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Injury woes for the Wild - time for a trade.


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A few weeks ago I was going to suggest that Yeo was going to be the next coach fired this season as the Wild have slipped out of a playoff spot, but I'll retract those thoughts for now the team has more serious problems.  I fully expect Yeo to remain behind the bench to the end of the season.  The offseason will probably be a good time to move forward with a coaching change.


The Wild placed Koivu on the IR today following ankle surgery and will miss a month.  Parise is also on the IR for complications following a stress fracture, the timetable for his return is still unknown.   Today also Harding was placed on the IR as he is not responding favorably to medication changes.   Koivu, Parise, Harding and Suter have been responsible for most of the early success this season, but we aren't going to be able to count on Ryan Suter's hattricks on a regular basis so now is the time for the talented young forwards to find the net.


Eric Haula has been recalled, that gives the Wild 3 centers under the age of 22.   It is time to make a trade folks.   The Wild need depth at center and possibly some more depth in goal if they want to contend for a playoff spot this season.

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I think they will probably look at someone they can pick up fairly cheap as a rental/UFA guy....Unless they plan on Heatley leaving VIA trade or UFA for nothing at the end of the year.......He has been there a couple of seasons now and nobody has gotten killed so it is probably time to move him before his karma catches up with him. :ph34r:

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If Minnesota does make a trade, I hope they don't get too crazy and give up too many of their pieces in order for a short term quick fix now.


I know the team is in serious injury trouble and is in real danger of missing the post season, but to give up large chunks of their future for an outside chance at the playoffs THIS year (or even a weak playoff run) simply isn't worth it.


My gut reaction at first was to try to somehow get Ryan Miller from Buffalo....but unless the Sabres don't ask for too much for him (which I suspect they might), it doesn't make sense for the Wild to give up young players for a goaltender who will be a FA at year's end with NO guarantee he will want to even entertain the idea of staying in Minnesota after that.

If Harding is going to be out for signficant time, Minnesota, crazy as it sounds, may be better off trying to get someone's backup goaltender on the cheap and take their chances with that guy and either Backstrom (also injury prone) or Kuemper and see how the season plays out.


Certainly, with the kind of talent the Wild have and the payroll they have committed to certain players, the team is right to want the playoffs again ASAP, but in looking at the big picture (goaltending issues/injuries, no Parise, no Koivu, no Jared Spurgeon), really, there isn't a good fix for this team right now.


Players on the team that ARE available (Coyle, Zucker, Granlund, Scandella, Suter, just to name a few) simply are going to have to either continue to play well or step up their games big time in the absense of key players. Just no way around that.


Dany Heatley?

Hey, whatever the Wild can get for him is fine. Even if they don't get an NHL ready player in return, at least it would free up a roster spot for some others on the team looking to try to make an impact.

Heatley HAS been a good soldier (playing wherever he is asked...from scoring line to 4th line), but the bottom line is, he really hasn't been that effective this season, he will be a UFA at season's end, and there is no indication that he will ever sniff the kind of numbers he once put up years ago.


Now perhaps on a deeper, more experienced team he may do better as an add on piece (hence a tiny bit of value as a trade piece for Minnesota), but it is clear he won't do any more than he is for the Wild themselves.

And anyone who thought Minnesota was going to try to re-sign him at season's end simply has NOT been paying attention.

Come the off season, there will be some other winger options for either about the same or less than what Heatley is making now (around 5-6 mil if I remember right).


Vanek, Moulson, Olli Jokinen, and Mikail Grabovski without looking anything up come to mind right away. There are probably many other options as well.


As for centers, I don't know.

Granlund and Coyle obviously are young talented players and the Wild may very well just have to go with them as their numbers 1 and 2. Not the ideal situation, but again, given the current state of the season, and what can reasonably be expected from a 'patched together' Wild team should they even manage to squeak into the playoffs (not likely given the depth and strength of the Western teams), it is best I believe as opposed to giving up a lot for a minimal gain in any other 'big name' center that could possibly be had.


Perhaps, just like the goalie situation, trying to grab a veteran center from another team that is willing to let one go for relatively cheap?

Again, not sure what really is avaliable center-wise.

Maybe move a defensive type center like Torrey Mitchell to a top line and see how he fares with offensive minded wingers....yea, not having Mikko Koivu available does bring all sorts of problems to setting up lines for Minnesota.

But I still stand by that if Minnesota is going to miss the playoffs this year, they best do it while giving the playing time to guys they want to continue to develop anyways like Granlund, Coyle, Zucker, etc  up front.


And finally, Coach Yeo.

My faith in him has diminished quite a bit. He may or may not finish out the season with Minnesota (not really sure if the Wild have a solid replacement for him even if they DID want to fire him at this time).

Obviously, I don't know what Minnesota ownership or the GM is thinking, and I am not in the Wild locker room, but just seems to me like Coach Yeo has lost his team a bit.

Either that, or his methods simply aren't meshing too well with the personnel he has available.

Most of the time, one can see what a given coach is trying to accomplish with a team, and I can honestly say I have NO FRIGGIN clue as to what Yeo is trying to do out there, what kind of identity he is trying to carve for this team, and what solutions he has for dealing with the pervasive scoring problem this team seems to have had for years now.


I normally am not one to jump all over a coach and demand his firing when a team doesn't do well (after all, can he really control injuries or players not executing?), but in his case, I am not entirely sure he is making the most out of who he has on the team...in addition to some questionable healthy scratches i see on a game to game basis.


But again....does Minnesota have any other good options for a coach at this time? Probably not.

Given the off season, maybe they can have a good hard look at other candidates, but in the meantime, just like the center issue, the Wild just may have to ride things out with the current coach....and hope he doesn't do a whole lot to further dismantle any positives the team may actually have from now till the off season.


My 39 cents.

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