As I sit here Sunday night watching the Olympic Closing Ceremonies on tape delay in my mother's basement eating hot pockets, ice cream and doing whatever else a stereotypical blogger does, the idea of which Wild players would be successful in made-up Olympic sports came to mind. No, it's not Thursday - sorry about that - but still, it's a good topic to ponder as the big event of every four summers ends and hockey soon begins.
(For those playing the drinking game I made up last week, go ahead and take that AM swig.)
5. Stephane Veilleux for table tennis
As the latest Becoming Wild webisode showed, table tennis, like soccer, plays a role in warming up a hockey player's hand-eye coordination. Most NHL locker rooms have a ping pong table (it's been an issue with Nashville this off-season) and with it a champ. For the Wild, that champion is returning forward Stephane Veilleux.
Plus it's an actual Olympic sport.
4. Matt Kassian for boxing
|Photo Credit: kassassin.com|
Bronze: Mikael Granlund for biathlon
Sure, biathlon technically is a Winter Olympic sport and it technically involves skiing and rifle shooting but it's also technically a name for any sporting event made up of two separate disciplines. So why not have Mikael Granlund compete in a hockey/lacrosse biathlon? If that's an event, the Wild rookie has to be favored to win a gold given Mike Legg is past his prime.
Unfortunately, it's not an Olympic event. At least not yet.
Silver: Zach Parise for being the Most Minnesotan
There's something about Minnesota sports coming all so close yet finding a way to lose a big game which jades fans. From Gary Anderson to Joe Nathan blowing saves to Holy Cross to the 2004 Lakers to decades of Gopher football to 12 men to me getting pissed off just writing this, there's a point where when things go well the bottom is expected to fall out. And no one better represents that than new Wild forward and Minnesota native Zach Parise.
Besides going to North Dakota instead of Minnesota when the Gophers won their hockey championship, Parise scored the game-tying goal in the 2010 Gold Medal game with 25 seconds left to send the game to overtime. Everything was going well, the US looked to be in control and then Sidney Crosby scored in OT to send the Vancouver crowd home happy.
That's Minnesota sports in a nutshell.
Gold: Dany Heatley for hockey
|Photo credit: Tim Mantoani|