Minnesota’s connection to Scandinavian countries just grew a bit stronger, thanks to the Wild signing their 2010 draft pick and Finnish superstar, Mikael Granlund.
Since the 1800’s Finns have called Minnesota their home. So, it seems fitting that Mikael move to the Twin Cities and join the largest population of Finns in North America.
Granlund’s impact on the team is TBD. Some think he’ll add the offensive power the Wild are lacking. Others are concerned about his size, strength, and speed.
Some already have him playing wing to Mikko’s center; embracing each other in a Finn-hug-fest after every goal as thousands of Finnish descendants roar in approval.
Team Finland’s Captain at this year’s IIHF World Championships, Granlund is excited to join the Minnesota Wild (watch his “hello” video and highlights) and link up with fellow Finn, Mikko Koivu. Granlund said, “I’ve talked to Mikko and he’s said many good things about Minnesota. The organization has been great. I’m just looking forward to playing there. I think it’s a big help for me that Mikko is there and other Finnish players, too. Hopefully everything goes well” (Michael Russo/startribune.com).
Acclimating to Minnesota was not a problem for Mikko and Mikael’s Finnish countrymen in the 19th century, so it can only go up hill from here. Plus, I’m sure Mikko and Mikael will be rooting for prospect and fellow Finn, Erik Haula to join “Little Finland.” Mikko is certainly going to be a bridge to Minnesota for young Grandlund. Mikael and Mikko – the new Kane and Toews?
Still, others, probably the Norwegians and Swedes, are raising their eyebrows in confusion at the Wild’s management wondering why Charlie Coyle was not the chosen one (at this time).
The debate will rage on. Fans will continue to question Fletcher’s decisions and Leipold’s unfailing trust in him. Coyle’s turn will come. But for now, it is what it is. Granlund is coming to Minnesota.
Welcome home, Mikael.
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.