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Wild Musings, Marek Zidlicky, and NHL Thoughts


Guest Todd Varga
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Wild Musings, Marek Zidlicky, and NHL Thoughts 2/17/2012

The Wild dropped a heartbreaker to the Winnipeg Jets last night, losing 4-3 in the shootout. Evander Kane scored twice, and had the shootout winner. Devin Setoguchi remained hot for the Wild, scoring twice in the losing effort. Setoguchi has been on fire, scoring 4 goals since the return of Mikko Koivu on February 9th, who also scored a goal last night. The topline has actually been responsible for all of the goals since Mikko’s return, which is a huge problem (one of many, mind you) for the Wild as of late. They have zero secondary scoring right now. Matt Cullen has been snake bitten the last couple games, getting stoned on golden scoring chances in the past few games. Clutterbuck has been hurt, Nick Johnson hasn’t really been playing on a line with NHL talent, and Erik Christensen has not really been much of a factor- although he scored in the shootout yesterday and he made it look really easy. I like Christensen, and hope he finds his game here quick, because at this point he is a complete non-factor.

Now Marek Zidlicky….

What an interesting mess Zid is creating. In case you missed the past few days of this, Zidlicky told the media he would waive his no trade clause and approve a trade to the Devils, fueling speculation that the Wild was close to a deal with New Jersey. Chuck Fletcher seemed genuinely surprised, and said no deal was in place. That may or may not be true, as are all statements made by GMs ten days before the trade deadline. The Wild have to move Zidlicky. He and Mike Yeo are not on the same page, he is becoming a distraction, and in all honesty was not contributing to the team before that anyway.

Random thought: If there really is no deal in place, or no talks ongoing with the Devils, why did Zidlicky pick the Devils? Does he like the city? Does he like the team? Or did he think he could create a bunch of media buzz and false hope in fans minds by picking the team with the most desired, soon to be UFA that is being clamored about in Minnesota in the franchise’s short history? Minnesotans are salivating at the mouth at the thought of Zach Parise coming to the Wild. Convincing him to play in his home state for the foreseeable future, would be a grand slam for the Wild. The man scores goals the Wild desperately need, and would instantly become the face of the franchise (sorry Mikko). I just found Marek Zidlicky’s statement and choice of team interesting in this light, if Fletcher is being truthful, and there really is no deal in place.

Around the NHL:

-The Red Wings are ridiculous. 22 game home winning streak. Absolutely absurd, but not all that surprising given how good this team always is. What a great time to be a Detroit sports fan. The Lions are on the verge of being great, The Tiger’s have added Prince Fielder to the middle of their lineup, and the Wing’s haven’t lost at home in 22 games. Good for you Detroit.

-The Hal Gill trade worked out well, even though that is a big price for a rental player. Nashville is making their push to be a serious contender in the West. The Preds have added another talented defenseman to an already impressive D-core that will provide needed depth come the playoffs. They also add size and strength which, as we’ve seen, goes a long way in beating a team like Canucks. Montreal got two good youngsters and a pick for a UFA. You’ve got to feel good about that. All that being said, good luck to Blake Geoffrion in playing in Montreal with the media.

-Rick Nash is for sale, and is using his no trade clause to pick his team. Rumored teams include the Kings, Sharks, Rangers, Canucks, Flyers, and Bruins. All of the trade’s people have been coming up with have been really entertaining. But at the same time, it is kind of sad. Rick Nash is the Columbus Blue Jackets, and the thought of him not being there is kind of strange. I understand him wanting to move on, and wanting to be in the playoffs, it is just that “end of an era” kind of feel to it… if he gets traded. For comparisons sake: Borrowing from the world of baseball this reminds me of one of my boy hood heroes, Tim Salmon. I have been an Angels fan since I was a baby (1987 is the first season I remember). Tim Salmon joined the Angels in 1992 and retired with the team at the end of the 2006 season. Timmy was part of those brutal teams I grew up watching in the 1990s. If you’re not familiar with baseball, the Angels in the 1990s were terrible. They made the playoffs in 1989, and didn’t get back until 2002. Fortunately for them, and Timmy, they won the World Series in 2002, so it was well worth it. This is what the Rick Nash in Columbus situation reminds me off. It all worked out for Tim after he stuck with the Angels through all those years. Rick Nash has been that guy, just without the happy ending. Nash is the Blue Jacket’s Tim Salmon… unless he gets traded.

Thank you all for reading. I really appreciate everybody’s input and support.

I hope you have a great weekend.

Todd Varga

Follow me on Twitter @Wild_Halo

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Well I compare the Nash situation to the Wild a few years ago with Gaborik. No doubt the best player in franchise history, but the team moved on and while it may kill you guys if Gabby hoists the cup with the Rangers this year, it really was time for him to move on. Unfortunately Nash is buried in Columbus, a city that by all accounts he enjoys, but if he is ever going to play on a winner he likely needs to move on, and they have sooooooo many holes, if the CBJ ever hopes to be a winner they will likely have to trade him.

As far as Zidlicky, his best friend in the game since childhood is Patrick Elias, but you cant force a GM to trade you to a certain team, this is not the NBA, that is what free agency is for. If he wants to move on and play with his best friend, at the end of the season, that is their choice. Right now Fletcher has the cards, though by Zidlicky expressing his desire to be a Devil and his own upcoming ufa it likely hurt his trade value for other teams who would expect resigning him to be difficult. So by playing it the way he has, Zidlicky has hurt potential return for the wild, and if you cannot get at least what Grossman and Gill just brought in return I think Fletcher should hold on to him out of spite.

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Christensen did put up a nice shot in the shootout. I think it will takes a bit of time to get one's game on tract on a new team, with a new system, he hasn't really played that many games this season. I'm willing to give the guy some more time, his linemates haven't been lighting the lamp either.

As Yave said the reason why Zidlicky wants to go to New Jersey is to play with Elias. Zidlicky text'd him this week asking about the Devils on the day the big trade rumor broke.

I believe Parise will sign in the off season with the Wild, and it won't take much convincing. Parise wants to play in a location where he can be the star and he can win. Minnesota has more than enough cap space. There prospect pool is strong, Also keep in mind he recently bought a new home in Orono.

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