Kukla's Korner

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Category: Minnesota-Wild

Bad Move By Leipold

from Sid Hartman of the Star-Tribune,

It’s hard to understand how Craig Leipold sang the praises of Doug Risebrough when Leipold bought the Wild, only to fire Risebrough, one of the best hockey executives in the game, as team president and general manager a year later….

The johnny-come-lately owner of the Wild must not be informed of all the great things that Risebrough did, taking over an expansion club and making it pretty competitive from the start….

To top it off, Leipold didn’t have the courage to face the media and call a news conference to announce his decision to fire one of the most popular sports executives in my long media career, instead staging a conference call to let the media learn what I consider to be sad news.

more

added 10:59pm, via Darren Dreger of TSN,

The Minnesota Wild are building a list of candidates to replace fired general manager Doug Risebrough.

Sources tell TSN the Wild have contacted the Toronto Maple Leafs seeking permission to speak with Dave Nonis, the Leafs senior vice president of hockey operations.

Toronto has flatly declined.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: craig+leipold

Risebrough Out In Minnesota

from Russo’s Rants,

(Craig) Leipold was said to have agonized over the decision but decided, in the final analysis, that a change in direction was called for.

Here’s the memo from the team:

Minnesota Wild Owner, Craig Leipold, announced today that the organization will not renew the contract of President and General Manager, Doug Risebrough, beyond the 2008-2009 season….

read on

Update 2:48pm ET: From the Pioneer Press

I’ve got just three words for Minnesota Wild owner Craig Leipold:

Bring back Jacques.

Not as the coach. Jacques Lemaire, he’s been there. He’s done that.

Now that Leipold has fired Doug Risebrough, the Wild have an opening for a president and general manager.

That’s the job for Lemaire.

Update 3:36pm ET: From John Shipley at the Pioneer Press:

Asked if he’d be interested in the general manager job, Lemaire said, “No, no, no, no. I wouldn’t look at it. We had a good thing there, that’s it.”

Lemaire said he doesn’t question Leipold’s decision to fire Risebrough, but added he doesn’t see the reason for it.

“Not myself,” he said, “but I was involved in it. When you’re involved in it, you see what you’re trying to do. We were going through tough times, but everybody does, and you keep working.

Update 3:38pm ET: More thoughts on a replacement from Bob McKenzie at TSN.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: doug+risebrough

Wild Players Had Issues With Lemaire

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

In recent days, players stood up to Lemaire in the locker room. At one point during a practice huddle Thursday, one veteran actually cursed at him in front of his teammates.

Players were disenchanted he didn’t use Marian Gaborik on a 4-on-3 overtime power play in a must-win vs. Vancouver on March 31. In Dallas in March, players were furious the coaching staff took the bus back to the hotel while a dozen of them were left at the arena.

He has been in a rift with 20-year-old James Sheppard, one that came to a head in February when Sheppard asked Lemaire to loosen his grip.

much more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Jacques Lemaire Done As Wild Coach

via Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Jacques Lemaire, the only coach the Wild’s ever known, has coached his final game with the Wild.

With clear signs before the game that Lemaire was indeed done, Lemaire finally confirmed it after the Wild’s 6-3 win.

“I think it’s time for the players to get a new coach and myself look at other stuff.”

With you coach elsewhere? “I’ll see. It’s exciting. It’s an exciting job. I was behind the bench there just before the game there, and I felt I was getting really tight because it’s something I’ve done for 15 years and I like it and I have to go.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Lemaire May Be Done In Minnesota

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Coach Jacques Lemaire’s eyes sparkled after this one. He was so proud of the Wild’s effort. He was so proud he finally got the team to play like he’s wanted them to all year. Unfortunately, it was too little, too late.

Lemaire might have coached his final home game. He said afterward that his mind’s made up on whether he plans to step down or not. My gut says he will coach his final game tomorrow in Columbus.

This is a man who needed two weeks away last year to determine if he wanted to coach again. He had to be convinced to come back by Doug Risebrough persuading him that he didn’t lose the team and that he can still reach today’s players.

Judging by his rants lately, I think Lemaire’s questioning that again and has decided he’s had enough.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Jordin Tootoo Hit On Dan Fritsche Tonight

Tootoo with a shoulder to the head of Fritsche, who did have his head down.  No penalty on the play.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Nashville Predators, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: dan+fritsche, jordin+tootoo

Wild Need A Regulation Win

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

As you know, to have a chance, the Wild must win its final two games. However, now, the Wild MUST win in regulation against Nashville or its playoff chances are really, really, really in even more trouble than it is now

Here’s why: If Friday’s game goes to overtime, it means Nashville gets a point — or 89 points. The Preds already have 40 wins, meaning even if the Wild won its final two games with Friday being in overtime, it would finish with 40 wins.

Then it would go head-to-head. If the Wild wins in overtime, the Wild would be 2-2 vs. Nashville for four out of eight points. However, Nashville would be 2-1-1 against the Wild for five out of eight points, and thus would win the tiebreaker.

What does this mean? If the game’s tied with say a minute left in regulation Friday night, coach Jacques Lemaire might have to consider pulling the goalie for an extra attacker to keep it from going to overtime.

more on the Wild…

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

Lemaire Points Out Mistakes After Loss To Wings

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

“You make three mistakes on one shift at a very late moment in a game,” said Lemaire, bristling. “I just can’t understand it. It’s like we turn the lights off on three guys.

“You’ve got to think all the time, especially against a team like this. We didn’t touch the puck in the first period. So what does it tell you? You better be sharp, especially when you’ve got a chance to be [in OT]. Wake up, you know?”

Indeed, there were three mistakes, but it was Zidlicky who caused the 2-on-1. This is a mistake Zidlicky has made over and over again this season. He routinely gets enticed into stepping up in the neutral zone, and it almost always results in an odd-man rush.

“The only thing I can say is this is how you play in this situation,” an angry Lemaire said. “After that, you’ve got it in your hands. And then you don’t do it, I’m going to say it again. OK? That’s all I can do.”

more on the Wild loss to Detroit today.  I thought I would point this out to Detroit fans too, which is included in the game wrap-

“Too bad we didn’t finish,” Gaborik said. “[Chris] Osgood was shaky out there. We could have scored a couple more goals on him.”

Filed in: NHL Teams, Detroit Red Wings, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: jacques+lemaire

Wild Attracting ‘Road’ Fans

from Russo’s Rants,

You would not believe the excitement and anticipation going on right now in this city for Sunday’s matinee between the Wild and Detroit Red Wings.

It’s strange, but for some reason, sports fans from North Carolina and Connecticut and East Lansing and, most bizarre, Villanova, Pa., have flocked to Detroit because NHL matchups just don’t get bigger than the Wild and Wings. I mean, who knew there were so many Wild fans in Delaware County?

Planes were full. Hotel rooms are like going for $500 a night. Downtown was just a carnival atmosphere with all sorts of neat outdoor activities. It’s awesome that the Wild’s finally gotten onto the map because of this battle for the postseason.

read on

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

Wild Simply Boring

from Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune,

This Wild season has been one long snoozefest. My 14th season covering the NHL is about to wrap up and I’ve never been so bored covering a team—and I’m including the lockout year when no games were played, folks.

This season has been blah from the very beginning. I mean, did anything remotely exciting happen?...

The Wild, which truly believes it does it better than everybody else, is a stand-pat organization in every area.

Well, somebody better stand up this offseason and take a hard, honest assessment of things and say, “It’s not good enough.”

If the front office convinces owner Craig Leipold that this was a throw-away season solely because Gaborik was hurt, it’s an injustice to everybody who paid a dime for tickets or merchandise.

more

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

« Previous       ‹ First  < 60 61 62 63 64 >  Last ›      Next »

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

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts