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Category: Minnesota-Wild

What To Pay Devan Dubnyk?

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

I got some Twitter questions asking if Andrew Hammond’s three-year, $4 million contract with Ottawa establishes the market. Simple answer: Not at all. Hammond has played 24 NHL games. Dubnyk has played 231 and has been a No. 1 in Edmonton and Minnesota.

The Wild will not be offering Dubnyk $1.3 million per year. The market for Dubnyk is basically whatever another team will pay him as a free agent (couple that with the fact there’s no obvious answer for the Wild if Dubnyk leaves).

Now, maybe Dubnyk takes less to stay in a place where he was a solid fit, but this was a $3.75 million goalie in Edmonton. For the Wild to sign him, the deal will obviously average well north of $3 million per.

The final figure will depend on term. Give him three years, the average salary/cap hit is probably more. Give him four or five years, and the Wild can probably get the average salary/cap hit to a more comfortable number. Two years makes little sense to me. 1) Why would he take two years? 2) Two years basically means you have to talk to him about an extension next summer if he has a big year.

As I mentioned recently, the biggest concern is that free-agent interview period in late June. I’d think the Wild would want to avoid it getting to the point where Dubnyk says, “Let me see what else is out there, and I’ll circle back to ya.”

more on Dubnyk and the Wild...

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: devan+dubnyk

Don’t Expect Big Changes In Minnesota

from Michael Rand of the Star Tribune,

Sometimes philosophy is shaped by options. I’m not sure if that’s what’s going on with the Wild as it prepares for an important offseason, but it could be at least part of why I got the sense from listening to GM Chuck Fletcher and head coach Mike Yeo field questions Monday that there will be no dramatic changes for the Wild.

Fletcher spoke at length about internal improvement. When asked how to beat Chicago as the years go on, one of the solutions he offered came from the team’s youth: that by his count 10 players the Wild dressed in Game 4 were 25 or younger, while the Blackhawks had just four such players.

Fletcher insisted that Chicago, “didn’t beat our A game,” which is fair enough. He also said the Wild’s goal “is to be consistently good.”

Mission accomplished, but back to that original point: is that a true philosophy or a philosophy that springs from the options the Wild has (or doesn’t have)? Even if Fletcher was inclined to make a major roster shakeup in an attempt to inject more (or a different kind of) talent to the team, could he really do it?

Minnesota will be pressed up against the salary cap, locked in by the big-money players it has already signed and the impending free agents of its own that it wants to sign (Devan Dubnyk, at the top of that list, reiterated Monday that he wants to be here and it sounds from Fletcher like the feeling is mutual, so expect that to be a smooth negotiation and for Dubnyk to be  back).

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Nothing Has Changed For The Minnesota Wild

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

“Bottom line is until we … prove that something’s different, then nothing’s changed.” — Wild coach Mike Yeo before Game 1 against Chicago.

Nothing changed. In fact, it got worse.

After an NHL-best second half and knocking off the St. Louis Blues in the first round, the Wild truly believed that with stable goaltending, more scoring punch, better balance up and down its lineup and further maturity from its young core that this would be the year to slay the Chicago dragon.

Four playoff games and six days later, the Wild learned it’s not close to overtaking the Blackhawks, who ended Minnesota’s season for a third consecutive year.

That harsh reality had to be an eye-opener for Wild brass heading into the offseason. After a period of decompression and evaluation, it’ll take an honest appraisal by General Manager Chuck Fletcher, who is expected to address the media this week, and his staff about what went wrong and how to fix it.

The problem seems obvious: The Wild still doesn’t possess that pure goal scorer and clutch playoff performer.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

It’s Over In Minnesota

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

“Bottom line is until we … prove that something’s different, then nothing’s changed.” – Wild coach Mike Yeo prior to Game 1.

Nothing changed. In fact, it got worse.

A year after many in NHL circles felt the Wild very easily could have beaten the Chicago Blackhawks in the conference semifinals, the Wild was eliminated for a third consecutive season Thursday night by the mighty Hawks in a sweep.

The Wild’s stellar second half and first-round elimination of the Central Division champion Blues was long forgotten in the aftermath of a disappointed, dejected locker room Thursday night after the Wild fell, 4-3.

Bottom line about this series: The Wild just wasn’t good enough and better take an honest appraisal this offseason of what it has to do to beat the Hawks, who will go to their fifth conference final in seven years against the winner of the Anaheim-Calgary series. The Hawks are going nowhere and in the new playoff format, it’s likely the Wild faces Chicago in the first or second round every year.

The Blackhawks have finishers. The Wild does not.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Talent An Issue For The Minnesota Wild

from Chip Scoggins of the Star Tribune,

The Wild felt quietly confident about its chances this series. Instead, Act III has been more of the same, more of the Blackhawks imposing their will on a team that can’t take that next step without first clearing this enormous hurdle.

And here’s something sobering for the organization as it ponders how to conquer the Hawks:

Jonathan Toews just turned 27 years old.

Patrick Kane is 26.

Brandon Saad is 22.

Teuvo Teravainen is only 20.

In other words, the Hawks aren’t going anywhere any time soon.

The Wild counters with Thomas Vanek, who skates as if he’s 45.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Minnesota Wild Must Now Win Four In A Row

from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,

“Obviously, we know what we’re up against right now,” coach Mike Yeo said after tonight’s 1-0 loss to the Blackhawks.

“Disappointed because we put what, in a lot of ways, we needed to in this game. We fell a little bit short but I thought our guys did a lot of good things. We didn’t get the result that I think we deserved tonight.

“We know what we’re up against, so I’m not going to get up here right now and give a big rah-rah speech. We’ve got to win a game. It’s as simple as that. In all honestly, I’ve never been here before. It’s kind of unfamiliar territory. I guess what you do is try to draw upon previous experiences even though it’s not the same. The only thing I can say is we came back from the dead once before this season, and the only way we did that was with character and belief. That’s what we need right now. The other part of that equation, the reason why we were able to make the playoffs when we weren’t supposed make the playoffs is we were able to look at it one game at a time and that’s obviously what we have to do here, too.”

The Wild has been down 0-3 twice before and swept in one of those. The Blackhawks have been up 3-0 once in the Kane-Toews era and swept the Sharks in that 2010 series.

How do the Wild brush away the frustration and the dejection and all the negative thoughts?

“That’s what we’ll ponder tonight and get ready for [Wednesday],” Yeo said. “I know there’s a lot of character in this room. We’re up against something very tough. It’s not like we’re [down] 3-0 against not a very good hockey team and I know what to expect from them, but like I said, two things, character and belief. There will be no feeling sorry for ourselves. Obviously we’re disappointed to be in this spot, but we’ve got to find a way.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

The Minnesota Wild Don’t Want To Go Down 3-0

from Robert Tychkowski of the Edmonton Sun,

They won’t be eliminated with a loss tonight at the Xcel Energy Center, but there is no coming back from 3-0, and both sides know it.

“Things can turn very quickly,” said Minnesota’s Zach Parise. “If we come out and have a really good game, all of a sudden it’s 2-1.”

That’s what happened last spring. The Wild came home down 2-0 to the Blackhawks and won both game to even the series. That’s cause for optimism, just not too much of it, Parise cautioned.

“There have been a lot of comparisons from this year to last year, but it’s a whole new year," Parise said. "Last year, good or bad, doesn’t have any impact on what we’re doing today and how those first two games went.

“I just don’t think we can expect to come home and play better just because we did it last year. That’s not how it works. We have to be a lot better.”

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Afternoon Line- Damien Cox

Power outage at XCel Energy Centre overnite reduced rink to a puddle. Got it back for skates, but likely slow for tonight.

For the Wild against mega-talented Hawks, maybe it will work a little like letting the infield grass grow long, if you get my drift:)

-Damien Cox via Twitter.

But I do believe the Wild are considered the faster team.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Your Team Is Down 0-2, Now What?

from Sean McIndoe of Grantland,

If you’re a Wild fan, you’re not in terrible shape. They almost certainly need to win tonight, and probably again in Game 4 on Thursday. That won’t be easy against a Hawks team that looks to finally be shifting into Stanley Cup mode right on time. But they’ve got a shot.

The Flames have a weaker case. They’ll no doubt get a boost from a loud crowd tonight, but the Ducks went into a raucous building in Winnipeg in Round 1 and did just fine. Calgary’s biggest problem is that they just don’t look like they’re good enough to keep up with Anaheim. They’ve still got a puncher’s chance here, but not much more than that.

And then there’s Montreal. The Habs certainly didn’t fare well in the various categories that made up this post, and after Sunday night they looked like a team that was closer to a full-scale meltdown than a comeback. So it’s tempting to write them off completely … until you remember Carey Price. The guy is going to be MVP for a reason, and if anyone can single-handedly steal a series his team has no right to win, it’s him. And the way they’re playing right now, the Canadiens might need exactly that.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Calgary Flames, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Time Is Running Out For The Minnesota Wild

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

The Wild is familiar with this “2-0 hole” thing in the playoffs.

This is the fourth time in five years the Wild has put itself into a series abyss and third consecutive year against the Chicago Blackhawks. Down 2-0 twice last postseason, the Wild won Games 3 and 4 at home, going on to victory in the Colorado series.

So all hope isn’t lost. But this year was expected to be different, the year the much-improved Wild would be able to force at least a split in Chicago.

So far, nothing has changed. The Blackhawks’ lengthy roster of lethal finishers has yet again broken the Wild’s will with quick-strike conversions seemingly any time a Wild player goofs up.

The Wild’s disappointment was palpable Monday. Hoping to get its act together in Game   3 on Tuesday at Xcel Energy Center, the Wild used Monday as a day to recover mentally and learn from the plethora of glaring, uncharacteristic mistakes it committed during two games in Chicago.

“I think no one was too thrilled about coming here today, but we knew it would be good to look at our mistakes and kind of regroup from that,” veteran Thomas Vanek said. “We’re down 0-2, but we’re down 0-2 because we didn’t play well. We played our game for two periods out of the six.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Chicago Blackhawks, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

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About Kukla's Korner Hockey

Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.

Email Paul anytime at pk@kuklaskorner.com

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