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Entries with the tag: minnesota wild
And then there were three. Saturday evening, the Sharks acquired a third player from the Minnesota Wild, James Sheppard, in exchange for a 2013 third round pick. That’s a lot of threes. He was the 9th pick, in the ‘06 draft, age 23… Still more threes.
Let’s start with some headlines that have nothing to do with three:
From David Pollak: “Summer rerun: Sharks
another deal with Wild, acquire F James Sheppard for 2013 third-round pick.”
From Fear the Fin: “Sharks deal with Wild again,
James Sheppard to the Sharks”
This week I will take a look at some former NHL players now playing in various European leagues. With the implementation of the salary cap, the average NHL players’ career is now ending when they hit their mid-thirties, as GM’s round out their roster with younger, less expensive options. This recent trend has led to an influx of big name players, such as Pavol Demitra and Evgeni Nabokov, heading overseas for better contracts and a chance to lengthen their career. Do most of these players repeat their NHL success overseas or are they clearly at the twilight of their careers?
Hasek was signed last summer after leading HC Pardubice to the Czech Extraliga championship. However, Hasek has struggled this year with a 4-10 record, a 2.80 GAA and a .898 save percentage as Spartak currently sit 18th out of 23 KHL teams.
Filed in: Non-NHL Hockey, International Hockey, | KK Hockey | Permalink
Tags: detroit+red+wings, dominik+hasek, evgeni+nabokov, glen+metropolit, martin+straka, minnesota+wild, pavol+demitra, sandis+ozolins, stacy+roest
Per various sources, the Minnesota Wild have obtained enforcer Brad Staubitz from the San Jose Sharks for a 2010 5th-round draft pick.
From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo:
Brent Flahr seems like a quiet, innocent, unsuspecting guy, but when you work with him, you learn awfully fast to never turn your back.
Take Shep Harder, the Wild’s director of hockey administration. He’s allergic to mayonnaise, so during a recent meeting, when Harder asked for “no mayo” on a sandwich, Flahr made sure it had extra mayo.
Luckily, Flahr didn’t kill Harder. But it made for a lot of laughs when Harder ran out minutes later with indigestion.
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.”
From Kent Youngblood at the Star-Tribune,
So when the NHL returned, so did Lemaire—for the long term. And tonight he’ll become the 14th man to coach 1,000 games.
And that begs the question: Has Lemaire had more impact as a player or as a coach? Lemaire played 12 seasons with Montreal. Including playoffs, he played in 998 games, totaling 974 points.
“I’m probably the wrong guy to ask, because I can see it in both cases,” said Wild GM Doug Risebrough, who was Lemaire’s teammate in Montreal for five seasons. “I guess it depends on your time frame. Your younger players probably don’t realize how good a player he was. ... He was the best two-way player I’ve ever seen play. Not of my time, but ever. He was the centerman who could pass, he had a great shot, he was smart. He played with two good players [Steve Shutt and Guy Lafleur] because he was so good defensively.”
from Russo’s Rants,
The Wild has called a 10:30 news conference for this morning at Xcel Energy Center where 37-year-old center Wes Walz, the Wild’s all-time leader with 438 games played, will announce his retirement from the NHL, two NHL sources confirmed Friday night.
Walz, one of two last Original Wild players along with Marian Gaborik, has been on indefinite leave from the team since Nov. 1. Walz’s 82 goals and 182 points rank second in franchise history behind Gaborik
Update 12:27pm ET— Press Release from the Minnesota Wild:
SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - Minnesota Wild veteran center Wes Walz, the franchise’s all-time leader in games played, announced his retirement Saturday morning at an Xcel Energy Center press conference.
via the Arizona Republic,
Coyotes defenseman Ed Jovanovski was suspended for one game by the NHL for his hit on Marian Gaborik of the Minnesota Wild during their game Wednesday night.
The suspension was announced Thursday afternoon, and Jovanovski, who has two goals and 13 assists, will sit out tonight’s game against the Chicago Blackhawks.
From Russo’s Rants at the Star Tribune,
Pavol Demitra is definitely playing. Matt Foy is coming out for him. Second straight time he’s been scratched after a two-point game. Foster skated today and hopes to practice tomorrow. Nummelin and Harding skated but won’t play.
Demitra has officially been activated for tonight’s game. Harding has been placed on injured reserve to make room for him. This is becoming a shuffling game.
Leading my notebook with the bad luck the Wild has had with facial injuries. Three guys wore full cages today. I said to Jacques it looks like college, and he said, “like a kennel.”
From the Minnesota Wild,
Fans of the National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild are encouraged to tune into ABC’s “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” this Sunday, Nov. 25, at 6 p.m. CST. “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition” can be found locally on Eyewitness News Channel 5 (KSTP). The special will air for two hours.
The episode will feature the Swenson-Lee Family of suburban Minneapolis. The Wild played an important part in the makeover.
The show airs tonight, November 25th, on ABC.
From the Dallas Stars,
The Dallas Stars announced today that left wing Todd Fedoruk has been claimed off re-entry waivers by the Minnesota Wild. The Stars and Wild will split Fedoruk’s salary (signed one-year deal for $875,000 in off-season) for the remainder of the 2007-08 season.
added 5:10pm, Tom Lynn, Asst. GM for the Wild on the Fedoruk pick-up via Russo’s Rants,
“The general manager is not happy where we are right now, so he’s made this move (Fedoruk). Some guys will have to step up or there will be other moves.”
He added, “In order to compete against some of the teams in our conference that we need to get ahead of, we need a grittier, more committed physical team. Fedoruk, we didn’t get just to come and fight. He makes us a tougher team.”
from Russo’s Rants,
I watched Canucks color guy John Garrett last night between periods of the Canucks-Oil game making it like Boogaard threatened everybody on the Canucks and their significant others.
Besides continually trying to put words in Ray Ferraro’s mouth, Garrett said the league should have an IQ test for players and that Boogaard is not the “sharpest tool in the drawer.” I guarantee you Garrett has never had a conversation with Boogaard in his life.
added 1:22pm, Alanah chimes in at Canucks and Beyond. Be prepared…
“Any time a guy takes a two-hander and breaks another guy’s leg, things are bound to get heated,” Wild left winger Brian Rolston said.
Monday, the Canucks recalled minor league tough guy Mike Brown (24 fights in the past 13 months), who last season was suspended two games for a blindside hit that left the Wild’s Matt Foy with a broken nose and concussion. Wild minor league callup Aaron Voros, who has two goals, one fight and 10 hits in five games, spent Monday night on the Internet studying Brown’s fighting tendencies.
It might only be a November regular-season game, but the NHL is also prepared. It’s sent animated, take-control veteran ref Mick McGeough in for the game, and the league headquarters will have multiple sets of eyes on this fiery divisional showdown.
Many of these types of games have not lived up to the pre-game hype, wondering if this one will be different?
from the Vancouver Province,
The Vancouver Canucks may start a three-game road trip in Edmonton tonight, but the focus is already on what’s shaping up as a grudge match Wednesday in Minnesota.
That would be the second half of a home-and-home series with the Wild, whom the Canucks drubbed 6-2 Friday at GM Place in a game that got very ugly. After a variety of elbows and chops, Canucks defenceman Mattias Ohlund two-handed Wild centre Mikko Koivu on the ankle, cracking a bone and earning himself a four-game suspension.
from the Star Tribune (Sunday edition),
Hill is ready to play and finally eligible to do so. Perhaps that will come today against the Colorado Avalanche because he’s formally served the final 19 games of his 20-game suspension for becoming the first NHL player to test positive for steroids.
“I’m as ready as I can be,” said Hill, a Duluth native who denies he used steroids last season while playing for the Islanders. “Obviously there are times when I’m a bit rusty, and maybe my timing won’t be where it should be, but I think we’ve done everything we can as far as preparing, and the rest of the stuff’s going to come the more I play.”
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
If Mattias Ohlund is suspended, it would happen before tomorrow because Vancouver has a game.
It’ll be an interesting decision. After seeing the replay again more closely well after game, one wonders if league disciplinarian Colin Campbell will take into account Ohlund was reacting to Koivu’s attempted elbow.
I would think he would want to suspend him to perhaps keep Wednesdays rematch more civil and to also keep Ohlund safe.
Also, ill tell you what, after looking at Marian Gaborik’s elbow on Ryan Kesler again, he’s lucky he didn’t get a major. It was a leap at Kesler’s head.
*More on this situation written by myself earlier today.
*Additional info on possible suspension time for Ohlund on Jason Botchford’s blog at The Province
In an unprecedented move, Minnesota Wild forward Marian Gaborik has apologized to fantasy hockey owners for playing in a defensive system.
“When developing this team it is obvious that management paid no attention to fantasy owners, but instead selfishly decided that winning games was more important,” Gaborik said in a “prepared statement.”
The Slovak scorer has 13 points in 12 games this season, including a game-winning goal against the Calgary Flames. For his efforts the Wild are off to a 9-6-2 start, but fantasy owners are frustrated that Gaborik is not a Top 5 in every offensive category.
“I will continue to help you out when I can,” Gaborik explained. “But I am afraid management is obsessed with giving Minnesota fans a Stanley Cup.”
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
This is a guy who begged to play one game after having his nose turned sideways last season. So Veilleux was taken aback Sunday when asked whether he expected to be out awhile with a broken left cheekbone.
“I mean, I’m not dead,” said Veilleux, whose face looks like he went 12 rounds with Derek Boogaard. “It’s just a broken cheekbone. I’ll be fine.”
Veilleux was nailed by a deflected shot during Saturday’s practice. Officially, the Wild can’t provide a timetable for Veilleux until the swelling subsides.
*Or as the boys from Monty Python would say: “It’s only a flesh wound!”
via the Minnesota Wild,
“Wes Walz has requested and been granted an indefinite leave of absence from the team. We have no further details at this time.”
Tapeleg at Jerseys and Hockey Love has proven, yet again, that his life is endlessly cooler than mine:
I had Monday night off, and so I was able to attend another game at the Xcel Energy Center here in Minnesota. The thing that made this special was that I went as a guest of Branko Radivojevic. Trust me, I know. What the hell? Who the heck am I that I get to be a guest of a player? Well, the truth is, I had never met the man until last night.
Check out the whole post. Tapeleg and friends got a tour of the Wild locker rooms as Radivojevic’s guest, and there’s a pile of photos from the experience.
via the Pioneer Press,
The Minnesota Wild will throw another depleted lineup on the ice tonight when they play host to the Edmonton Oilers. Marian Gaborik is out, Pavol Demitra is out and Wes Walz hasn’t come back.
Gaborik and Demitra have groin injuries; Walz hasn’t returned from an excused, and unexplained, absence and will miss his third game.
Gaborik played the past two games and played well, scoring five points, including a two-goal game in Saturday’s 4-1 victory over Calgary. He sat out practice Sunday, but reporters were told he was simply given the day off.
Asked if something changed between Sunday and this morning, when Gaborik was pulled from practice, coach Jacques Lemaire said, “Something changed a bit.”
from the Star Tribune,
Thursday morning, the Wild front office said Walz, one of the most popular players in team history, would be away for “two or three days.” Saturday night, General Manager Doug Risebrough referred questions regarding Walz to his agent, Jay Grossman.
Via e-mail Sunday, Grossman said that he understands the concern and the need to address Walz’s absence, but “the matter is personal and he is going to need additional time.”
Update 12:23pm ET: More from Michael Russo
...I think we’ll hear from Walz soon — whether he announces his retirement or says he’s thoroughly refreshed and ready to return. He’s an emotional player who has contemplated retirement before. After taking some days away from the game to clear his head, he’s always decided to stay.
This might be different though. He’s never left the team in the middle of the season, and from talking to people that know him, if he doesn’t feel he can play at the highest level, he’d walk away at peace.
from Ross McKeon at Yahoo,
But back to the task at hand: Choosing a new destination we can call Hockeytown, USA. Taking into consideration attendance, fan loyalty, a cozy relationship between the team and its region, a city that’s just right for the NHL, and our choice is pretty clear. Saint Paul, Minn., home of the Minnesota Wild, fits the bill.
Buffalo, Long Island, Denver, Boston, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia have all had their moments both recently and long ago, but the rejuvenated market in Minnesota gets our vote.
From Jim Souhan at the Star-Tribune,
With a French-Canadian lilt that transforms Marian Gaborik into “Mary-Ann,” and the ability to invert sentences like Yoda, Lemaire offers insights and hockey philosophy in a soft-spoken tone that makes listeners lean forward in anticipation.
Tuesday morning, Lemaire raved about Penguins phenom and Shattuck-St. Mary’s product Sidney Crosby. Tuesday night, Lemaire watched Crosby become the third opponent ever to score four points at Xcel Energy Center, in Pittsburgh’s 4-2 victory.
Lemaire praised Wes Walz’s checking line for its defense on Crosby—even though Crosby’s line produced nine points.
The performance left Lemaire feeling covetous. “I’d love to have one on our club,” he said of Crosby, “if they make any more.”
From Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
When “Sid the Kid” really was a kid, or more accurately a hotshot teenager burning out red goal lights for fun at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minn., Crosby, like thousands of Minnesotans, got caught up in Wild Fever. It was 2003, and the Wild was in the midst of its Cinderella run to the Western Conference finals. Crosby, a native of Nova Scotia, was 15 years old attending the Minnesota boarding school/hockey haven, and he spent many nights cheering on the Wild down at 7th and Kellogg.
“When Minnesota made the run there, I was lucky enough to see all the playoff games and go to games as a fan,” Crosby said during a telephone interview. “I went to five or 10 games during the year, too, and every game was sold out. Even for a regular-season game, the atmosphere there is pretty amazing.
“But in the playoffs, especially, it was a fun place to be. I remember thinking, ‘Boy, this would be a cool place to play,’ so it’s kind of fun that I’m going to have a chance to finally play there.”
from the Pioneer Press,
Marian Gaborik injured his groin in practice Saturday and will miss Sunday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche at Pepsi Center.
General manager Doug Risebrough said he made the decision to sit Gaborik as a precaution. The right wing is officially listed as day to day, which is how his 34-day layoff last season started.
“I’m definitely not going to miss 40 games again,” Gaborik said….
That wasn’t the only bad news the Wild absorbed at practice Saturday. No. 1 goaltender Niklas Backstrom also left practice early because of a groin injury and will not play against Colorado
from Darren Eliot at Sports Illustrated,
Watching the Minnesota Wild so far this season is to witness the importance of team identity in the NHL. They play the same way all the time. While talent is necessary to succeed, under the regime of GM Doug Risebrough and head coach Jacques Lemaire, the Wild consistenly employ a style executed by players who are well-suited to it.
From Michael Russo at his blog on the Star-Tribune,
Pavol Demitra was injured nine minutes into the third when he strained his right hip on a shorthanded rush with Marian Gaborik. Demitra will be evaluated tomorrow and is day-to-day “for now,” said assistant GM Tom Lynn.
*At 7-0-1, the Wild is off to their best start in franchise history and remain the only team unbeaten in regulation this season.
From Kent Youngblood of the Star Tribune,
Morning skates on game days are a part of NHL tradition. But [Andy Murray] Murray isn’t a big fan, calling them one of the most overrated things in hockey. Murray rarely makes the skates mandatory. In St. Louis they’re called “necessary skates,” in that players who think it’s necessary will skate.
Turns out Wild coach Jacques Lemaire doesn’t entirely disagree.
“Myself, the morning skate is for the player that doesn’t play a lot,” Lemaire said. “Or the player that wants to shoot a couple pucks, players that want to feel their legs. That’s it.”
Lemaire runs a quick morning skate, and makes more of them optional as the season wears on. The players have varied views of them. Brian Rolston isn’t a big fan; Pavol Demitra loves to get in his morning skate.
from Kevin Allen’s blog at USA TODAY,
When Brian Rolston’s family heard that the Minnesota Wild were offering players a mother-son NHL road trip this season they jokingly wondered whether coach Jacques Lemaire understood that his mother, Joyce, might view that as an invitation to do some work as an assistant coach.
“She has a lot of jam,” jokes Brian’s brother, Ron, who is a coach for the U.S. National Development team. “We were afraid that she was going to be telling Jacques and the players how to play.”
thanks to a KK member for the pointer…
from Michael Russo of the Star Tribune,
...Again, we’re talking about Martin Skoula here.
Lemaire simply loves him, as displayed by Skoula’s ice time in critical situations. Late in tight games, one constant will be Skoula ... on the ice ... every other shift.
Lemaire has complete faith in him, which is why Lemaire asked Risebrough three times at June’s NHL draft, “What’s going on with Skoula?“He’s the only guy he cared about,” said Risebrough, who then got on the horn and re-signed the veteran to a two-year contract.
From John Shipley at the Pioneer Press,
Roman Voloshenko’s stint as a Wild prospect appears over after he quit the club’s top minor league team to play in Russia.
“I told him, ‘I think if you go home, you’ll never play in the NHL,’ ” Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said Saturday.
Voloshenko was the Wild’s second-round pick in the 2004 entry draft, 42nd overall. A 6-foot-1, 200-pound wing, he made a splash in his debut with the Houston Aeros, earning 33 goals among 60 points in 69 games in 2005-06.
from the AP via the West Central Tribune,
The mothers of 17 Wild players proudly accompanied their sons as the group left Minnesota on Friday for three games on the West Coast. Last season, the team invited the fathers on a trip.
“She’s very excited. Last year, when the dads got to go, she was very jealous right from the get-go,” said right wing Mark Parrish of his mom, Barb.
The mothers gathered for photos at the arena in the morning before the plane left for Phoenix, where the Wild face the Coyotes on Saturday night.
from Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal,
Minnesota Wild winger Derek Boogaard is out to inflict some pain, which is exactly what the six-foot-seven, 260-pounder did last year when he scored a hat-trick of sorts—knocking Oilers’ Ales Hemsky, Ladislav Smid and Marty Reasoner out of action for a spell.
All three were staggered by Boogaard hits—the Oilers would say with some malicious intent in the case of Hemsky—although Boogaard claims he was only out only to create mayhem and Hemsky got caught in his train tracks.
“Speaks to his effectiveness that we’re speaking about him right now,” said Oilers coach Craig MacTavish. “He hasn’t fought, either. You don’t want to play to his strengths, obviously. He’s a helluva fighter….”
From Michael Russo at the Star Tribune,
Attention, fantasy hockey owners: Jacques Lemaire has a red-hot tip for you.
Pick up Eric Belanger, and fast.
“When we got him, I felt that he’s going to get 20 goals,” the Wild coach said. “Now, I feel he’s going to get 80 points. Playing on the power play like he does, playing on a pretty good line, he’ll get some points.
from the Star-Tribune,
In an e-mail to and subsequent phone interview with the Star Tribune on Sunday, former Gophers winger Tyler Hirsch accused the Wild of “misrepresenting the truth” and being “unethical” after the team announced last week that he signed a contract with the Houston Aeros, its American Hockey League affiliate….
According to Hirsch on Sunday, “I have neither verbally committed to or signed anything resembling a contract with the Minnesota Wild or their minor-league affiliates. I have never laid eyes on a would-be contract and am currently a free agent.”
From Brian Murphy at the Pioneer Press,
Playing wire to wire is all that remains for Gaborik, 25, to prove he belongs in the same company with Heatley, Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin and Marian Hossa, next-generation superstars with equal talent but more durability.
“I think that’s fair,” Wild general manager Doug Risebrough said. “The true picture of him persevering for 80 games and being productive in all situations, he’s just got to play the 80 games.”
Pierre McGuire, a former NHL coach and current TSN and NBC hockey analyst, said it is time for Gaborik to elevate his stature.
“When you’re talking about great players like Mario Lemieux, Wayne Gretzky, Steve Yzerman, no matter what they did individually, over time, you have to prove you can do it for an entire season,” McGuire said. “Very few players can do what (Gaborik) does. But it’s longevity, durability. Do they have the determination? Are they willing to pay the price? It’s a huge recognition year for him.”
From John Shipley at the Pioneer Press,
Derek Boogaard is listed as day to day after taking a puck to the head during Friday morning’s practice at United Center. It opened a gash that required about 20 stitches and left a wound not disimilar to the one Boris Karloff wore in “Frankenstein.”
Asked what hurts worse, a fist or a puck, Boogaard didn’t have to think.
“They both hurt,” he said.
Ask a stupid question, get an honest answer.
From Michael Russo at the Star Tribune,
In the real world, Brian Rolston is a young man at age 34. In the hockey world, he’s a dinosaur.
“But I feel young, which is all that matters. If I was on the Red Wings, I’d be really young,” a laughing Rolston joked.
Plus, if you’ve paid attention to his first two years in Minnesota (or Sunday’s scrimmage in White Bear Lake), you realize Rolston, despite a few gray hairs, isn’t some breaking-down, old veteran.
(Gotta love a Red Wings joke at the end of the day…)
From the Minnesota Wild team website
The Minnesota Wild announced a new, yet familiar look on Friday when it unveiled its 2007 version of the RBK Edge uniforms. While all 30 National Hockey League teams will be playing with newly-designed uniforms, some have made drastic changes. The Wild has remained true to its original design with several minor changes.
The most notable change appears on the team’s Iron Range Red home sweater, which will move up in status from the “third” jersey to become the team’s primary home sweater, replacing the green from years past. That change comes in the form of a new wheat-colored shoulder yolk and the removal of the forest green striping at the waist.