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CreaseAndAssist

Quantum Leap: Minnesota Wild Edition, 3 Moments in Team History We Would Change

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I had started this article a little before free agency began.  I am sure I could have selected more 'events' to change, but I decided to stick with 3.   Enjoy and discuss.    

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I had no idea the Wild offered Hossa $8.4 million a year for five years...  That's big bucks even in today's environment - let alone way back then...

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Posted (edited)

I (especially) agree with your pivotal point in history of drafting Pouliot instead of Kopitar.   And since championship teams are developed through the draft, I would add three (of what obviously is many more) draft decisions that stifled more ultimate success.

 

 Your point on Pouliot instead of Kopitar

1) Tyler Cuma instead of John Carlson

2) Matt Kassian choice over Jonathan Quick

3) Mario Lucia over Johnny Gaudreau 

 

Hindsight is way too easy, but man, if you're described as a TALENT scout, I'm not so sure the hindsight excuse is applicable in these specific cases.

 

  

Edited by 4Check

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9 minutes ago, 4Check said:

I (especially) agree with your pivotal point in history of drafting Pouliot instead of Kopitar.   And since championship teams are developed through the draft, I would add three (of what obviously is many more) draft decisions that stifled more ultimate success.

 

 Your point on Pouliot instead of Kopitar

1) Tyler Cuma instead of John Carlson

2) Matt Kassian choice over Jonathan Quick

3) Mario Lucia over Johnny Gaudreau 

 

Hindsight is way too easy, but man, if you're described as a TALENT scout, I'm not so sure the hindsight excuse is applicable in these specific cases.

 

  

 

I figured I'd just pick one selection and leave at that.  Because second guessing draft picks in many ways is low hanging fruit and honestly its a rabbit hole that could've been 10-12 events easily.  

 

We traded up to draft Tyler Cuma (sigh).  

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41 minutes ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

I figured I'd just pick one selection and leave at that.  Because second guessing draft picks in many ways is low hanging fruit and honestly its a rabbit hole that could've been 10-12 events easily.  

 

We traded up to draft Tyler Cuma (sigh).  

Definitely true.  But the point remains.  Managerial decisions to often (it appears anyway) draft for size or positional need rather than talent plus skill growth potential is a formula for failure.

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49 minutes ago, 4Check said:

Definitely true.  But the point remains.  Managerial decisions to often (it appears anyway) draft for size or positional need rather than talent plus skill growth potential is a formula for failure.

 

Are you advocating for the best player available?  I see some merit to that, but at the same time you do have address your needs on an organizational level through the draft.  Fenton seems to be fixated on 'smart' players.  Tommy Thompson got giddy talking about Tyler Cuma's ability to skate backwards...I think sometimes scouts get fixated on one small part of a player's game and then ignore the shortcomings the player may have.  

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2 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

Are you advocating for the best player available?  I see some merit to that, but at the same time you do have address your needs on an organizational level through the draft.  Fenton seems to be fixated on 'smart' players.  Tommy Thompson got giddy talking about Tyler Cuma's ability to skate backwards...I think sometimes scouts get fixated on one small part of a player's game and then ignore the shortcomings the player may have.  

Definitely side with the best player available.   That said, IMO, if a C or RHD are even close to the BPA, I would take those more difficult positions to fill.

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Posted (edited)

If we're being honest I would send him back to keep the North Stars in Minnesota so young me wouldn't have been so heartbroken.😆

 

I agree 100% with all of your assessments in the article.. but there are so many mishaps from this organization to choose from its hard to narrow it down to 3 I'll attempt to choose others than you did and add a few honorable mentions.

 

1. I would say not getting a guy like Babcock or Laviolette for Coach when they were on the market was a huge mistake but I also don't know if the Wild ever actually had a shot at landing either of them.

 

2. Parise/Suter contracts- While we can say this move helped the Wild make the playoffs in the short term it didn't push them over the edge and I still consider it one of the worst moves the Wild have made.. because not only did they sign one player to a contract that handcuffs your finances and ability to move them for a decade plus.. they doubled down on it.. and neither of them have produced or are producing anywhere near what they should be for that money/term.

 

3. Hitching the wagon to Koivu as captain and franchise "star" when he's ideally a 3rd line/PK center.. who's best days should have probably been spent centering line #2 and 1st PK at best and not line #1/1st PP. Every skilled player that has been put with him has pretty much failed to live up to what they could be offense wise.. so is this something in the water? the other players? or Mikko? 

 

Honorable mentions:

 Any of the bad moves-  This would include losing players to FA(Gaborik), trades(Burns and Leddy) and losing players(Tuch, Haula) to protect others from expansion. I would also include losing high draft picks for guys that weren't worth trading for(Hanzal, Moulson ect).. all of these could be listed as things I would go back and change.

 

-Giving out NMC/NTCs ..while its good to give some NMC/NTC contracts out to a player that deserves it and you want to keep around.. I feel like the Wild gives them to the wrong players and a bit too often.

 

- This isn't just a single incident but it has frustrated me beyond belief that the Wild's scouting, drafting and development are so horrible.. and have never been fixed! not to mention the fact they like to rush prospects to the NHL instead of letting them develop in Houston or now Iowa.

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Gnarkill

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I totally forgot about gaborick walking away for nothing! Far and away the begining of the end.

I'm not sure if it was a true trade rumur or just fantasy, but I remember a rumur of a trade, gaborick at his peak for the rookie sadin twins.

If that was real it would have been a steal.

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5 hours ago, Gnarkill said:

If we're being honest I would send him back to keep the North Stars in Minnesota so young me wouldn't have been so heartbroken.😆

 

I agree 100% with all of your assessments in the article.. but there are so many mishaps from this organization to choose from its hard to narrow it down to 3 I'll attempt to choose others than you did and add a few honorable mentions.

 

1. I would say not getting a guy like Babcock or Laviolette for Coach when they were on the market was a huge mistake but I also don't know if the Wild ever actually had a shot at landing either of them.

 

2. Parise/Suter contracts- While we can say this move helped the Wild make the playoffs in the short term it didn't push them over the edge and I still consider it one of the worst moves the Wild have made.. because not only did they sign one player to a contract that handcuffs your finances and ability to move them for a decade plus.. they doubled down on it.. and neither of them have produced or are producing anywhere near what they should be for that money/term.

 

3. Hitching the wagon to Koivu as captain and franchise "star" when he's ideally a 3rd line/PK center.. who's best days should have probably been spent centering line #2 and 1st PK at best and not line #1/1st PP. Every skilled player that has been put with him has pretty much failed to live up to what they could be offense wise.. so is this something in the water? the other players? or Mikko? 

 

Honorable mentions:

 Any of the bad moves-  This would include losing players to FA(Gaborik), trades(Burns and Leddy) and losing players(Tuch, Haula) to protect others from expansion. I would also include losing high draft picks for guys that weren't worth trading for(Hanzal, Moulson ect).. all of these could be listed as things I would go back and change.

 

-Giving out NMC/NTCs ..while its good to give some NMC/NTC contracts out to a player that deserves it and you want to keep around.. I feel like the Wild gives them to the wrong players and a bit too often.

 

- This isn't just a single incident but it has frustrated me beyond belief that the Wild's scouting, drafting and development are so horrible.. and have never been fixed! not to mention the fact they like to rush prospects to the NHL instead of letting them develop in Houston or now Iowa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

All good choices.  I thought a lot about the Suter / Parise thing.  I also thought about saying we should've signed Pavol Demitra in 2005 when he was a free agent instead of trading for him in 2006.  If we didn't make the playoffs and dealt Dwayne Roloson and Willie Mitchell at the deadline, perhaps we could've done something with that extra 1st round pick.  Claude Giroux would've been available...

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On 7/10/2018 at 9:07 PM, CreaseAndAssist said:

(...)  Claude Giroux would've been available...

 

True, but do you think the Wild's management would have selected him instead of a no-name guy who would have finished playing in the bottom rank of an obscure team in the Elbonian amateur league ? 😉

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Even if they had taken giroux they would have tied to make him a checking defense first forward until his skills and offensive drive disappeared.

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On 7/10/2018 at 8:07 PM, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

All good choices.  I thought a lot about the Suter / Parise thing.  I also thought about saying we should've signed Pavol Demitra in 2005 when he was a free agent instead of trading for him in 2006.  If we didn't make the playoffs and dealt Dwayne Roloson and Willie Mitchell at the deadline, perhaps we could've done something with that extra 1st round pick.  Claude Giroux would've been available...

 

I do know Russo addressed this back when it occurred, why the Wild traded for him rather than just sign him the year before as a UFA, and his response was that the Wild did try to sign him as a UFA, but Demitra did not want to sign with Minnesota. He didn't say if the Wild didn't offer enough money, or that Demitra preferred LA to Saint Paul, or that he wanted to go to a more established team, or whatever the reason was. But he did confirm the Wild tried to sign him as a free agent.

 

 

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10 hours ago, Villette/Lavaux said:

 

True, but do you think the Wild's management would have selected him instead of a no-name guy who would have finished playing in the bottom rank of an obscure team in the Elbonian amateur league ? 😉

 

Bobby Clarke couldn't even remember his name when he went up to make the selection...

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3 hours ago, IllaZilla said:

 

I do know Russo addressed this back when it occurred, why the Wild traded for him rather than just sign him the year before as a UFA, and his response was that the Wild did try to sign him as a UFA, but Demitra did not want to sign with Minnesota. He didn't say if the Wild didn't offer enough money, or that Demitra preferred LA to Saint Paul, or that he wanted to go to a more established team, or whatever the reason was. But he did confirm the Wild tried to sign him as a free agent.

 

 

 

That was the hated evaluation year you've talked about...where we wanted to see how thing went using Matt Foy or Kyle Wanvig instead of spending big $$$ on free agents.  Only until a threatened exodus by the fans...suddenly they opened the pocketbook.  

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I kind of think the coaching hires after Lemaire needed a do-over. I think Todd Richards was in over his head, never being able to make in game changes and always having to "watch the video." But then firing him to grab Mike Yeo I feel was a mistake. Not that Richards deserved to finish out his last contract year, but by this time the Wild were an established club, with a lot of veteran players. Now Fletcher brings in this young guy who no one knows.  I think they should have pursued a Babcock or Laviolette or more established coach. I don't think there was a lot of respect for Yeo from the veteran core.

 

This may be a minor do-over, but bringing in Thomas Vanek  because he was Jason Pominville's best friend  (Hey kids! See a pattern!) was another poor choice. Especially when it gets out the your head coach had to be "convinced" that Vanek was going to be right for the team. And then the way Vanek continuously disrespected the coach (eye-rolling after a Yeo temper tantrum, telling Yeo which line he needed to be on, etc.) just showed that he was nothing but trouble.

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Yeo was an AHL Coach the whole time he was the big clubs head coach. Terrible coach. 

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There's two guys at work I talk to about the Minnesota Wild and even at that we hardly discuss much. Mostly because I don't think they're all that interested.

 

But here's one scoop. One guy, who I view as really old school... I asked, "What do you think of the Wild hiring Paul Fenton?" He said, "He doesn't play on the ice." I had all I could do to not laugh in his face and roll my eyeballs at him. The situation here is I live in a relatively rural part of Minnesota, after spending most my life in and around the Twin Cities. Often I ask myself why are people here so phucking backwards with everything they live and breathe? Seriously, are they that uneducated that whatever General Manager is hired doesn't make them think or blink twice?

 

Most everyone around here hates their jobs, hate their life situation, can't stand their bosses or owners of where they work... etc., etc. And yet they wish to not pay attention to who runs things from the top down. They don't care about politics, the cities they live in, the overall communities they spend time in... They just go to work each day waiting for the weekend and beyond that life is what it is.

 

But they have choices. None of which they make based on cognitive input. Okay, whatever.

 

So I look at the Wild and can't help think about when the North Stars were here. In my opinion what drove out the North Stars weren't the fans as much as the owners and administration. They drive the boat in a matter of speaking and fans either enjoy the ride or they don't take a ride. It's up to them to keep their business going by keeping the fans happy or that boat either sails away never to return or it sinks.

 

Then I look at the Wild ownership (the Stars too.) What made the team tumble? How did so many fans lose interest? In Minnesota hockey is huge. However you either bump into someone who loves the sport or is tarnished by it and could care less.

 

In my opinion the biggest moments in history regarding the Wild all deal with who owns them, who their friends are, who has what say in the team and why haven't the North Stars or the Wild been more riveting to fans whether they're from here or strewn about the country? It's boring. They don't do anything that's very notable? I mean sure they win games, get to a few playoff games but they don't all get on the same page and aim toward winning a Cup.

 

In my case I want to know more about why are all these business owners share holders of the Wild? What do they want out of it? Just money? Are they silent partners who really don't care how they make money as long as it keeps rolling in? Do they not know that with a few extra noses to the grind stone on their end they could double, triple or even quadruple their investments?

 

Sure, I often question the players and coaches but the front office, all the top brass and owners are where it's at. Choices they make are put on the ice and if those choices are blindly made why are they not being held responsible? If we don't have the owners and everyone above a coaches head going in the right direction, how the hell can the team head in the right direction?

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1 hour ago, rottenrefs said:

There's two guys at work I talk to about the Minnesota Wild and even at that we hardly discuss much. Mostly because I don't think they're all that interested.

 

But here's one scoop. One guy, who I view as really old school... I asked, "What do you think of the Wild hiring Paul Fenton?" He said, "He doesn't play on the ice." I had all I could do to not laugh in his face and roll my eyeballs at him. The situation here is I live in a relatively rural part of Minnesota, after spending most my life in and around the Twin Cities. Often I ask myself why are people here so phucking backwards with everything they live and breathe? Seriously, are they that uneducated that whatever General Manager is hired doesn't make them think or blink twice?

 

Most everyone around here hates their jobs, hate their life situation, can't stand their bosses or owners of where they work... etc., etc. And yet they wish to not pay attention to who runs things from the top down. They don't care about politics, the cities they live in, the overall communities they spend time in... They just go to work each day waiting for the weekend and beyond that life is what it is.

 

But they have choices. None of which they make based on cognitive input. Okay, whatever.

 

So I look at the Wild and can't help think about when the North Stars were here. In my opinion what drove out the North Stars weren't the fans as much as the owners and administration. They drive the boat in a matter of speaking and fans either enjoy the ride or they don't take a ride. It's up to them to keep their business going by keeping the fans happy or that boat either sails away never to return or it sinks.

 

Then I look at the Wild ownership (the Stars too.) What made the team tumble? How did so many fans lose interest? In Minnesota hockey is huge. However you either bump into someone who loves the sport or is tarnished by it and could care less.

 

In my opinion the biggest moments in history regarding the Wild all deal with who owns them, who their friends are, who has what say in the team and why haven't the North Stars or the Wild been more riveting to fans whether they're from here or strewn about the country? It's boring. They don't do anything that's very notable? I mean sure they win games, get to a few playoff games but they don't all get on the same page and aim toward winning a Cup.

 

In my case I want to know more about why are all these business owners share holders of the Wild? What do they want out of it? Just money? Are they silent partners who really don't care how they make money as long as it keeps rolling in? Do they not know that with a few extra noses to the grind stone on their end they could double, triple or even quadruple their investments?

 

Sure, I often question the players and coaches but the front office, all the top brass and owners are where it's at. Choices they make are put on the ice and if those choices are blindly made why are they not being held responsible? If we don't have the owners and everyone above a coaches head going in the right direction, how the hell can the team head in the right direction?

 

Honestly, you should've told him Paul Fenton will be on the ice...then a few weeks into the season ask him what he thinks of how well Fenton is playing and watch him scramble and try to figure out what to say next.  It could be like your own sort of inside joke that is on him.   

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9 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

Honestly, you should've told him Paul Fenton will be on the ice...then a few weeks into the season ask him what he thinks of how well Fenton is playing and watch him scramble and try to figure out what to say next.  It could be like your own sort of inside joke that is on him.   

He knows the role of GM's and such but I found it stark that there was such a huge disconnect between how valuable a GM needs to be while not putting one thought into what goes on off the ice. Like 😱

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7 hours ago, rottenrefs said:

He knows the role of GM's and such but I found it stark that there was such a huge disconnect between how valuable a GM needs to be while not putting one thought into what goes on off the ice. Like 😱

 

(shrugs)  That's sad.  Yet, its my experience (also living in a rural area) that unless is a fan is a die hard, the minute details of professional sports is a fog to a lot of people.  What do you mean they can't just sign someone?  They're the same dopes that believe the ownership hasn't spent money on its roster.  Its the same thing I get to hear as a High School football coach when some dope asks us why can't we do something like the Packers or the Badgers?  I don't even know where to begin with such a moronic statement.  You just shrug your shoulders, politely listen, maybe shake your head discretely at their ludicrous suggestion...and let them walk away before I tell my coaching colleagues about the latest 'great idea' someone passed along and we get a good laugh about it.  

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On 7/10/2018 at 2:51 PM, Gnarkill said:

If we're being honest I would send him back to keep the North Stars in Minnesota so young me wouldn't have been so heartbroken.😆

 

I agree 100% with all of your assessments in the article.. but there are so many mishaps from this organization to choose from its hard to narrow it down to 3 I'll attempt to choose others than you did and add a few honorable mentions.

 

1. I would say not getting a guy like Babcock or Laviolette for Coach when they were on the market was a huge mistake but I also don't know if the Wild ever actually had a shot at landing either of them.

 

2. Parise/Suter contracts- While we can say this move helped the Wild make the playoffs in the short term it didn't push them over the edge and I still consider it one of the worst moves the Wild have made.. because not only did they sign one player to a contract that handcuffs your finances and ability to move them for a decade plus.. they doubled down on it.. and neither of them have produced or are producing anywhere near what they should be for that money/term.

 

3. Hitching the wagon to Koivu as captain and franchise "star" when he's ideally a 3rd line/PK center.. who's best days should have probably been spent centering line #2 and 1st PK at best and not line #1/1st PP. Every skilled player that has been put with him has pretty much failed to live up to what they could be offense wise.. so is this something in the water? the other players? or Mikko? 

 

Honorable mentions:

 Any of the bad moves-  This would include losing players to FA(Gaborik), trades(Burns and Leddy) and losing players(Tuch, Haula) to protect others from expansion. I would also include losing high draft picks for guys that weren't worth trading for(Hanzal, Moulson ect).. all of these could be listed as things I would go back and change.

 

-Giving out NMC/NTCs ..while its good to give some NMC/NTC contracts out to a player that deserves it and you want to keep around.. I feel like the Wild gives them to the wrong players and a bit too often.

 

- This isn't just a single incident but it has frustrated me beyond belief that the Wild's scouting, drafting and development are so horrible.. and have never been fixed! not to mention the fact they like to rush prospects to the NHL instead of letting them develop in Houston or now Iowa.

 

 

I remember back in the day when the team had that rotating captaincy. After a while, everyone was tired of it. And a lot of people were screaming for Koivu to be named captain. As far as a "star"? Well, "star" is relative. Compared to the rest of the Wild roster, yeah, Koivu was probably a "star". Compared to the rest of the league? Maybe not. And it didn't help that the Wild FO constantly pimped him as a "star". Even back when he was drafted, his ceiling was pegged at a solid two-way 2C. But the Wild FO acted like Koivu was on par with other 1C's like Eric Staal, Joe Sakic, Pavel Datsyuk, etc. And then giving him that $7.5M contract because "he does all the little things right" probably soured a lot of us on him.

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3 hours ago, CreaseAndAssist said:

 

(shrugs)  That's sad.  Yet, its my experience (also living in a rural area) that unless is a fan is a die hard, the minute details of professional sports is a fog to a lot of people.  What do you mean they can't just sign someone?  They're the same dopes that believe the ownership hasn't spent money on its roster.  Its the same thing I get to hear as a High School football coach when some dope asks us why can't we do something like the Packers or the Badgers?  I don't even know where to begin with such a moronic statement.  You just shrug your shoulders, politely listen, maybe shake your head discretely at their ludicrous suggestion...and let them walk away before I tell my coaching colleagues about the latest 'great idea' someone passed along and we get a good laugh about it.  

And that's where great coaches stand out. They know (unlike the Wild) how to capitalize on utilizing the talent they have to get the most out of them. IMO any coach can come up with whatever scheme but if they don't have the proper pieces to plug into those schemes they're not going to get anywhere. Great coaches morph their schemes to match the player talents they have.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, rottenrefs said:

And that's where great coaches stand out. They know (unlike the Wild) how to capitalize on utilizing the talent they have to get the most out of them. IMO any coach can come up with whatever scheme but if they don't have the proper pieces to plug into those schemes they're not going to get anywhere. Great coaches morph their schemes to match the player talents they have.

 

Hence the difference between Jacques Lemaire and Mike Yeo. People hated it, but Lemaire constantly juggled lines to get the best matchups or to put players in situations to succeed.

Mike Yeo had his system, and come hell or highwater, you are going to play in my system like I say or else.

Edited by IllaZilla

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55 minutes ago, IllaZilla said:

 

Hence the difference between Jacques Lemaire and Mike Yeo. People hated it, but Lemaire constantly juggled lines to get the best matchups or to put players in situations to succeed.

Mike Yeo had his system, and come hell or highwater, you are going to play in my system like I say or else.

OF course Lemaire was even more demanding about playing his systems (and rightfully so).   

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      True, but do you think the Wild's management would have selected him instead of a no-name guy who would have finished playing in the bottom rank of an obscure team in the Elbonian amateur league ? 😉
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      I do know Russo addressed this back when it occurred, why the Wild traded for him rather than just sign him the year before as a UFA, and his response was that the Wild did try to sign him as a UFA, but Demitra did not want to sign with Minnesota. He didn't say if the Wild didn't offer enough money, or that Demitra preferred LA to Saint Paul, or that he wanted to go to a more established team, or whatever the reason was. But he did confirm the Wild tried to sign him as a free agent.    

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