Kukla's Korner Hockey

Kukla's Korner Hockey

Not A Happy GM In Minnesota

10/24/2022 at 7:44pm EDT

from Michael Russo of The Athletic,

As much as any Wild fan, Bill Guerin is disappointed and dumbfounded by the team’s inexplicable 1-3-1 start after a franchise-record 113-point season a year ago.

He can’t believe how many good, relied-upon players are off to subpar starts. He’s dismayed by the overall defensive play. And he’s displeased with the= compete level, not so much in regards to effort but in how the team is working....

He doesn’t want to waste an option this early by storming the locker room gates and tearing into guys. And, for now, he’s letting the coaches coach and hasn’t gone the route of hosting individual meetings.

But the Wild general manager made clear during a sitdown with The Athletic on Sunday’s off day in Montreal that it’s time for Wild players to get their acts together or there is a danger of things going off the rails.

“I think it’s simple here: We’re just not a pretty team,” Guerin said, which is a stunning statement when one considers last season’s entertaining squad was a very pretty team.

“We have some skill — maybe not as much as some other teams — so when we don’t play hard, heavy, physical, when our competitive level isn’t where it needs to be, we struggle. And when we are, we’re good. That’s how we became good. We’re not doing that right now. I don’t see it. And I want to start seeing it.”

read on ($)


What? Their goaltending tandem stinks, their defense stinks, and they lost Fiala. Whose fault is all that, Billy?


Yeah, with Fleury now reaching his late thirties (and no proven backup) the risk goes up every season that a bad stretch is more reflective of a goalie losing his game. Fiala would have been tough to keep even without Dumba. They have some young talent at forward but I’m not sure what options they have to get better on D. When you let in a bunch of goalsa few games in a row it’s easy to start losing focus and structure and start running around trying to do someone else’s job. 


Yeah, and it’s on his predecessor(s) that they’re in cap hell as a result of those buyouts, but I don’t like him blaming the players for all that. I did see they have guys with like 7 points who are also -6, but that’s still probably goaltending.

I’d have looked hard at a bigger tank than they’re going to end up in, being honest. Guess it’s not too late. Build around Kap, your 2-3 D who are young and passable, and your firsts, and get some FAs and a goalie in 1-2 years? I’m no GM but anyone who didn’t see them taking a big step back this year was lying to themselves.

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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.

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