Wild decide to waste a jersey on Sheppard

Originally Posted at Goon's World. I must say that I am highly disappointed in the Wild for tendering him a contract. James Sheppard is a first round bust a will never amount to a hill of beans in the NHL. Why? He has had three seasons to prove him self and has done nothing but take up a roster spot on a team starving for offense. For the love of Zeus’s butt please get rid of this waste of space. I have seen nothing in Sheppard’s flimsy game that leads me to believe that he will even be a third or fourth line player. He has no scoring touch, he isn’t a very good defensive player, he isn’t overly physical – what the hell is his role? Filler player.

NHL.COM - When analyzing James Sheppard, many point to his low point total last year (six), and his high draft position in 2006 (nine). There's one other number to look at when it comes to "Shep" (22).

While yet to find his niche on the Minnesota Wild, the 22-year-old Sheppard will have at least another year to show why he was so highly coveted as a big, young center. On Wednesday, the restricted free agent signed a one-year deal to remain in Minnesota for the 2010-11 season.

The Wild also sent qualifying offers to Guillaume Latendresse, Josh Harding, Anton Khudobin, Nate Prosser and Matt Kassian. Morten Madsen and Jamie Fraser did not receive offers.

The Sheppard deal comes as a relief to a player who is disappointed in a rough 2009-10 season, but says he is completely focused on raising his game in a Wild sweater.

"Last year was not an ideal year for me," Sheppard admitted. "There is a lot I want to accomplish, and a lot of work I have to do to accomplish those things. It really is a relief to have this out of the way early, and it shows that Chuck Fletcher wanted me to be here to raise my game. He made that clear to me by signing me early in the summer, and he also made clear that there is a lot of work to be done for me in Minnesota."

Sheppard is confident he has a lot more to offer, but he makes no excuses for the inability to make an immediate impact. He acknowledged that several facets of his game need improvement, and he is devoted to improving all of them.

If I was the GM of the Minnesota Wild (that is my dream job) I say this; James thanks for you three years of service to the Wild but we won’t need you this season, we are going to try and land a player that will actually contribute on the score card. I mean seriously, who cares is Sheppard is first round draft choice, would it be different if he was a 2nd – 7th round pick, no one is going to take him off the Wild’s hands, he sucks. I don't think the Wild could get a bag of used pucks and dirty jock straps for him. I wonder if there is someone in the Wild's front office that is holding out hope (desperately) that Sheppard will all of a sudden Sheppard is going to blossom into this great offensive player that will lead the Wild to the Promised Land. Yeah! And I am going to be a super model. Wild Beat Writer Mike Russo has a very good interview with the Wild GM Chuck Fletcher that decided to give Sheppard yet another chance to stick up the Xcel Energy Center. [Click to read Russo's Rants]

The opinions posted here are not those of Hockey Wilderness

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