Wednesday, 16 July 2008

An Off-Season Look at ... the Minnesota Wild

by Jes

Much to the joy of Canucks fans, the off-season has not been terribly kind to the Minnesota Wild.
Besides losing His Worship Pavol Demitra to free agency, the Wild also lost 2-way rock star Brian Rolston, as well as Branko Radivojevic.

Replacing them? An overpaid over-the-hill Owen Nolan.


Let's check out the roster and salary commitments for the Wild as of right now.

Goaltending - Harding and Backstrom give the Wild a fairly strong pair for reasonable salary.

Defence - The strength of the Wild, with a noticeably pricey salary structure. Not a lot of good deals down here, but a group that possesses good mobility and puck moving. The Wild will obviously utilize their speed and passing to keep up a good transition game.

Forwards - The big weakness of the Wild, especially after the departures of Rolston and Demitra. The Wild have a few decent weapons, and little else. Nolan is a decent role player, and Parrish's offence has declined in his later career. Overall, this forward group won't put up many goals.

Never underestimate what Jacques Lemaire can do with a club, and we know the Wild will certainly be tough to play against. For sure, the Wild will be even more boring to watch on TV as Lemaire will have to tighten his system even further.

Right now, the Wild don't appear to be a playoff-bound club, despite what magic Lemaire can make. The Wild will certainly be a great team at preventing goals, but the lack of quality talent and lack of offence will ultimately kill this club.

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