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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Fletcher: Wild won’t buy way out of NHL’s bottom

From the Associated Press:

The Minnesota Wild have a lot of work to do this summer.  They need to add promising young players, but also must improve the depth and quality of their roster. It’s a difficult place to be in the NHL, not quite good enough to contend for the Stanley Cup but also lacking the top draft picks to add elite talent and get better in a hurry the way the champion Chicago Blackhawks did with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane.

After missing the playoffs for the second straight year, the Wild have the ninth selection in the first round of next week’s draft.  Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said Friday he’s pleased with the amount of salary-cap space he has to make moves, more than most teams, but he insisted that’s not a blank check for free agency.

“You can’t buy your way out of the basement,” Fletcher said. “We don’t have the ability to sign five guys on July 1 at $5 million apiece, but looking at the talent pool on July 1, I would suggest that shouldn’t be our goal, too. We will patiently and methodically build this team.”

Continue Reading:

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, NHL Talk, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: minnesota+wild, nhl-hockey

Mike Ramsey Steps-Down From Wild Asst. Coach Position

from Glen Andresen of MinnesotaWild.com,

The Minnesota Wild learned it has lost its longest-tenured coach, a Wild original and one of the greatest Minnesota hockey products in the state’s history with Assistant Coach Mike Ramsey announcing that he would be stepping down effective immediately.

The 49-year-old Ramsey has been the Wild’s assistant coach since the team’s inception in 2000, and helped lead the team to a combined record of 331-291-116 and three playoff appearances. In an interview with Wild.com, Ramsey said that with three kids in high school, there wasn’t going to be a better time to step aside to be with them.

“[The decision] is not something that, believe me, happened for me overnight or anything like that,” said Ramsey, who informed General Manager Chuck Fletcher and Head Coach Todd Richards of his decision on Friday. “I’ve been in the game for 30 years now, and I’ve been with the Wild for 10. It’s been an awesome 10 years, and at the end of the year, you start reflecting on all the things you’ve done with the team and the time you spent at the rink, and the travel, and this and that. Going forward, I thought it was a good time for me to step down and pursue other things.”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+ramsey

Boogaard May Hit The UFA Market

from Michael Russo of the StarTribune,

The next time the Boogeyman uses a hockey player’s face as a punching bag, he might be doing so wearing a different uniform.

Derek Boogaard, the Wild’s 6-8 enforcer, remains unsigned two weeks prior to free agency. And, although General Manager Chuck Fletcher says he’s had “regular conversations going back three months” with Boogaard’s agent, Ron Salcer, Fletcher has indicated that he’s unlikely to re-sign Boogaard prior to July 1.

“We haven’t closed the book either, and maybe we revisit it July 1 or 2 if we don’t [re-sign him before],” Fletcher said. “But we have several areas we’re looking to improve. It comes down to, ‘How much cap space can you allocate to a certain area without compromising other areas?’”

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: derek+boogaard

Trades May Be The Only Way To Bolster Wild Roster

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Last season wasn’t a mirage. If you’ve watched the postseason, you know a string of mediocre seasons has left the Wild short on young talent, star power and depth, particularly at center.

General Manager Chuck Fletcher knows this, which is why he’s trying to build on the fly by acquiring youngsters Guillaume Latendresse and Cam Barker last season and signing college free-agents like Casey Wellman and Nate Prosser.

But a lot more has to be done. With limited salary-cap room heading into a weak free-agent market anyway, Fletcher will have to get creative and bold this offseason if he’s going to turn the Wild into a true playoff contender.

The trade route might be the only way, especially with the second-most popular trading time of the year coming up—the June 25-26 draft. But the problem is the Wild owns precious few assets that could draw back the significant pieces needed.

more

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

Minnesota Wild Pay Tribute To Mike Modano

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Will The Wild Ever Change?

from Patrick Reusse of the Star Tribune,

The Wild allowed Marian Gaborik, the most productive offensive player in franchise history, to leave as a free agent with nothing in return last summer. The team responded by spending roughly a half-hour of a 190-day season as a long-shot playoff contender.

The schedule finished with the St. Paul lads standing No. 13 in the 15-team Western Conference. This stretched to seven years (and six seasons) the drought since the Wild won a playoff series.

Much attention was brought to new coach Todd Richards’ plan to introduce a high-tempo offensive system. The bold strategy resulted in basically the same number of goals scored as in 2008-09, although there was a new and impressive standard established for 3-on-1s allowed.

continued

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

Modano Back To Where His NHL Career Started

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Modano will be honored by the Wild during a video tribute during the second TV timeout (first non-icing or goal stoppage after the 10-minute mark of the first period). It’s his call, but it appears as if at some point tonight Modano will slip on a North Stars sweater. It’s unknown if that will be in warmups, during a stoppage or after the game. He said maybe “during the game,” but I emailed Bill Daly and he says that request hasn’t been asked yet or considered.

I don’t see how he’d be allowed to wear it during the game (he wore seven or so Stars sweaters during his home finale the other day), if for no other reasons than Reebok sponsors NHL jerseys.

Modano reunited with former North Stars/Stars teammate Neal Broten this morning during a hilarious conversion that took place for about 25 minutes with us media and others contributing. Some great lines.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Dallas Stars, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: mike+modano

Report- The 2011 NHL Entry Draft Will Be In The State Of Hockey

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

Every who’s who in the NHL will descend on St. Paul in June of 2011. According to league sources, the Wild has been awarded the 2011 NHL entry draft. An announcement is expected in the very near future.

The draft is one of my favorite events to cover, although I’ll miss my hotel and frequent flier points, and hanging out with my colleagues considering now I have to cover it from a league perspective as opposed to just a Wild. I didn’t see anybody when the Panthers hosted the 2001 Draft. I was sequestered in my home constantly writing.

read on

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

Did Burrows Do It Again?

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

It’s hard to say the Wild got the shaft after referees Dennis LaRue and Brad Meier awarded them eight power plays, of which the Wild only scored on the final one, BUT, the Wild got the shaft.

After the Wild shockingly forced overtime on goals by Cody Almond and Antti Miettinen 23 seconds apart in the final 42 seconds of the third period, Alex Burrows, the king embellisher in the NHL, drew a bogus penalty in overtime when he lifted Greg Zanon’s stick into his own face and then shot his head back like he was nailed by a Matt Cooke elbow.

Zanon was called for high-sticking even though Burrows essentially high-sticked himself. It’s clear as day on video.

The refs bit, the Canucks got a 4-on-3 power play and the Canucks won it on Sami Salo’s blast through traffic. So, basically, Burrows—as is his reputation—once again made a pair of refs look bad.

Now, this was not an easy call. In real time, the refs see Zanon’s stick in Burrows’ face, so it’s hard to blame LaRue and Meier. So here’s the solution: Burrows is a known diver, an embellisher and really I’m amazed refs ever give him the benefit of the doubt.

continued and I looked for a video of the play but no luck.  Did anyone see it and if so, do you agree with Russo?

added 8:38am, You can watch the game recap at TSN which shows the penalty, although brief.

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Vancouver Canucks, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: alex+burrows

Afternoon Line

“So, I like the changes that we made, and I think that it really puts us in a good position for next year. Absolutely, no question, and we talk about that internally.

“Mikko Koivu, we think he is the core of our franchise. We’ve got a great defense, we’ve got a great goaltender, good defensemen, good forwards, and now we’ve got to build around that. We think with Mikko and Brent Burns and [Niklas] Backstrom as kind of being the [leaders of the] offense, the defense and the goaltending. We think that we’re in a really good position to build around those three players.”

-Wild Owner Craig Leipold.  More from Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune.

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

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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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