The Minnesota Wild are a bit of an enigma this season. They rocketed to the top of the NHL, then proceeded to collapse under the weight of injuries, roster confusion, and lack of cohesion. There are problems with the defense, both team and corps, and problems with being overly passive in every aspect of the game.
There are few places that this passiveness shows more than on the power play and in what coaches call "net presence." Net presence is generally a tough, hard to move guy willing to take a beating and have pucks bounced off of them. Picture Tomas Holmstrom, Ryan Smyth, Ryane Clowe. Guys with hard heads and big bodies.
Now picture the solution to all that ails the Wild: Nordy.
Nordy fits all of the holes the Wild have. He's big, standing 6' 6", has enough weight to be tough to move, and the big thing that makes him invaluable? He's Minnesotan, something that is obviously a must have to win a Cup. The size of his head alone makes it possible to simply bank a shot in off his mullet and let the opposing goalie make a feeble attempt to stop the puck.
Wild.com describes him as "strong and rugged but huggable and fun loving." All of those characteristics are missing on the current roster. With players shying away from the dirty scoring areas, a strong and rugged player, with a giant head, would be a boon to the squad. Couple that with a huggable, fun loving guy in the locker room to lighten the mood, and you have the makings of a fill in captain while Koivu is gone.
Asked for comment, Mike Yeo offered a quick smile and then some words
aimed at us that were unprintable.
The Wild clearly have the advantage in negotiating the contract, too. They can offer league minimum, re-sign him year to year, and have little chance of losing him. For the love of Pete, he has the Wild logo tattooed all over his face. He's a clear homer that would never hold out or ask for anything that would hurt the squad.
The best part? He wouldn't have to play more than about four minutes a game as a power play specialist, what with the Wild's inability to draw a call. Of course, with that giant head, rule 48 could come into play a few times a game.
We here at Hockey Wilderness feel this is the best move the Wild can make. They have called up nearly everyone from Houston, have few trade options, and don't seem to be willing to pack it in for the season. They have, at the ready, a player like Paul Deutsch. Dedicated to the team, and ready to play for the sheer joy of playing.
A big body for net presence on the power play, a Minnesotan, willing to work cheap.
The only question left to answer is... why hasn't he signed yet?
(Once again, thank you to Mr. Bennett for the comic inspiration.)