Scratching Marco Rossi Makes Zero Sense

Photo Credit: Abbie Parr (AP)

The Minnesota Wild are 0-2-0 to start the season and matchup next with the 1-1-0 reigning Stanley Cup champion, Colorado Avalanche, on Monday night. Bill Guerin and Dean Evason are taking the game very seriously, too.

Marc-Andre Fleury has been benched, after two absolutely horrid starts to kickoff the season, in favor of 24-year-old backup, Filip Gustavsson. The Wild have also called up centerman, Sam Steele, to presumably replace rookie Marco Rossi.

It’s possible, however, that Rossi still plays Monday night vs Colorado. Mats Zuccarello had to leave morning skate on Monday with an unknown injury/sickness that could hold him out tonight. That would bump Rossi back into the lineup.

What are we doing here?

Marco Rossi was expected to take a huge jump in 2022-23. Then, he had a great preseason (8 points in 6 games) and expectations grew even higher. Entering the season, Rossi was one of the leading preseason vote-getters and had some of the highest future odds to win the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year).

But when the puck dropped on the Minnesota Wild’s 2022-23 regular season, Rossi was buried on the 4th line. He’s averaging just 7.29 minutes of ice time, through two games. Now, he’s benched. Which begs the question: What are the Minnesota Wild doing here?

If Marco Rossi isn’t ready to contribute at the NHL level then he should be in Iowa, skating 18 minutes per night and running with the first line. In no scenario, whatsoever, should he be sitting up in the press box without hockey pads on. Even if disappointed in Marco Rossi’s play early on, keeping him off the ice entirely is unsalable.

I sure hope Dean and Billy know what they’re doing.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan