Ten “Wild” Predictions

This NHL season is bound to be an interesting one, and the Minnesota Wild will definitely have some interesting moments. At the start of every season, it seems like everybody is

Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Icon SMI)

predicting something that they think will happen at some point. Most of the time, somewhere around 70% of those predictions aren’t going to occur. However all of us sports writers make them anyway because that’s just what we do. So here are ten things that probably won’t happen in the Wild world this year, but are certainly possible.

  • The Wild Trade Mikko Koivu: This is something that very likely could happen in the near future. Is Koivu a solid player? Yes. But is Mikko Koivu going to lead the Wild to the Stanley Cup anytime soon? Probably not. I realize that Koivu is the captain of the team, and he should be, however I personally do not believe that Mikko is capable of being the captain of a Stanley Cup champion.
  • Tyler Cuma Plays 82 Games For The Wild: Most true Wild fans will agree with me on this one. If you are a true Wild fan and you don’t agree, then you may need to watch Tyler Cuma play 82 games with Minnesota this year before you argue.
  • Josh Harding Is Traded By The End Of October: Things just aren’t working out for Harding in Minnesota anymore. A change of scenery is probably needed for Harding to get back to winning games. With Matt Hackett on the rise, Harding could be out of Minnesota very soon.
  • Dany Heatley Scores Over 40 Goals: This may just be the most realistic prediction on the list. Heatley and Setoguchi on the same line could become a dominant goal-scoring machine. Watch out.
  • Matt Hackett Starts 30 Games With The Big Club: Niklas Backstrom is clearly the number one tender of the twine. But there is always the possibility of injury, and since Josh Harding could be gone by the end of October,  Hackett could very well become the backup goalie.
  • Zack Phillips Makes The Team: Now this prediction is a long shot, and has about a 5% chance of happening, but hey, there’s still a chance. He has the necessary combination of skill and toughness to make it in this league, and if a top forward goes down in training camp, Phillips could very well be capable of taking his place.
  • Devin Setoguchi Wins The Rocket Richard Trophy: This is way more possible than you originally thought when you read that headline, isn’t it? You thought about it for a few seconds and thought, “Wow, Devin Setoguchi working with Heatley and Koivu…he could score a whole load of goals…”. Now you’re thinking, “Setoguchi actually could win that trophy…”. Yes, yes he could.
  • Pierre-Marc Bouchard Is An All-Star: Bouchard is due for a fantastic year, and I think this is the year where he breaks out as a thirty-goal scorer. The Wild have brought in some great offensive talent, and that could really give Bouchard a confidence boost. If he can get back to his days of being an offensive force with Chicoutimi (QMJHL), the Wild could really become a playoff contender.
  • The Wild Make The Playoffs: A playoff run is a serious possibility with the talent the Wild have assembled this offseason. If even just one of Bouchard, Heatley, or Setoguchi score over thirty goals, it could allow the Wild to sneak into the final playoff spot.
  • The Minnesota Wild Win The Stanley Cup: What? Did you seriously think I wouldn’t say this?

Now, like I said earlier, you may not agree with some of the predictions on this list. I have no problem with that, because you are certainly free to think whatever you please. But I challenge you to believe in your two favourites on this list, because if you believe in them, they might just happen.

David OConnor

  • Mike

    Great story. The Wild need to find an identity in the last few seasons, but they’ve struggled to find an identity since their beginning. This writer had a great back story of the trades this season with the Sharks and finally putting an end to the North Stars-Sharks-Dallas debacle all of us Minnesotans were forced to endure. http://www.tchuddle.com/2011/09/the-minnesota-wild-look-for-an-identity-in-2011/

  • David O’Connor

    These are “Wild” predictions everyone. There’s no need to freak out over the Koivu one.

  • Trevor

    I was hoping to see something “wild” about Cal Clutterbuck. Easily my favorite player on the Wild, and my Wild prediction is Clutterbuck for 60pts.

  • Jon

    The Koivu prediction and statement that he is not the type of Captain that could lead a team to the Stanley cup is ridiculous. Do your homework, he is everything a captain needs to be in this league, it is clear you yourself don’t watch all 82 games each year…which leads into the point that injuries derailed Tyler Cuma and any chance he had to play a full season with the Wild this year, the skill isn’t where it needs to be. You should have written this three years ago when people/scouts/directors/all player personel thought this was the case.

  • Dustin

    How do you not think Koivu is the type of captain who can win a Stanley Cup? Give him a contending team to captain and I can definitely see him rising to the occasion.

    • Emmet Klocker

      Exactly! The Koivu prediction / opinion is wrong on so many levels. Mikko is a born leader that every team in the NHL would love to have guide them to a cup championship. That post was just for shock value anyway…

      Aside from that flub, I can get down with most of the rest of the list. I like Heater scoring 40!