Archive for the ‘Minnesota Wild’ Category

Last season: 39-35-8, 86 points, 3rd in Northwest, 12th in West.

Additions: Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi, Mike Lundin, Darrol Powe.

Losses: Martin Havlat, Brent Burns, Jose Theodore, Andrew Brunette, Cam Barker, Cam O’Sullivan.

Offense: The Wild have lost three of their top five scorers this summer in Martin Havlat, Andrew Brunette and Brent Burns. New to the State of Hockey, though, are San Jose stars Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi. Though the Wild have lost 45 points, they add a veteran all star and a highly talented young player in the two former Sharks.

Heatley and Setoguchi jerseys already selling in Minny

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Here are some thoughts on some of the potential rule changes being looked at in the NHL Research And Development Camp:

NHL Research And Development Camp (Photo:THN)

 Hybrid Icing: Safety is the main issue that gets addressed here (Remember Kurtis Foster’s injury?), without taking away from the game. Easily something I think that should be implemented in the game.  Although some would argue about the officiating on certain calls, which is the only real argument against it.

No Icing While Shorthanded: If the NHL can find a way to boost scoring, they’ll test it out (Remember the idea of round nets?) Now, I understand the want to score more often, but I don’t really like this idea. You should be able to ice the puck while shorthanded, make the other team actually have to work on the powerplay. The other guy has two or five minutes in the box, that should eb enough of a penalty on his team.

Overtime Changes ( 4 minutes 4 on 4, then 3 minutes of 3 on 3): If this gets rid of the shootout (unless the shootout goes to 5 shooters), im all for it. However, I really do not like the idea of 3 on 3 hockey, it should be 4 on 4 minimum.  Would be interesting to do on a test run basis in the NHL.

No Line Change For Team That Is Offsides: Honestly, I like this idea, if a line can’t come into the zone onsides, they shouldn’t be able to change. Honestly, unless the players on the line have been on the ice a while, but, going offsides is their own fault, is it not? But,like the next rule, it could have an impact on the game negatively.

Faceoff In Own Zone After Offsides Is Called: Now this, I do not like, at all. This would encourage dump and chase hockey, which, just isn’t that good  to watch from a fan standpoint. I don’t see this rule making it very far at all, it will not see the light of day in the NHL.

Eliminate The Trapezoid: Yes, yes, and yes. Getting rid of the trapezoid behind the net has my approval. Goalies should be aloud to play the puck, there is no good reason this rule was ever implemented. Goalies doing a bit more work, I don’t see any defensemen who would have to chase the puck otherwise, that would argue against that. Let the goalies be free from the evil trapezoid!

Goal Line Camera: A brilliant idea I can’t believe they didn’t think of sooner! So many close calls, some right , some wrong . Now, if we can work on defining “kicking motions”, that would be another huge step forward. I would really like to see this implemented in the NHL. But I feel it might not be 100% fool proof depending on the camera’s position if say, the goalie was on top of the puck.

We’re doing something a little different, instead of one person doing their own mock draft, we are going to set ourselves in a semi-draft atmosphere by splitting the teams between the three of us (Cujo, Joey, RD) and picking our draft that way.  We figure it’ll make things a little interesting and a little competitive as well. There will also be a little reasoning behind each pick.

In order to keep things from getting long, we’re dividing up the draft into two parts, 1-15 and 16-30.

Without further ado, here is part 1 of our draft!

1. Edmonton Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, C (Red Deer, WHL)
Highly anticipated number one. As much young talent the Oilers have. Why not stack the deck with even more elite talents.

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Usually news of great importance, happiness, or sadness usually comes without warning and can leave a person stone-faced, glossy-eyed or overcome with either extreme of the emotion spectrum. Last night proved this with news breaking of the sudden and all too early passing of New York Rangers forward Derek Boogaard.

Quickly on Twitter, mentions of Boogaard became trending topics all the way from Pittsburgh to San Francisco. Another instance of the impression hockey and the sports’ fans have on social networking sites, albeit if the topic of trend was a shocking, sad, and somber one.  Regardless of team affiliation or the stature of the player, few rival the banding together you find from the hockey community.

I seen a great example on Twitter from “Stoosh” from the Tuesdays With Stoosh weekly columns on The Pensblog likening the response of the hockey community to Boogaard’s passing to a quote from Jack Falla. The Boston University Journalism professor and hockey writer for Sports Illustrated in the 1980s when asked why he goes to the NHL Draft when there is no hockey being played responded that he goes to see his friends and would explain that hockey is like a tribal gathering and that “Hockey is the only tribe I belong to.” I find that quote every bit as beautiful as Badger Bob Johnson’s “It’s a great day for hockey’.

So with tonight’s beginning of the Conference Finals, all of us will watch hoping that the live action will take all of our minds off of last night’s unfortunate news and begin a form of healing.  Because, we are all in this together.

Every so often, some of us at Crimespree Hockey will partake in a “roundtable debate” on hot hockey topics.  This edition will discuss the NHL Premiere games in Europe.

The 2010 NHL Premiere features Carolina vs. Minnesota in Helsinki, Columbus vs. San Jose in Stockholm and Phoenix vs. Boston in Prague.

Dan: I can get the reason they want to do this, because they want to expand promotion of the league.

Rob: But they call this “beneficial”, but the Olympics is a “waste of time”.

Dan: The Olympics is a HUUUUGE deal across the globe though.  The problem with this, is A) nobody over there really cares about our teams, and I understand they want to change that, marketability.

Rob: The DEL fans (watching Sharks vs. Adler Mannheim) were the only ones excited. They didn’t shut up.

Dan: But, it makes things unfair for the 4 (or 6) teams that go over.  Look at Carolina, who goes over and doesn’t have a home game until the end of October.

Michelle: It’s definitely a disadvantage for the teams that go over because they are going to be worn out from travelling. (more…)

And another hockey season is upon us, which means…..*drumroll*..prediction time! Just to explain the below picture, I make my division picks on my basement fridge every year.  Last season, in addition to four of six division winners, I had two of the final four teams correct (Chicago, Philadelphia, with the Flyers making the finals).  However, I’d rather not say who I had winning last year.  Without further ado, here are the picks, with playoff picks.

The Fridge of Destiny

Starting with the Atlantic Division, the Flyers would be the team to beat coming off a Stanley Cup run, but questions in goal could derail division title hopes.  Pittsburgh will edge the Flyers, but lack of winger scoring could hurt them in the long run.  Both teams will keep a distance between them and New Jersey.  Jersey will hope for one more run from Marty Brodeur, but it won’t be this year.  The signing of Ilya Kovalchuk drained payroll, and the Devils will have to play with a short roster, or will have to waive some veterans.  The Islanders will be improved, but without Mark Streit and Kyle Okposo for a large chunk of time, playoffs won’t be on the radar this year, but they’ll give the rival Rangers a tough time, who’ll miss the playoffs a second straight year, and fans will still demand Glen Sather be fired.  At least Wade Redden won’t be the scapegoat this season for the Blueshirts.

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