If you don't know who Jeff Taffe is, you are clearly not of the provincial Minnesota hockey fan-type. A former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher, and yes, the 1999 Minnesota Mr. Hockey award recipient, Taffe is everything a Minnesota fan could dream of. He is also a supporter of Defending the Blue Line, so he has my vote as a good guy.
Being a "good guy" aside, the question is, what does he bring to the table, and why is he here... uh... there? With a new batch of injuries, the Wild needed a forward. Devin Setoguchi is out for the next three games, and Cal Clutterbuck is "hurting." Thus, the need for a call up.
Sounds like things are lining up for him to be in the game, so let's figure out who this guy is.
Where does he fit? What will his job duties be? Make the jump and let's take a look.
Most Important Questions First
Taffe will wear number
19 23. You know you were going to ask. He changed it already. Wow.
A look at his stat line.
Next up, the expert, Ms. Conduct herself:
There's a class of player who are strong leaders in the room, real stable guys, with a reliable scoring touch at this level, and Taffe is one of those guys. He hasn't been as big a threat this season and I think most had hoped for, but he's got the kind of experience and skill that can sometimes be more meaningful than scoring with a team full of young guys.
I don't know what role he'll be expected to play with the Wild, though, so it will be interesting to see how they use him.
Not sure if I am impressed more by the flow he had in high school, or the creepiness of the video in general.
Apparently, he has some touch. Not exactly what will be expected of him, but he's got it if the situation presents itself.
Plenty move video on him on YouTube, too. Check it out if you want.
What it Means
Taffe will be a fourth liner. That much I can all but guarantee. Clutterbuck isn't playing, or at least that's the feeling the Wild's Twitter account gives, and they aren't going to bring Taffe in and throw him in the top six. The third line is nearly untouchable, so that leaves the fourth line. Looking at his stats, he's been around the block a time or two, so he likely knows what his role is. Don't expect a ton from him, but don't feel like you're being short changed here, either. The guy has been a pro hockey player for a fair amount of time. You don't stick around this long if you don't offer something.
Should be interesting to see how yet another call up impacts the play of the team, if at all. The Wild have had some pretty good luck with that this year. For Taffe's and the Wild's sake, let's hope that continues.