To The Woodshed: The Nostalgia/Hindsight is 20/20 Edition
Posted by Dan Shrader on Tuesday, December 07, 2010
Rory Boylen, who writes a Tuesday Column for THN.com (The Hockey News' online site,) wrote a nice, well-thought out and statistically accurate assessment about the Wild in the post-Jacques Lemaire era. Basically was the theme of the blog was that we, as Minnesota fans, miss the Old Coach because he got the team to overachieve on a consistent basis.
Really, is this what we're left with? Waxing nostalgic about the days of yesteryear? I don't want to launch a Tet Offensive on Mr. Boylen (who is a fine writer, and also a gentleman and a scholar) but come on- no one is pining for the "Days of Lemaire". The reality is we overachieved once (considering the lineup), and that was the magical albeit fluky run to the Western Conference finals. The other two playoff appearances (including home ice advantage due to a Northwest Division Title) were gross underachievements especially when they were arguably the most talented Wild teams ever: Marian Gaborik, Pavol Demitra, Brian Rolston, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Brent Burns, Niklas Backstrom...The reality is that Jacques Lemaire left because it became crystal clear that his old school coaching techniques were falling on deaf ears, and he wanted to leave on his own terms before he was gonna be fired.
And no one wants to relive those days.
Now...a combo platter, because for some reason I keep hearing this guy's name.
This fucking clown. (Thank you Getty Images!)
I know the Wild is going through a goal-scoring slump, and since there's no immediate on-roster and/or in-house solution (Not counting Guillaume Latendresse, who is on Injured Reserve) I keep hearing about Gaborik this, Gaborik that. Look, folks...its not like we are the only team in the league without a dynamic goal scorer. And its not like we can't win without one. So stop already.
- Gaborik didn't like it here.
- Gaborik averaged roughly 50-60 points in the average of 60-odd games he'd play in, BECAUSE HE GETS HURT ALL THE FUCKING TIME.
- Gaborik wasn't going to resign here, and we couldn't trade him because HE GOT HURT after his 42 goal season. What was Doug Risebrough to do? Trade him before extension talks? This town would have marched to the door of Risebrough's home in Edina with torches and pitchforks!
Does it suck that we didn't get squat for him? Yes, and it probably set us back. But look- it would have been a bigger mistake committing however much money it would have taken to lock him up long term (what was the obscene number floated around? 10 years, 100 million?) for him to only play 65 games a year, and having Chuck Fletcher hamstrung by that albatross of a contract.
I'm happy that he's enjoying life in New York, wearing Yankees hats to Wolves/Knicks games, eating Nathan's hot dogs, driving his little car simulator, and scoring bunches of goals against the terrible hockey teams in the Eastern Conference.
We'll get by without him, besides its not like he's got the Rags on the cusp of the Stanley Cup.
Let's move on, for christ's sake.