The Patron Saint Returns!

Lost in tonight's Minnesota Wild game with the San Jose Sharks is one thing.

The Patron Saint of First Round Bust, James Sheppard, returns!

2006-2011. Never Forget.

I don't need Burns (despite what he may have said). I don't need to watch that Havlat character. Lets be honest, for a leader he disappeared for stretches and Havlat didn't really want to play for this team. But James, well you represent the combination of Havlat and Burns: someone who wanted to play here, enjoyed his time but wasn't able to reach his full potential with the Wild.

Just look at this Michael Russo tweet:
James Sheppard reuniting with #mnwiId buds by MiN locker room. Was a popular teammate

This San Jose-Minnesota game won't be the same without you James. Sp much so that with apologies to Devin Setoguchi, Dany Heatley, Burns and Havlat, I'm going to have to pass on watching tonight's game. It's just hard to care about San Jose without San Jaime.

How can you not miss Sheppard?

Oh yes, he did nothing. And continues to recover from an ATV accident. And is no longer Wild property.

Lets reiterate: no longer Wild property. That's important and I needed to get it out of my system. Whew!

Sorry but it's time to get over former Wild players and focus on the this five game winning streak by the Minnesota Wild. They've played well enough where the play of the team should not be lost in the "players returning" hype train.

If someone can talk about Niklas Backstrom matching Josh Harding between the pipes against Calgary Tuesday, I'll be a happy person. How about the second line stepping up? That's an interesting topic and one which involves Guillaumne "Big Bear" Latendresse.

But no, we're stuck in the past talking about "former Wild or Shark (insert traded player)" and forgetting about a top-five team responding to a rookie coach's system. It's not like tonight's game is being played between two top-five teams.

The past is the past. It's great to enjoy the good times those players have given us but now it's time to look at the body of work the present players and teams have given.

And that should not be lost on anyone.

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