It’s Time For Billy Guerin to Show Us His General Managing Skills
Wow… who watched the Minnesota Wild play last night?
All of the coverage leading up to this game over the last week, screamed desperation.
They were coming off of another week-long break; one they all claimed to need so badly, with their immediate careers were on the line. Trade rumors are flying all over the light and dark web, regarding players like Jason Zucker, Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba or anyone else NOT named Zach Parise, Ryan Suter, or Mikko Koivu; who either have terrible contracts that nobody wants OR have no-move clauses.
Oh, and since this is the NHL… the playoffs were still attainable.
With all of that to play for, the Wild were expected to come out of the gates with flames shooting out of their assholes last night… loaded to the sphincter with fight and try-hard…
Then, the game started… and we were reminded VERY quickly that the Wild just aren’t very good… and never really play desperate.
One good thing came out of last nigh though…. Knowledge. Sometimes, what you learn in a loss can be a lot more productive than what you may have gained from a win.
Entering last night, The Wild were in the worst place an NHL team can be… They were in limbo. We now wake up on Sunday morning, with conviction.
It’s time for new General Manager, Billy Guerin, to give up on this Minnesota Wild team. It became very apparent vs Boston, to those who weren’t already sure, that this team isn’t good enough to make the playoffs, let alone make a legitimate Stanley Cup run.
That means, it’s #TankSZN and #TradeSZN for the Wild and fans are about to find out what kind of GM, Billy Guerin is going to be. Winning and losing in 2019-20 is no longer important (actually, losing is kind of important).
Preparing for 2020-21 and the arrival of Kirill Kaprizov is what’s now top-of-mind. Figuring out how to shed the consistent underperformance of this franchise year-in and year-out is what matters now.
Yes, #TradeSZN is now open for the Minnesota Wild, but as Michael Russo of The Athletic has pointed out many times (most recently this morning), that doesn’t mean Billy is up against a wall, to make a trade before the Feb. 24 deadline.
In the NHL, the trade deadline is often used to deal expiring contracts to teams who need rentals for a playoff push. That’s not what the Wild have. Zucker, Dumba, Brodin, and just about every other Wild trade asset, is under contract with years left.
The only negative with waiting to deal, could come in the form of wins. If Zucker, Dumba, Brodin, etc. help the Wild win games, they also keep them from moving up the 2020 NHL Draft board.
However, I’m here typing this right now because those players haven’t been able to produce wins consistently all season… so keeping them on the roster might not make the team that much better.
If the right deal presents itself, I expect Billy to jump at it. Just remember though, he doesn’t need to make any deals until the offseason, when offers are likely to be better.
If the season ended right now, the Wild would be in the #7 spot, entering the NHL Draft Lottery. The last time the Wild had a 1st-round draft pick as high as #7 was in 2012.
They took Matt Dumba.
Just like their Winter pro partners, the Minnesota Timberwolves, we have officially entered the part of a losing season for the Minnesota Wild, where losses are better for the team, than wins.
It’s going to be impossible to catch Detroit, who’s tanking skills are enviable, but everyone else in the league is less than 10 points behind the Wild. Imagine having a #2 pick to introduce next to Kaprizov this offseason….
Now that would be excitement this fan base hasn’t seen in years.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan