Wednesday was the first day of free agency for both the NBA and NHL and—if you’re a regular reader of TK, you’ll be surprised where this is going—it was a very big day…for the Wild. Yes, even with my limited knowledge (and interest for that matter) of hockey I realized that Wednesday was a symbolic day in the transformation of the Team of 18,000.
For the first time in the franchise’s short history, there will be a new general manager and coach for the Minnesota Wild. Add to that a new owner who has only owned the team for just over a year, and you have a complete regime change over at the Xcel Energy Center. However, the overhaul wasn’t fully complete until Wednesday. That’s when Marion Gaborik, the team’s last original member and the only superstar in franchise history, bolted to New York with a 5 year, $37.5 million deal.
There is a 90% chance that Gabby injured his groin on this play
At first I was a bit perturbed about the signing (not being a true fan, I couldn’t actually be angry or even mildly upset about it). I naively thought that we actually had a decent chance of retaining him. All of the reports I had read said that he had a problem with the way management had treated him, especially during his most recent injury. Well, with everyone who was once in power gone, I thought we could convince him to stay with the team that drafted him and buy into the new high octane offense that new GM Chuck Fletcher and Coach Todd Richards have promised.
But that was not to be. As soon as it was legally possibly, Gabby got on his horse and got the eff out of dodge. The hastiness with which he signed, along with the price rubbed me the wrong way. Here was the franchise leader in just about every offensive category bolting town for $7.5 million per, when less than a year ago he turned down the Wild’s offer of 10 years, $78.5 million (that’s $7.85 million per for the math majors out there).
Well you know what? We don’t need ya.
No rebuilding project is complete without completely gutting everything and everyone (just ask the Wolves). That includes oft-injured (he played in only 207 games in his Wild career, while missing 121), overrated (frustration), whiny ass wingers. It’s time for a change and we don’t need that kind of attitude on our squad or in our clubhouse. Besides, we’ve got Pierre Marc-Bouchard, Mikko Koivu (and likely his brother Saku soon), Josh Harding, and newly signed Martin Havlat to lead the charge into the new era of Wild hockey.
It's the dawn of a new era in the State of Hockey
So, as the old saying goes, don’t let the doorknob hit you on the ass on your way out, Marian (isn’t that a girl’s name anyways?).
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Posted by Q at Sunday, July 05, 2009