The Wild made a choice in 2012 (and arguably far earlier) that they would attempt to reach champion caliber with lots of good players void of superstars (by not tanking and building through the top of the draft). If memory serves, in recent history, only Boston has won a Cup without going full tank mode. Chi, Pitt, LA and Wash, all have the same "tanking it" in common.
Not to say there isn't hope with the non-tanking method. Certainly Nashville is close and LVK defied all conventio
The bottom six was not the problem in the Playoffs. Anyone that thinks it was has a screw loose.
It was the big guns: Koivu, Niederreitter, Zucker, and Coyle. All MIA. Parise was Ok before he broke his sternum (how in the hell do you do that?!?), and so was Granlund. But even those two only manage eleven shots in eight games, barely a shot a game. But when only 1/3 of your top lines shows up for the Playoffs, that's a recipe for disaster. Which is exactly what happened.
I'd rather not have Greenway mentored by Koivu.. if theres one sure way to ruin his development and turn him into a passive wimp that doesn't play with emotion/heart or use his size/physicality to his advantage.. thats it.
Our own Eric Staal was a superstar that season, scoring 100 points during the regular season and 28 during the playoffs for the Hurricanes. They also had Ray Whitney who played in 1300 games and had over 1000 points, Doug Weight 1200 games and 1000 points, Rod Brind'amour 1500 games and 1200 points, and Mark Recchi(HOF) 1650 games and over 1500 points in their careers. They had some talent.
Numerous "experts" are predicting Wild miss the Playoffs and a good chance they'll be correct. But there are things to be optimistic about. I still think healthy Nino could get 30 goals and have a breakout season like Zooker did last year. Unlike others, I haven't given up on Coyle, either. I fully expect to be thrilled by Zooker again. I'm really curious to see if EEk can break thru and start scoring. I'm curious and optimistic about Greenway. I think he is the real deal. Again, unlike
Weird, I can't edit my previous post.
Re-reading this, I want to add the qualifier that I don't think EEk will blossom into a quality NHL 2nd Line Center next season. Maybe in a couple years...
Numerous times over the years I've complained about Coyle being jerked back and forth from Wing to Center to Wing... With MiG firmly entrenched on RW, and no one else on the horizon (that I see) maybe, for the good of the team, Coyle should be permanently shifted to Center th