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Category: Minnesota-Wild

Kobasew Out With Sprained MCL

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

According to sources, the Wild will be without right wing Chuck Kobasew for four to six weeks with a sprained MCL. There’s also some damage to the ACL, but the swelling needs to decrease before the extent is determined. Kobasew’s scored four goals and five assists in 27 games since being acquired from Boston.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chuck+kobasew

Equipment Still An Issue For Wild

from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,

Tony DaCosta stood in the middle of the Wild’s dressing room Sunday morning at the Xcel Energy Center, holding an ice skate in each hand and exchanging wisecracks with players.

In the middle of packing the team’s gear for its first road trip since fire destroyed more than two-thirds of it on Dec. 18 in Ottawa, DaCosta seemed in his usual good mood; the Wild had won two straight games, and everything appeared to be back to normal.

DaCosta put the skates down and shook his head.

“We’re far from back to normal,” he said. “We’re about 50 percent.”

DaCosta believes a blowtorch ignited in the back of the Ottawa Senators’ equipment truck during the short drive from the Kanata Recreation Centre, where the Wild practiced, to Scotiabank Place, where the Senators defeated the Wild 4-1 on Dec. 19.

He estimated damages at about $100,000.

continued

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

Wild Must Adjust To New Equipment Quickly

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

There is no doubt this will be one of the most unique days in Wild history. Players are expected to arrive at the arena early to try to piece together equipment for the game.

“I thought it was a joke, but it’s not,” said winger Martin Havlat, who says all of his equipment was destroyed. “This is not going to be easy to play.”

There are two areas of concern: comfort and safety.

Hockey is one sport where broken-in and properly fitted equipment is critical. Players are notoriously fussy about their gear, and if it doesn’t feel right, players typically don’t play right. Also, helmets and knee braces must be custom fit.

Defensemen, such as shot-blocking specialist Greg Zanon, have modified their equipment over several years in order to protect certain places. Center Eric Belanger wears a custom-made brace for his right foot after breaking it two seasons ago.

more

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

Wild Equipment Bus Burns

via the Twitter of Bob McKenzie,

Minnesota Wild equipment van was in an accident, caught fire and much of the Wild players’ equipment has been burned so badly it’s toast.

No injuries in the accident, apparently, but if u know anything about NHL players and equipment, especially skates, players are apoplectic.

The Wild play tomorrow in Ottawa.

added 4:33pm, Follow Michael Russo’s Twitter too,

They opened up and everything was on fire. Nobody knows why. But team is in scramble mode as it tries to determine what was destroyed.

added 5:05pm, Pics of the burned equipment via Dean Molberg.

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

Boogaard’s Reputation

from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,

I’ll be doing my notebook lead on the two penalties called on Derek Boogaard Saturday night in Vancouver. The Hockey Night in Canada folks apparently went after referee Brad Watson pretty good, and Watson certainly appeared to call Boogaard with “reputation” calls.

I don’t know if Boogaard really angered Watson, or perhaps the ref wanted to showboat for the loud Vancouver faithful, but it was beyond belief how animated Watson got after the two penalties he called on Boogaard. He vivaciously waved Boogaard to the box on both calls like the Boogeyman had just committed murder—one after Darcy Hordichuk twice punched Boogaard in the face and Boogaard retaliated for the lone call and once when Boogaard fell (he may have embellished, but he swears he slipped because he was on one skate when bumped) after the Canucks committed the definition of textbook interference (fencing off) at the blue line. I thought it was Willie Mitchell, but Boogaard says it was Kevin Bieksa.

Regardless, Todd Richards couldn’t use him again—not because of Boogaard, but because he didn’t trust Watson.

more

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

Havlat’s Game Improves

from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,

Onlookers have witnessed a blossoming in the play of Wild winger Martin Havlat.

One of those onlookers has the view from behind the Wild bench.

“A visible change,” coach Todd Richards said of Havlat’s play, noting that the shifty winger’s wheels are on fire.

“He can make a play at any moment,” he said. “There are a select few in the NHL that have that potential of making a play, and he did that in Phoenix by going coast to coast on the power play and put it off the pipe.”...

While the Wild have been climbing the NHL charts since an awful start, going 12-5-3 in their past 20 games, Havlat coincidentally has found the game so many expected from him after he signed a six-year contract worth $30 million. After scoring 77 points on 29 goals and 48 assists for the Chicago Blackhawks last season, he came on board expected to pick up the slack left by the departure of star winger Marian Gaborik.

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: martin+havlat

Wild GM Thinking Immediate Future

from Kevin Allen of USA TODAY,

...Fletcher has sent a message to players and fans that he embraces the repairman function of his job.

Sure, every GM is trying to draft and plan for future success, but this is the salary cap era and there is no patience for five-year rebuilding plans. And there shouldn’t be, not when two-thirds of NHL teams are spending roughly the same amount of money for their rosters. You have to change up your roster on the fly. The mandate in the salary cap era is to rebuild and repair at the same time.

That’s why I like that Fletcher is showing aggressiveness in Minnesota. He succeeded Doug Risebrough, a true gentleman, highly respected around the league, but conservative in his approach to managing a team.

When Risebrough was in charge, it seemed as if the franchise never was able to escape the expansion team mentality. The Wild always seemed to be looking to be competitive up the road, instead of today.

more

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: chuck+fletcher

Pressure Off Latendresse In Minnesota

from Rachel Blount of the Star Tribune,

For every player who aspires to be part of a hometown team, there is another who has found that familiarity can breed surprising unhappiness. So it went with Guillaume Latendresse, who spent the final weeks of his tenure in Montreal preparing for an inevitable trade.

The lofty expectations that fall upon young French Canadian players in that city had pushed his career into a corner. Though he was completely unfamiliar with Minnesota, he viewed his Nov. 23 trade to the Wild as a chance to be appreciated for who he was, not who others wanted him to be. Relieved of both the pressure and the preconceptions, Latendresse didn’t remain a stranger for long….

“The biggest problem in Montreal was that I was born there,’’ Latendresse said. “Everyone expects more when you were born there.

“It’s really hard for a Quebec-born player to play there, because they’re looking for a French star—and sometimes, that’s not quite your role. You can bring something, but they always want more. A franchise like this, with great fans who are just here to see hockey and love hockey, that’s great for me.’‘

read on

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: guillaume+latendresse

Wild Competing

from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,

Examine Saturday’s victory at Colorado, and it might be impossible to come up with another game in which the Wild has spent more time in the opponent’s zone. The Wild probably spent three-quarters of the game forechecking the rubber off the puck.

Now, it’s safe to say the Wild is starting to get it. There’s a reason why the team has earned points in 10 of the past 13 games (7-3-3) and in each of the past four (3-0-1).

As coach Todd Richards loves to say, the Wild’s level of “compete” these days is off the charts. It has a lot to do with General Manager Chuck Fletcher’s ability to add motivated newcomers, such as Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Guillaume Latendresse.

But it also has to do with a bunch of veterans setting the tone.

continued

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

Afternoon Line

In the end, I think the Wild made the safer investment here. Size doesn’t grow on trees. I think Latendresse will become a solid, second-line, power-winger type for years to come. The Canadiens got the guy that can still possibly become a first-line offensive threat, but they also took on more risk if he’s unable to figure out what it takes to apply his talent at this level.

-Pierre LeBrun of ESPN on the Benoit Pouliot - Guillaume Latendresse trade.  More from Pierre on the trade…

Filed in: NHL Teams, Minnesota Wild, Montreal Canadiens, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: benoit+pouliot, guillaume+latendresse

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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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