players.

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floridascottFeb. 11, 12 7:42 PM

If the Wild makes the playoffs they will be playing Van or Det. Honestly, what are the chances of the Wild winning a series against those two? I say move whoever you can. I would also try to get Brodzy signed at $2.5M tops and if not move him also. Do we really want to pay a 3rd line center $3M a year? The Wild may be able to get a low 1st or a 2nd and a prospect for him.

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elmore1Feb. 11, 12 9:00 PM

bobo72, great analysis! Fletch is trying to pull a "Doug R" on us. How many times have we heard "next year James Sheppard is really going to light it up"? What did Fletch do with his first, 1st round draft pick? Traded him for a medicore, journeyman defenseman. I love what Hitchcock has done in St Louis!

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one73rdherdFeb. 11, 12 9:35 PM

Just like the Twins... saving prospects that most likely have a slim chance of making the pros... How is it that the top teams always have money and prospects to trade to get better and we NEVER do?

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dakfanviewFeb. 11, 12 9:39 PM

That does it Flech just told the world that Granlund is not as good as he himself once thought fire the scouts or fire yourself.

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wildforlifeFeb. 11, 1210:09 PM

If Fletch trades ANY of our better prospects I abandoned this team and become a Sharks fan.

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wdntyouknwFeb. 11, 1210:10 PM

"Fletcher is Doug R"? You haven't been following, have you? Doug Risebourogh depleted our pool of prospects with a philosophy of only-first-round-picks matter, drafted a handful of first round busts, and left our organization with nothing. Fletcher, by contrast, has shown that he has hired an excellent team of scouts, their last two draft years have loaded our organization with young talent, and I fully expect their future drafting to do the same. Who's talking about James Sheppard? Fletcher traded him for a bag of pucks.

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ctillhockeyFeb. 11, 1210:19 PM

Great reporting Russo! I think Fletch should sell at the deadline for some prospects or picks. We're not going anywhere this year (sadly). I would like to see us retain Brodziak, though. Maybe Stoner and Harding too. (For Hards, I would have to see how much teams would offer and assess whether he would sign a contract extension with us and for what price. Then decide. But I would not let the trade deadline pass without either signing him or trading him.) Okay, my arm-chair GM session is over. Looking forward to seeing what Fletcher comes up with by Feb. 27. Go Wild!

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