Having given a market value to the defensemen and the centers, we continue to break down the fan incentive market value of each player on the squad. This week, the left wings.
Having only two players on the current roster that the NHL lists as a left wing, we put a small disclaimer on this post. Even though the NHL thinks players play a certain position does not mean they do. I have read on NHL.com that Butch was a center, that Koivu was the third line pivot, and any number of other gaffes.
Truth is, the Wild have players playing outside of their "natural" position. It happens, and there is usually a glut at one position, not enough at another, and some one has to skate on both sides of the ice. Please, do not read a great deal into if the forwards are listed here, or on NHL.com, as a LW or RW. Just know that there are a handful of players that can play both sides, OK? OK.
Now, let's look at which left wings you should be investing your valuable fan incentive dollar into.
Andrew Brunette (BRNO) - How could you ever not like Bruno? The guy puts up 60 points every year, and still no one counts him as an elite player. Nothing he does is flashy, and he isn't going to beat a peewee in a footrace, but the man can play the game. Garbage goals, rebounds, and battles behind the net, Brunette will make the opposition look stupid every time. Give him space, and he will make you pay for it. The guy deserves a Cup. He wants it to be with the Wild, we want him to get one. As much as it sucks to say, he needs to be traded to a contender.
Rating: Strong Buy
Cal Clutterbuck (CBUK) - Leading the team in goals, leading the NHL in hits, talking so much trash that Waste Management can't keep up, and pissing off Adrian Dater simply by being alive. Clutterbuck is a living legend here in Minnesota. If you aren't on board with a player who gives everything he has, every shift, every second... move to Denver. You'll fit right in.
Rating: Strong Buy
Eric Nystrom (WHO) - The feelings about Nystrom around these parts is pretty well known. We simply feel he was brought in to do more than he is, and he brings very little to the table. Recently, the hits have started coming, which is good to see. His defensive play has been sorely lacking this season, and if there is a more snakebitten player when it comes to scoring, we don't know who it is. If he can't score, he needs to prevent scoring, and his -13 rating says he is struggling with that. No offense, no defense. What's left?
Brad Staubitz (BTZY) - Staubitz is as up and down as the team in the standings. Never expected to offer much, Staubitz is supposed to be the guy who drops the gloves when the team needs him to. The comparisons to Derek Boogaard were inevitable, and remain completely unfair. Staubitz has done his job, for the most part. Even if he is not as big a defensive liability as Boogey was, he still lacks a bit. He is strong on the forecheck, and we would love to see him be just as strong on the back check. The physical play needs to come out, or Staubitz becomes replaceable. More hitting, please, sir. Fists, body checks, hip checks, anything. Just hit something, Bitzy.
Initial Public Offering
Chuck Fletcher (BOSS) - The patience Fletcher has shown with this team this season should have the Pope doing a find+replace in the Bible and removing this "Job" guy. We can safely assume he is working the trade market, but there has been no reactionary moves that affect long term strategy. No Chuck Kobasew trade, no Cam Barker trade. If it isn't a move that helps now, and long term, there is no need to make the move.
I don't want to be in his seat right now. Trade? No trade? Buy? Sell? No way, thanks anyway.