Minnesota Wild “What Ifs”

 

This week we’re taking a look at Minnesota Wild hockey and the state it’s in. Literally and figuratively. And arguing that Minnesota should reap what it grows and sows, so to speak, and keep its own players. The ones who play shinny hockey in the basements of our Minnesota homes, shoot pucks at garage walls at your next door neighbor’s, and travel the Land of 10,000 frozen lakes for their Bantam A games.

So, humor me, because this issue of poor Minnesota Wild seasons is no laughing matter. Not for Minnesotans.

Forget all the rules and regulations. Forget reality.

Throw out the rule book. Color outside the lines of the GMs, owners and the NHL; the rules that involve NHL rights, contracts, free agents, trades, drafts, and salary caps, blah, blah, blah.

Enter a land where the struggling Wild, with grades to  prove it, are failing P.E. class. What would it be like if the rules were abolished? And Minnesota’s roster was printed in a different font?

Fans scratch their heads wondering why the best Minnesota kids never play here. Why the Minnesota kids leave the state and help other NHL teams make playoff runs and win Stanley Cups. And yes, the fans know the rules and regulations. But still.

Why doesn’t Minnesota get its own players? Why does Minnesota get rid of its own players (i. e. Nick Leddy trade to the Blackhawks)? Why does Minnesota get its own players after they’ve won Stanley Cups with other teams? (i.e. Matt Cullen with Carolina 2006).

Think about it. What if Minnesota kept more of its own players? Filled their roster with more of the 48 NHLers (Let’s Play Hockey) born and raised in this state, currently playing around the league (number not including the guys in the minors). Many may even argue that the best players on the list play for teams other than Minnesota.

With that in mind, allow me to create a roster, one that will never come true, filled with Minnesota-only players presently playing in the NHL or on various farm teams.

Completely ridiculous? Possibly. But Minnesota needs some help in the roster department and at this point, crazy may be just what they need.

Roster (names in bold refer to players who made an appearance in the 2012 Playoffs)

Forwards:

Zach Parise- LW

Zach Parise Devils

(Icon SMI)

Jay Barriball – LW

Mike Hoeffel  – LW

Tony Lucia – LW

Ryan Thang – LW

David Backes – C

Matt Cullen – C

Derek Stepan – C

Matt Hendricks – C

Ryan Carter – C

Jamie Langenbrunner – RW

TJ Oshie- RW

TJ Oshie (BridgetDS/Flickr)

Kyle Okposo – RW

JT Brown – RW

Toby Petersen – RW

JT Wyman – RW

Defensemen:

Erik Johnson

Stu Bickel

Dustin Byfuglien

Matt Niskanen

Mike Sauer

Jack HIllen

Justin Faulk

Nick Leddy  

Aaron Ness

Alex Goligoski

Taylor Chorney

Goalies:

Jeff Frazee

Alex Stalock

Mark Guggenberger

 

That’s quite the list. All-star-ish in a Minnesota way. And while we know that Herbie was not a fan of those all-star teams, “they fail” (video below), maybe, just maybe the Wild would be in a better state if they looked within their own state.

 

Megan Nyberg
Megan is a native Minnesotan who loves The State of Hockey, the month of March in Minnesota, and Tator Tot Hotdish. She is the volunteer camp director at a girls' hockey camp every summer and writes about all-things Minnesota, especially hockey, on her blog http://mnmeditations.wordpress.com. A newbie at The Hockey Writers, she is honored to be covering Minnesota Wild hockey.

8 Comments

  1. I’ll take Nick Bjugstad over J.T. Brown 100 out of 100 times. You missed one solid player in Bjugstad on this list!

  2. this team would be decent, minus the goaltending, which would be awful…wheres tom gilbert on defense? crosby and toews played two years in mn during h.s., lets add them and we’ll win a cup.

    • Goaltending is definitely the weakest link in this fake team. And in no way am I actually saying that this would be a good thing. It’s all speculation…
      As for Crosby and Toews, Crosby played one year and Toews was here for two. Unfortunately, they are Canadian, thus they don’t really count as true Minnesotans. And Shattuck isn’t part of the Minnesota State High School League, which some in this state consider to be a crime against humanity.

  3. wow, I guess there’s a reason you don’t pick your players from an overrated and seemingly diluted talent pool as shallow as “state of birth”, like that has ever had anything to do with hockey.

  4. This team would probably be worse than the Wild are now, just on goaltending alone!

    • You are probably right. And yeah, goaltending is an issue. In real life and this fake world of all Minnesota players. It’s all just speculation…hence the “what if” in the title.

  5. That team would be so awful

    •  I’m not saying they would be good. I’m quite certain it would be like watching a circus crash and burn. But if the Wild started picking some of their own home-grown kids who go off to be play-makers on other NHL teams, maybe the Wild would have better luck…maybe. The whole thing is one big question mark.
      For instance, would it make a difference if Nick Leddy hadn’t been traded? Maybe.

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