Truth & Rumors > NHL

Wild now among NHL's top organizations

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08:20 AM ET 12.16 | Even the most critical of Wild observers would have to admit the beginning of the 2011-12 season is something special in Minnesota. The franchise hasn't been this promising since Andrew Brunette was slipping a puck past Patrick Roy back in 2003. The owner, Craig Leipold, is willing to max out the payroll, and he fired Doug Risebrough, who had sucked talent out of the organization, and replaced him with ... General Manager Chuck Fletcher, who has somehow improved both the current roster and his organizational depth and talent, and who gets credit for hiring ... [Mike Yeo], who, like Fletcher, is on his way to winning an award for revitalizing a team that just last spring looked hopeless.

Star Tribune

Mikko Koivu, Getty Images Mikko Koivu, Getty Images
December 16, 2011  08:37 AM ET

Let's settle down a bit....

Insert Toronto in Minnesota's place in the article and The Sun could have written this a few weeks ago.

It's a long season.

December 16, 2011  09:08 AM ET

And yet nobody cares...

Comment #3 has been removed
December 16, 2011  10:01 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

This team is still incredibly boring to watch.

True. Even if they make the playoffs, I don't see them getting past the first round.

December 16, 2011  10:05 AM ET

As a hockey fan, people should care. The only way the NHL is going to improve as a national interest here in the US, is if all teams can build strong local followings that can translate into a national awareness if not a following. Hockey fans should be troubled by the fact that the NHL/hockey is seen as a second tier sport in most markets, and third tier in others. Name one major market in the US where hockey is seen as the primary sport. You can't. For the viability of the sport and the NHL, smaller market teams like Minnesota need to have a strong following so that a national interest can still be fostered and developed. Next time you go to your local sports bar ask someone to name all the NHL teams. I bet 90% of the people you ask will not be able to do so. Then ask the same person to name all the NFL teams, and I bet they can name if not all, the majority of the teams. That is what national exposure and interest could accomplish for the NHL and that is why it's important for hockey fans to support their local teams and support the NHL as a whole.

December 16, 2011  10:13 AM ET

You're right. ^

December 16, 2011  10:14 AM ET
QUOTE(#4):

True. Even if they make the playoffs, I don't see them getting past the first round.

The team under discusion is The Wild...not the Capitals DWI.

December 16, 2011  10:16 AM ET
QUOTE(#7):

The team under discusion is The Wild...not the Capitals DWI.

Wrong. You're not nice.

December 16, 2011  10:39 AM ET

It feels like Xmas every time I see the Wild uniforms...

December 16, 2011  10:48 AM ET

If you can't sell hockey in Minnesota, you can't sell hockey anywhere in the US. This team needed a change in management a loong time ago. I'm glad they are turning the corner and hope they can shake up things out west a little.

December 16, 2011  10:56 AM ET

Minnesota is 17th in attendance and averages 95% capacity. (The Pens are 13th in attendance and average 102.5% capacity.)

I watched the Minnesota game the other night and I saw them doing a lot of things the Penguins do. I had my doubts about Yeo, but he's doing pretty good so far.

Comment #12 has been removed
Comment #13 has been removed
December 16, 2011  11:45 AM ET
QUOTE(#3):

This team is still incredibly boring to watch.

...and you have watched exactly how many games this year? I could let you slide for the last few years... But, this season?

December 16, 2011  11:49 AM ET
QUOTE(#13):

Those are some damn ugly unis for sure. Not Vancouver Flying V ugly, but pretty bad.

Boston's Reto Jerseys of a few years ago were nasty. Not sure if they still have the stomach to wear them any more?

December 16, 2011  12:26 PM ET
QUOTE(#9):

It feels like Xmas every time I see the Wild uniforms...

I kind of like the unis.

December 16, 2011  01:08 PM ET

Koivu is my pick for most underrated player in the league. And where are all the Heatley haters now?

December 16, 2011  01:30 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

And where are all the Heatley haters now?

The same place they've always been. Atlanta, Ottawa, and San Jose.

December 16, 2011  03:02 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Koivu is my pick for most underrated player in the league.

I agree...the guy can play.

 
December 16, 2011  03:04 PM ET
QUOTE(#17):

Koivu is my pick for most underrated player in the league. And where are all the Heatley haters now?

Unless Heatley's nickname is "Mooooose" or "Looouuu", They are in every arena they've played in save for the 'X'...

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