Mario Lucia Out For 3 Months After Breaking Fibula

Earlier today, Minnesota Wild prospect and incoming University of Notre Dame freshman Mario Lucia posted this tweet, which was vague enough to not give it a second thought.
Unfortunately, there is a meaning behind it as Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reports that the 2011 second round pick broke his left fibula and tore ligaments in his ankle during a practice yesterday. The initial diagnosis is that Lucia will be in a cast for seven weeks and miss the season's first 3 months, a crushing blow for what looked to be a promising freshman season with the Fighting Irish.

Meet Your 2012-2013 Aero Dynamics

We hope to discuss more Houston Aeros this season so with that...which one is your favorite?

You can read the full release over at

Breaking Down The 2012-2013 Minnesota Wild TV Schedule

The Wild announced today their 2012-2013 TV schedule*, which you can look at either the Star Tribune or Pioneer Press. Once again all 82 games will be broadcast in the Twin Cities so there's no reason to miss one outside of not having cable. The games will be on some combination of Fox Sports North/FSN+ (72 games), NBC Sports Network (9 games) and NBC (1 game).

I'm also guessing all games are in HD (mostly because it's 2012 and what cheap broadcaster would only tape a game in SD) although the release didn't say. It is a simple TV schedule which looks eerily similar to last year's but here are a few thoughts.

(For a few thoughts on the ins and out of the actual schedule when it was released in June, click here.)

8/29 Wild Notes: Zach Parise, Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Orlando, Lulea & More

Editor's note: It's been a while since we've done a post filled with links so between that guilt and knowing a couple of these subjects won't get their proper due, here are the best Wild and prospect-related links throughout the mainstream media and blogosphere.

Becoming Wild Episode 15 talks with former Minnesota defenseman Brad Bombadir, who currently is the Director of Player Development.

I've been interested in hearing more about Bombadir's role in developing prospects because it's a role that goes under the radar (and can't think of him doing interviews) but honestly, if you're a regular reader of First Round Bust there's not much to learn.

There is, however, plenty of other news after the jump.

2012 Minnesota Wild Prospects: #17 - Nick Seeler

Nick Seeler
Defense, 6'2" 193 Pounds
Muskegon/Des Moines (USHL) 2-13-15/2-11-13 (4-24-28)

I won't lie in that Seeler has become somewhat of a favorite of mine- his selection was certainly a surprise considering he wasn't listed at all by Central Scouting in his Draft Year, but a strong senior year which resulted in a State Tournament (in which he really elevated his play) Title. Last season was a bit of a downer for him, as he played most of the season for the moribund Muskegon Lumberjacks before being traded to The Des Moines Buccaneers to finish out the season. If you recall, I was able to watch Seeler in person while I was up in Fargo in March, and came away impressed with his style of play.

Charlie Coyle Is Making Sure Marek Zidlicky's #3 Will Not Be Retired

We mentioned in passing yesterday that Charlie Coyle would be in Toronto for the NHLPA Rookie Showcase. The showcase, which features rookies from all 30 NHL teams,is a chance for players to get photographed for their first trading cards and other memorabilia-related items.

It also leads to seeing a ghost from the past: a right-hand shot wearing #3.

Inside/Outside; or Moves Like Dreger

A couple of weekends ago I was at my family's cabin in Northern Minnesota with some friends, and received this bit of information.

Now, I have complete faith in the source of the information considering their proximity to the parties involved, so I went with it on Twitter, knowing full well that things can change, or worse yet, the whole bit just wasn't happening period. It was an odd moment; knowing that I (likely) broke some news, but also having this terrifying knot in my stomach fearing the worst; in the age of instantaneous stories and reports, they travel far and fast (especially in regards to the hockey-crazed market of Toronto.)

Not to make myself into something important, but there was the risk that whatever reputation I have, as a hockey writer, could be completely torpedoed. I felt accountable.

What Dan & Elite HS Players Get To Look Forward To...

We don't normally discuss Minnesota high school hockey for a few reasons but this is hard to pass up. The fall Elite League, which consists of many of the top high school hockey players in the state playing a 21 game regular season before the HS season, announced their uniforms for this season and...well I'll let them speak for themselves.

Missing: Legs (photo from the Elite League)
It's like Europe and Madison Avenue had a baby and that is what they had in mind. From the league:
The Upper Midwest High School Elite Hockey League gear is getting a slick new look for the 2012 season.

The new designs, put together by Gemini, take advantage of a model developed by European teams to increase league sponsorship.

"We've been discussing (this) for a few years because in order for us to generate more substantial sponsorship revenue we need to develop inventory that was going to be attractive to corporate Minnesota," said Elite League Marketing Specialist Robert Fallen.
To be fair, there's nothing wrong with a non-profit cutting down costs with advertising and lets face it, hockey is expensive. I don't know about the ethics of having high school amateurs wearing head to toe corporate jerseys - it's a gray area with a few sponsors being way outside the teenage demographic - but at the very least, they are not easy to look aesthetically.

The Elite League kicks off September 8th at Fogarty Arena in Blaine and goes through the end of October, playing throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin rinks. If you get a chance to watch tomorrow's stars today, do it - especially if there's no NHL hockey. Guys like Nick Leddy, Derek Forbort, Nick Bjugstad, Ryan McDonaugh, Jake Gardiner, Erik Haula, Nick Seeler, John Draeger and Louie Nanne all played in it.

2012 Minnesota Wild Prospects: #18 - Tyler Cuma

Tyler Cuma
Defense, 6'1" 198 lbs
Houston (AHL)/Minnesota (NHL) 0G-9A 73 games/0G-0A 1 game

I can't lie, even for a blog whose name comes from a series of Minnesota Wild first rounders flaming out, it is  disheartening to see the 2008 first round pick as the 18th-best Wild prospect. That's exactly the case with Tyler Cuma, who has a different path to get to the same place as 19th-best prospect Chay Genoway.

Honestly, the way it has happened is such a shame.

Wild Notes: Louie Nanne, Charlie Coyle, Mathew Dumba & More

As the Vikings' preseason begins to wind down and millions descend upon the Minnesota State Fair, it only means that hockey season is on the other side. And for a couple Wild prospects, it already has begun. The Swedish Elite League (where Johan Gustafsson and Daniel Gunnarsson play) has already begun its preseason while a few others have begun their junior and collegiate camps.

As you enjoy your Monday, here are a few things that aren't big enough for their own post yet bigger than a quick line in an upcoming link dump. We'll pick up the First Round Bust Top-20 Minnesota Wild prospects later today with #18 and maybe another thought or musing.

VIDEO: Jason Zucker v. UFC Fighter Dan Hardy Round II

The first time Wild prospect Jason Zucker faced off against former UFC welterweight title contender Dan Hardy back in May it was just photos. Round 2 ups the ante with video.

Zucker, who is the first Nevada native drafted in the NHL, has spent most of the off-season in Las Vegas training and getting ready for his first full NHL season alongside many UFC fighters (the promotion is headquartered in Sin City along with many of the biggest gyms). That includes grappling with "The Outlaw" Hardy, which you can see after the jump

Top-5 Thursday: Teams That Lose The Least From A Lockout

Author's note: After watching High Fidelity and remembering how enjoyable it is to make top five lists with friends, I'm going to try something new. Every Thursday (or a day that ends in a "y") I'm going to come up with a top five list that involves Minnesota Wild current events. Is it original? Hell No. Does that matter?

On Monday, we looked at how the ongoing CBA negotiations are going with five teams that stand to lose the most from a potential Lockout and today the ones that lose the least are featured.

(Check out the teams that lose the most from a lockout by clicking on it)

Sadly, any optimism that was there three days ago has disappeared. Meetings did not go well today while one NHL agent believes the league will lock out the players until Christmas, which would mirror the NBA's Lockout last year. To further that, it's never a good sign when Commissioner Gary Bettman is touting the "world's greatest fans" 23 days before the collective bargaining agreement expires.

Some can chalk that up to negotiating tactics but a hockey-less 2012 is something no fan likes to hear. After the jump, the five fanbases who can survive any potential Lockout the best.

2012 Minnesota Wild Prospects: #19 - Chay Genoway

Chay Genoway
Defense, 5'9" 177 Pounds
Houston (AHL)/Minnesota (NHL) 7-29-36/0-1-1

Many of us in WCHA territory are familiar with the diminutive Genoway, who played for parts of five seasons for the beloved/loathed/whatever University of North Dakota Figh.... UND.  Despite his size, Genoway used his explosive skating ability and high end hockey sense to contribute from the blueline, which in the end earned him an entry-level deal with The Wild, although because of his age, it was only a one year deal.

However he showed enough during his time in Houston, and in his one game cup of coffee with the big club, to garner a two year extension at 575K per year.

8/22 Wild News & Notes Around The Internet

Editor's note: It's been a while since we've done a post filled with links so between that guilt and knowing a couple of these subjects won't get their proper due, here are the best Wild and prospect-related links throughout the mainstream media and blogosphere.

Thanks to Backhand Shelf, you can find out about ten hockey player commercials that are worse than Alex Ovechkin representing Eastern Motors. Sadly there aren't any featuring Minnesota players because they don't exist outside of Mikko Koivu's Finnish Nike ad (which lets face it, that's just pure awesome sauce) and Cal Clutterbuck's clone make a Call of Duty cameo, but there are lots of hockey players acting like robots..

2012 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Prospects: #20 - Tyler Graovac

Tyler Graovac
Center 6'4", 191 lbs
Ottawa (OHL) 8 Goals 19 Assists in 50 games

The 7th round pick in 2011 kicks off the countdown towards the top Minnesota Wild prospect at number twenty. Tyler Graovac is a two-way center who plays for the Ottawa 67's in the OHL, the lone Wild prospect to play in that league. At 19 years-old, Graovac skates well for someone his size (6'4") and fits the mold Chuck Fletcher and Brent Flahr have for their draft picks. He's a defensively responsible player who isn't a liability on his skates and can play a bottom-six role at the professional level.

One knock against Tyler has been injuries the past couple years. He missed part of his draft year with a broken forearm and has been unable to crack Ottawa's top-six. While he did step up for the 67's in this year's postseason, scoring 10 points (4G-6A) in 18 games (in addition to playing well at Minnesota's prospect development scrimmages last month), it was only a small glimmer of what Ottawa was expecting.

NHL 13 Demo Out & Thoughts On Minnesota's Player Rankings

EA Sports today released the demo for their annual NHL game and as usual it looks fantastic. The action, graphics and AI in NHL 13 have come a long way since Cliff Ronning dominated or it was a gimme to score on a wraparound. The actual demo itself covers new features like NHL Moments Live along with the old standby of playing the third period with last year's Stanley Cup finalists, Los Angeles and New Jersey.

If you want to play as Minnesota, however, you'll have to wait until the game drops on September 11. Honestly, there's nothing Wild-related outside of this piece:

There are Tim Horton's in video game Minnesota. And Zach Parise.

2012 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Prospects: The Honorable Mentions

Back on Wednesday Dan and I kicked off the countdown of First Round Bust's top-twenty Minnesota Wild prospects...and now six days later we finally got back around to the honorable mentions. Sorry everyone, I don't like to make excuses but real life gets in the way sometimes.

So with that humble explanation in mind, lets start over again. In no particular order, here are a few guys who just missed the top-20 cut:

Top-5 Monday: Teams That Lose The Most From A Lockout

Author's note: After watching High Fidelity and remembering how enjoyable it is to make top five lists with friends, I'm going to try something new. Every Thursday (or a day that ends in a "y") I'm going to come up with a top five list that involves Minnesota Wild current events. Is it original? Hell No. Does that matter?

The big hockey subject, for better or worse, has been the ongoing collective bargaining agreement talks between the NHL players association and the owners. With Thursday's news that the Traverse City prospect tournament has been canceled, the players' counter-proposal to the (laughable) owners' opening position and both sides trying to make their claim in the court of opinion, this will continue up until and possibly past the September 15th deadline.

Regardless of which side you take, the biggest fear among  is the threat of another Lockout. No one wants to see one although if push comes to shove, honestly I'll live without NHL hockey. I didn't miss it the last time there was a Lockout because with the Gophers and the rest of college hockey, there are plenty of ways to get that hockey fix.

It's not what anyone working for the Wild wants to hear but that got me to thinking which teams would lose the most from another Lockout and my top five are below.

Former Wild Forward Mark Parrish Retires From Professional Hockey; Still Draws A Paycheck

The first big hometown signing in Wild history has called it a career.

According to the great Lets Play Hockey, Mark Parrish has decided to retire from professional hockey. The Bloomington native played 12 years in the NHL with 7 teams, including a two year stint in Minnesota. Before that he spent two years in St. Cloud State and won a pair of Minnesota state high school tournaments with Bloomington Jefferson as part of their mid-90s dynasty.

Unfortunately, Parrish's Wild career is a good summary of the latter Risebrough/Lemaire years. Brought in as a five-year, $13.25 million major signing in 2006, he never meshed with the Lemaire system. Parrish ended up being bought out by Minnesota after only two years where injuries and doghouse stints took its toll and to this day still counts against the team's cap.

On the plus side, a 2008 decision to buy Mark out only now costs slightly more in 2012 and 2013 ($927,778) than Zenon Konpoka ($925,000) and he gets paid.

The 35 year-old Parrish last played in the NHL with Buffalo in 2011 and spent last season with the Binghamton Senators in the AHL

The Xcel Energy Center Will Have Pro Hockey NHL Lockout Or No NHL Lockout

The AHL released its schedule today and for fans in the State of Hockey, there is one piece of information which is pertinent. From the release:
• In addition to the outdoor game in Detroit, six NHL arenas – Montreal’s Bell Centre, St. Paul’s Xcel Energy Center, Washington’s Verizon Center, Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, Raleigh’s PNC Arena and Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center – are all scheduled to host AHL action this season.
That game is Sunday November 18th when the Houston Aeros play the Rockford IceHogs at the Xcel Energy Center. It's the second time the Aeros will play in their parent organization's home following an appearance against Peoria at Hockey Day Minnesota in 2011. However, that appearance is marred due to 2008 first round pick Tyler Cuma tearing his ACL.

It's a nice surprise, especially a day after the Traverse City prospect tournament was canceled. While the AHL has taken a backseat in the past given the distance from St. Paul to Houston, this gives fans a chance to see the future (or who the next injury-replacement will be) first-hand. Even more, if there is an ongoing lockout, there's more of a chance that some of the talented players on two-way contracts (i.e. Mikael Granlund, Jonas Brodin, Jared Spurgeon, etc.) will be working together with the Aeros.

The rest of Houston's schedule (along with the entire league) can be found here. The AHL Aeros open the season October 13th at home against Charlotte and as always, The Third Intermission will be covering it.

2012 Traverse City Prospects Tournament Canceled

The expiring NHL collective bargaining agreement has its first Wild-related victim. Today the Traverse City prospect tournament, which features the best non-college youngsters from eight teams, and the host Detroit Red Wings announced that this year's tourney would be canceled. It's the first time Traverse City has not been played since being founded in 1998 and means Minnesota (one of the eight teams scheduled to play) won't get another chance outside of training camp to see their prospects in action.

The Wings and Traverse City join the Penticton Young Stars tournament, which was cancelled as a precaution back in May, in not being played.

While it makes sense that a September tournament scheduled to start the same day the CBA expires would end up not happening as both sides try to get what is best for them, that doesn't mean it isn't disappointing. Dan went to Traverse City for last year's tournament and saw first-hand how the drills and games helped players out. At the same time, it is a competition - Minnesota won the 2010 edition of the tournament - and with a plethora of young prospects looking to make an impact, this would have been a good chance to compare them against other pools.

Most of all, it hurts the Traverse City community. Yes, a prospect tournament in a non-NHL city is the league on a smaller scale, however, it is also a reminder that the season is not guaranteed with a month to go.

Photo Credit: Dan Shrader/First Round Bust

Your 2012 Minnesota Wild Top 20 Prospect Introduction...

It's here, it's finally here!

After teasing the second annual Minnesota Wild prospect list for a while, Dan and I finally thought now was a good time to follow through. Between a year of growth, an entirely new draft class and even getting a better look at some in person (both during games and prospect development camp), there's a ton of changes from last year's list. So we got together, debated names and places on the list and came up with our definitive top-20 Wild prospects for the 2012 preseason.

(For anyone wondering what last year's prospect rankings were, click here. In addition, there is a separate pre-draft prospect ranking in the first edition of the Wild Prospect Handbook along with some great articles.)

Our basic criteria for this prospect list can be split into two. First, what kind of impact can the player have with Minnesota if they reach their ceiling? Second, how likely is it that they will reach that ceiling? So while some prospects who have been around for a while may be closer to a ceiling as a bottom-six forward, that is seen to be lower than a longer-term project who has a ceiling as a top-six forward. How much so, however, is up for debate.

Matt Dumba Finishes Canada-Russia Challenge Scoreless And A Winner

This year's first round pick can add fighting communism to his hockey resume.

Despite the Cold War being over for twenty years and Russians now playing in the NHL, the 18 and 19 year-olds in Canada and Russia still face each other for hockey bragging rights in the depths of August. That includes Mathew Dumba, Minnesota's 2012 first round pick (7th overall), who played for Canada and was one of 5 of the top 7 picks to be in this edition of the Canada-Russia challenge.

Pierre-Marc Bouchard Back On The Ice

There hasn't been much news on Pierre-Marc Bouchard lately as the 2002 first round pick continues to recover from post-concussion symptoms. The last update of any form was GM Chuck Fletcher telling the St. Paul Pioneer Press in June that "our expectation is he'll be healthy and able to contribute to our team next year," so it's nice to see Bouchard is once again back on the ice skating.

Bouchard, who last played in January and was injured by a hit from Winnipeg's Zach Bogosian in December, surprised the Chicoutini Sagueneens by suiting up and practicing with the team. PMB is the team's chairman - having bought a stake in June - and also gave an interview with TVA Sports (although both the article and entire interview are in French, you can see him skate) about the experience.

While it's just a practice and mostly show, it is music to our ears to see Bouchard on the ice. His return after missing all but one game in 2009-2010 from a concussion was a boost to the 2010-2011 edition of the Wild and there is no denying that things went downhill after the Winnipeg game last year. This off-season and solid drafting have helped curb some of the depth issues which were one reason the team derailed but there isn't a replacement for a healthy Bouchard.

Most of all, I'm interested in seeing how he and Mikael Granlund co-exist. Throw in the fact the 28 year-old has a lot to prove in the final year of a five-year, $20.4 million contract and there is a lot on the line for Bouchard.

At the very least, being back on the ice is a start.

Top-5 Thursday: Olympic Events Wild Players Could Compete In (Delayed Edition)

Author's note: After watching High Fidelity and remembering how enjoyable it is to make top five lists with friends, I'm going to try something new. Every Thursday (or a day that ends in a "y") I'm going to come up with a top five list that involves Minnesota Wild current events. Is it original? Hell No. Does that matter?

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.)

Sorry Ryan Suter, All The Cool Kids Are Wearing Zach Parise Jerseys

In baseball, chicks dig the long ball. In hockey, the $98 million hometown forward gets all the love over the $98 million defenseman.

According to Sportsnet, Zach Parise's #11 was the top-selling NHL jersey in the month of July as Minnesotans flocked to buy anything with the new Wild forward's name on the back.

(For the record, I would love to see the email Sportsnet got from Wild PR. In my head it goes: "Dear Sportsnet, while you are certainly entitled to your opinion about the flashiness and glamour of our jerseys, they are not 'hunter green' as you so insinuate. The green in question is actually 'forest green'. The "spruce up" quip was funny, though.
Thank you, Nordy."

Yep, also like to assume Nordy spends his time in public relations. Hey it's August.)

Houston Aeros Sign Corbin Baldwin, According To Report

One of the best parts of prospect development camp, besides being able to watch the top prospects in one place, is seeing which unsigned prospect makes enough of an impression to get signed. From current Aero Colton Jobke to players like Matt Read and J.T. Brown who signed elsewhere and are NHL regulars, it usually seems that one or two guys make enough of an impression to get a contract.

This year it's Corbin Baldwin.

According to Gregg Drinnan and multiple reports, the Aeros have signed Baldwin to a one-year AHL deal, which is important to note because an AHL contract does not count towards Minnesota's 50 contract limit.

The 21 year-old defenseman scored 33 points (6G-27A) in 69 games last year for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL and served as the team's captain one of many assistant captains. Throughout the last four seasons he was also teammates with current Wild defenseman Jared Spurgeon. With the deal, he is turning down an opportunity to play at the University of Manibota of the CIS.

From Baldwin's play at prospect development camp, Corbin is big guy (6'5", 215 lbs) who uses his size well. At last month's camp he was playing on a pairing with 2012 5th round pick Daniel Gunnarsson, who at 6'4" was somehow the smaller guy, and while Baldwin didn't stand out, he wasn't a liability either. Having him down in Houston adds size to a blue line that already has 6'6", 225 lb Kyle Medvec.

Baldwin can also fight, as Josh Caron, another player the Wild have signed to a tryout, can attest.

8/8 Wild News & Notes Around The Internet

Editor's note: It's been a while since we've done a post filled with links so between that guilt and knowing a couple of these subjects won't get their proper due, here are the best Wild and prospect-related links throughout the mainstream media and blogosphere.

-The Wild unveiled an infographic last week about the last month after The Coup. I'm pretty sure the Gopher fan forgiveness meter is a lie or some sort of magic voodoo stat. That or the legions of Gopher fans who aren't really Wild fans who follow me on Twitter (@gopherstate, yes it's a cheap plug) weren't counted. (

-Speaking of stats, Alex over at Litter Box Cats has an excellent introduction to advanced stats that I highly suggest. Even if you hate them with a violent passion, it's much better to grasp a basic idea of what PDO is than to dismiss it as "magic voodoo." The more you know....

Mario Lucia Survives First Round Of NJEC Cuts

Eleven players were sent home from Lake Placid, New York today but Minnesota Wild prospect Mario Lucia is not one of them.

Lucia, the 60th overall pick in 2011 by the Wild, is one of 34 players remaining at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp. The 18 year-old helped out his case to stay past Day 3 in yesterday's exhibition game when the reigning BCHL co-leader in goals scored a hat trick in a 4-3 win over Finland. Although Lucia was part of a defensive breakdown in the same game that led to a Finnish goal, he still looks to be considered for the 2013 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia.

Besides Mario, five of the other six Minnesotans at the August 4-11 camp survived the cut, including University of Minnesota Golden Gophers Travis Boyd (Washington Capitals), Brady Skjei (New York Rangers) and Mike Reilly (Columbus Blue Jackets). Only Logan Nelson (Anaheim Ducks) was sent home in a group that includes a pair of 2012 first round picks.

Photo Credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Jonas Brodin May Be Closer To North America Than He Appears

If it weren't August and the dead of the off-season, we would be wondering about Jonas Brodin and things like "what is winter in  Sweden like?" and "where he is going to play next year?" Unfortunately it is still August but the last question can possibly be answered.

Back in July, the Minnesota Wild 2011 first round pick discussed how he wanted to spend this upcoming season in the United States with Fox Sports North's Brian Hall and given recent events, it looks more and more like that will be case.

Mario Lucia, 6 Other Minnesotans Vying For World Junior Spots

We wrote about this back in the pre-Suter/Parise Days (remember those?) but this week sees 2011 Minnesota Wild second round pick Mario Lucia at the USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, New York. Lucia is one of 44 players there fighting for a spot on the team which will represent the US at the 2013 World Junior Championships in Ufa, Russia.

The camp, which began yesterday and runs until August 11th, gives USA Hockey and head coach Phil Housley a chance to see the elite under-20 players play against one another and in an international setting. It consists of nine games, including two intra-squad scrimmages and a series of games against Sweden and Finland. While there are always one or two players who raise their stock with their college or junior play - Kyle Rau is one such example of a player who wasn't invited to this camp last year yet made the team out of the final December camp - most of this year's team will consist of the players at Lake Placid.

Top-5 Thursday: Characters From The Mighty Duck Films

Author's note: After watching High Fidelity and remembering how enjoyable it is to make top five lists with friends, I'm going to try something new. Every Thursday I'm going to come up with a top five list that involves Minnesota Wild current events. Is it original? Hell No. Does that matter?

If we haven't said it or the lack of new posts didn't give it away, there's not much to talk about concerning the Wild. Most of the things we want to talk about - unless James Sheppard gets traded again - can be talked about now or in September and nothing changes. It's disappointing because honestly I feel bad like I've let everyone down when a day or two goes by and there isn't a new post.

(Also I should probably stop apologizing every time I write a "Top-5 Thursday." If this was a drinking game, that would be the top rule and you would be drunk and not care about what's on the other side of the jump.)

Anthony LaPanta Now On Twitter - How Will Wild Fans Respond?

Back in May when the Minnesota Wild hired Fox Sports North personality and University of Minnesota hockey announcer Anthony LaPanta as their new play by play voice, it's safe to say fans were less than thrilled about the decision. There was much discussion on Twitter, Facebook message boards and even on the street where those against the deal were passionate and vocal with their distaste.

Seriously, it was to the point on Twitter where there were zero positive tweets in 12 hours and only a handful later as the news trended there.

Social media may not be the most positive place (see the #NBCFail v. NBC Ratings going on now with delayed Olympic coverage) but unanimous negativity was unprecedented. Things were slightly nicer on the Star Tribune's website (although again there were few, if any positive comments) and that still comes from a poll where they saw 58% of readers disagree with the choice.