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Wild 2014/2015 Regular Season

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Guest

Time will tell but if history repeats itself Vanek will prove to be more valuable than Koivu and Brodz combined IMO.

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PierBridge

Not sure if it was mentioned but Koivu is outstanding on faceoffs. Our best and top 15 in the league. Huge asset.

I dont see anyway Vanek meets most of the Wilds fans expectations.

Im thinking 22 goals about even plus minus at best and he will miss at least 10 games.

Hope im wrong but thats how I see it.

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OnAFly

Even if he gets 22 goals, that still way more than Heatley got us. As long as Vanek isn't a total defensive liability out there, it will be a big upgrade.

I hope people aren't expecting Vanek to put up a 40g season. 20-25g is reasonable. In the last 5 years, he's +11. If he keeps those numbers, we got what we were hoping for.

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CaptainMusky

I hope people aren't expecting Vanek to put up a 40g season. 20-25g is reasonable. In the last 5 years, he's +11. If he keeps those numbers, we got what we were hoping for.

Exactly! If people are expecting him to put up 40 goals then their expectations are far too high. Look at it as an upgrade over Heatley since their salaries are about the same.

Better on power play, better play maker and still a sniper. He should help a lot on PP and get significant time on it.

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RK

You can argue Koivu gets the points because of who he plays with, but you can argue it the opposite direction as well. Would that same line be as productive with someone who isn't as good an all-around player and fairly skilled playmaker? Even with less skilled wingers on some fairly bad Wild teams, when he's played a full season or close to it he's been between 60 and 70 points/season more often than not (67 in 08/09, 71 in 09/10 and what was with Andrew Brunette and Antti "Missed the Net" Miettinen on his wings for Pete's sake). That's pretty solid production.

BB - you're making my point exactly. No way Koivu has as many goals as Vanek. Vanek is a scoring winger. That's not what Koivu is, or Brodziak for that matter. But if you only measure value by goal production you're missing something. They're different kinds of players, and Koivu has a skillset a lot of teams would love to have. A roster full of high skill, goal scoring forwards who can't play team defense, won't backcheck and are only interested in one end of the ice doesn't win you many games. (See: Oilers, Edmonton)

It'll be interesting to see how productive Vanek ends up being. Hard to predict but if he gets close to 30 it's a huge upgrade at left wing. For sure he'll help their power play just by adding a right-hand shot to the mix. Last year's Koivu/Parise/Granlund PP unit was all left-hand shots and they got kind of lopsided as a result. They improve their PP by 10% and that's a lot of points right there...

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CaptainMusky

You can argue Koivu gets the points because of who he plays with, but you can argue it the opposite direction as well. Would that same line be as productive with someone who isn't as good an all-around player and fairly skilled playmaker?
Valid point.

I guess I dont see Koivu as this God like backchecking player as has been eluded to. Yes he is great on the faceoffs. yes he is a good forechecking player, but he has certainly lost speed (still more than adequate) and I have seen evidence of this on the backcheck. I see his forecheck being the biggest asset in this. Its because of the pressure they put on that allows him to do well against the top lines, less than the back check defensive zone coverage IMO anyway.

I have no hatred for him, but like I said earlier what worries me is the amount and remaining term of his contract. He is commanding a ton of money and for me that money could be spent toward other players that are more productive or are young like Coyle. That is what I am afraid of that it will put the Wild in a bind.

All things considered if it works to keep him and sign all the young studs then I will be glad to keep him around because he has been a dependable player and consistently gets adequate points and plays against many teams top lines.

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Last nights Penalties. Looks like we're going to have some rough games in the Central this year. After last night it looks like I'm coming down to the game tomorrow!!!

penalty summary

1st Period

05:52

MIN Joel Rechlicz served by Zack Phillips Roughing - 2 min against Ryan Reaves

05:52

MIN Joel Rechlicz Roughing - 2 min against Ryan Reaves

05:52

STL Ryan Reaves Roughing - 2 min against Joel Rechlicz

08:56

STL David Backes Interference - 2 min against Christian Folin

11:13

STL Alexander Steen Hooking - 2 min against Cody Almond

11:54

MIN Michael Keranen Slashing - 2 min against Alex Pietrangelo

14:56

STL Paul Bissonnette Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Stu Bickel

14:56

MIN Stu Bickel Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Paul Bissonnette

2nd Period

02:44

STL Ryan Reaves Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Joel Rechlicz

02:44

MIN Joel Rechlicz Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Ryan Reaves

05:42

MIN Justin Falk Tripping - 2 min against T.J. Oshie

08:25

MIN Justin Falk Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Paul Bissonnette

08:25

STL Paul Bissonnette Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Justin Falk

08:25

MIN Joel Rechlicz Misconduct (10 min) - 10 min

08:25

MIN Joel Rechlicz served by Zack Phillips Unsportsmanlike conduct - 2 min

3rd Period

06:19

MIN Matt Dumba Hi-sticking - 2 min against Ian Cole

15:29

MIN Charlie Coyle Roughing - 2 min against Ian Cole

15:29

STL Ian Cole Roughing - 2 min against Charlie Coyle

15:53

MIN Keith Ballard served by Zack Phillips Holding - 2 min against Alexander Steen

15:53

MIN Keith Ballard Slashing - 2 min against Kevin Shattenkirk

15:53

MIN Keith Ballard Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Kevin Shattenkirk

15:53

STL Kevin Shattenkirk Roughing - 2 min against Keith Ballard

15:53

STL Kevin Shattenkirk Fighting (maj) - 5 min against Keith Ballard

15:53

STL Kevin Shattenkirk Misconduct (10 min) - 10 min

20:00

STL Ryan Reaves Roughing - 2 min against Joel Rechlicz

20:00

MIN Joel Rechlicz Roughing - 2 min against Ryan Reaves

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CaptainMusky

Thats not a typical Wild penalty stat line of the last few years. Many were concerned about not having a physical presence after losing Stoner. Are they still concerned? Bickel has kind of been a menace this preseason.

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Guest

Can't read too much into those stats IMO....last chance for those on the bubble to show their stuff...not too much came out of that game...interesting they claimed Prosser off waivers so he's right back here...maybe means the young Dmen are not ready afterall

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BartmanMN

Just a Gong show last night. Should have brought the Hanson's

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CaptainMusky

Too much too soon!

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RK

Yeah not much stock to be put in a game where 5 of the top 6 forwards and the top four D are sitting at home. And totally unsurprising it turned into a punch-up with Wrecker, Bickel, Reaves and Bissonnette all in the game.

Couple things positive though - Backstrom sounded like he did ok even under siege all night, and Zucker might have cemented a roster spot at least temporarily with a good game.

Going to be very interesting to see how the final roster shakes out especially on D. Picking Prosser back up on waivers really changes that mix up a lot. If Folin or Dumba aren't in the top 6 they'll get sent down, which is absolutely the right move I think. So is Ballard the 7th D? Guy seems to be dinged up again, and frankly I like Prosser's game more than Ballard, and was happy to see they got him back. Don't know what it is but Prosser seems to drive other teams crazy, and with Stoner gone, we could use some sandpaper on D. So who's the bottom pair then? Prosser, Dumba and Folin are all 3 right-hand shots. Ballard's a left shot. So does one of the other three play their off hand? What to do, what to do... Like I said, going to be interesting.

Forwards are a little less intriguing. Mainly down to a couple 4th line spots it sounds like. Does seem like Zucker's gotten better at some of his weak spots like d-zone and neutral zone defense. Be nice to have his speed and scoring threat. But what do you do when Fontaine comes back? He's been kind of forgotten since he's been hurt, but he's another guy that can play up and down the lineup. Or do you keep a guy like Sutter who's a pest and great PK guy?

All I can say is it's pretty cool to have these kinds of battles for spots that far down the depth chart. When your only real question marks are 4th line left wing and who's the 7th D, your roster isn't looking too shabby.

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Quote:
maybe means the young Dmen are not ready afterall

Or they want to trade Ballard. It sounds like Folin and Dumba are ready to go and I hope they stay up. I've always liked Prosser.

Quote:
So is Ballard the 7th D? Guy seems to be dinged up again, and frankly I like Prosser's game more than Ballard

agreed!

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Guest

I would like to see Dumba stay up...never have like Ballard although he did come through in the Playoffs, my guess is it will be very fluid in the 5th & 6th slots.

Adding Prosser was a great move IMO.

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RK

Yeah the way the Prosser deal worked out was pretty crazy. Wild had wanted to resign him to a 2-way deal, he wanted a 1-way. So ends up signing late in free agency with the Blues on a 2-way, and the Wild pick him back up off the waiver wire with the contract they wanted in the first place, for a $26k waiver fee. I'm sure Fletcher had it planned like that all along smile

Prosser does require waivers to go to Iowa so some risk there in sending him down, but man he's a good depth guy to have around. BB I know what you mean about Ballard. Never been crazy about him, but he's a solid veteran so hard to sit him or send him packing in a trade. Look at how banged up our D got at one point last year. If it happens again, would much rather have Ballard and Prosser in the lineup than Falk and Blum.

As for Dumba and Folin, only way it makes sense to keep them up is if they're playing in the top 6. If they're going to rotate in and out as the 6/7 D, send them to Iowa, let them play big minutes and develop.

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CaptainMusky
All I can say is it's pretty cool to have these kinds of battles for spots that far down the depth chart. When your only real question marks are 4th line left wing and who's the 7th D, your roster isn't looking too shabby.
This is 100% the most exciting thing about this team. There are battles everywhere and its not because we have terrible players and a bunch of scrubs hashing it out for a spot. THese are competitive matchup with quality players pretty much across the board. Getting very excited. Also looking forward to Backstrom possibly being healthy for once. That would be nice. He can be solid if he just fights off injuries. He hasnt been completely healthy in a couple years.

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Guest

How do you not keep Dumba up after last nights performance? Yeo in a great position setting the roster IMO...and Vanek on the PP is panning out as planned...Ballard might be odd man out IMO and I'm good with that.

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CaptainMusky

BB I agree but the only thing to consider about the young "2 way" guys is that the wild won't want to bury some young player on the roster with little ice time when they could play extensive minutes in Iowa.

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Guest

I agree...but no need to bury him IMO...we'll know tomorrow I guess...either way seems like they have the tools to get it done...now just execute.

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CaptainMusky

Yeah I hate seeing some young talented guy get buried too. I'd rather see them get pushed to see if they can up their game to the extent of not losing confidence.

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OnAFly

It's gonna be a tough call between Dumba and Folin. Interesting to see what happens with Bryz too. They will either release him or try to sign him to a 2-way. Hopefully he's still an option as the goalie circus we had last year is almost certain to come up again at some point.

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I'm thinking both Folin and Dumba stay up and play the 5-6 D. I also think Bickel and Almond stay up which leaves Veiux out on waivers which I would think he'll pass but who knows. I think Bryz is going to get a 2 way deal and be sent down, now if he takes it who knows..

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RK

After the last couple games I really don't see either Dumba or Folin getting sent down. Af anyone goes it's Folin, but he would be their biggest D, he's sound defensively and has a bomb of a shot. Dumba is a risk/reward guy that would do a lot for their second unit PP... Sounds like they aren't going to send Prosser down either so: Suter/Brodin, Spurgeon/Scandella, Dumba, Folin, Prosser, Ballard Plus Bickel can play wing or D... 9 D on the roster. I guess that's cool but have to wonder if Ballard isn't trade bait, especially if he can't stay healthy.

Be interesting to see what they do with Bryz... Would he take a two-way just to keep his foot in the door? Or do they risk an outright release and hope he's available if Backstrom or Kuemper go down before Harding is back?

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After his $23m buyout Bryz played for the Oklahoma City Barons and the Las Vegas Wranglers and both times he was quickly sent up to the NHL so maybe he's willing to play in Iowa. The guy obviously doesn't need the money when he is getting $1.6m per yr over 14 years.

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CaptainMusky

Yeah, Bryz is still getting just shy of $2M a year from Philly so money is no issue. He clearly likes it here. I love the guy. He may not be the superstar goalie but he is entertaining and you need a guy like that around to keep the others in check. Far too serious sometimes.

I wouldnt be surprised if Ballard were traded.

You guys see Leddy got dealt to the Islanders? Salary cap move there. Hawks were over the cap to that point.

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Bear55

Nothing wrong with giving Dumba and Folin 10-20 games each to see who is ready to stick, these things kind of have a way of sorting themselves out over the course of a season. Maybe they both make it or maybe they both end up in the AHL, lots of time to figure it out, training camp just tells us who makes the team at the beginning of the year.

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RK

Wild released Bryz from his PTO, but apparently Fletcher and his agent are going to talk.

Wild also put Almond and Vellieux on waivers, and reassigned Wrecker and Gabriel. Almond is on a one-way and has a clause in his contract that he can go back to the Swiss league if he doesn't make the Wild, so be interesting to see if he goes to Iowa or back to Europe. Have to think he'd be high on the call-up list if guys get hurt.

What the heck is going on in Winnipeg? They trade with Montreal for Peter Budaj, then turn around and place him on waivers right away?

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CaptainMusky

What the heck is going on in Winnipeg? They trade with Montreal for Peter Budaj, then turn around and place him on waivers right away?

that's odd for sure. Did Garth Snow take over? Lol

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What the heck is going on in Winnipeg? They trade with Montreal for Peter Budaj, then turn around and place him on waivers right away?

To quote Dumb and Dumber, pick em up! Add him to our stable of unpredictable goalies. lol

On Cody Almond, why not try and trade Brodziak for something, anything and have Almond play the 4th line Center if he gets through waivers. They are pretty similar players at this point only Almond has some upside and something to prove.

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BartmanMN

Stat sheet for quick reference

full-18186-49833-image.jpg

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