Seems today is the "let's grade the scrubs" day here at Hockey Wilderness. Was bound to happen with 47 players suiting up for the team.
Nonetheless, Chad Rau put on a Wild sweater, and per Nathan's rules, is still on the franchise roster. Thus, he gets a grade, too. Minnesota boys always get good grades, right? Right. Well, at least in the perfect world that Wild fans seem to live in. How Rau didn't deliver a Stanley Cup is beyond me. It's almost like the universe doesn't quite understand that Minnesota boys equal Stanley Cups.
As we give Rau his season grades, please feel free to vent about how much the universe hates you.
#36 / Center / Minnesota Wild
Jan 18, 1987
Nathan- Gotta say this for Rau, unlike many AHLers, when he came up he actually scored. No, he's not likely to play more than a handful of games in any NHL season, but he's serviceable and has a scoring knack. I thought he would come up and suck. I couldn't figure out how this kid even ended up on an AHL roster. He never impressed me in high school or college. Color me shocked.
Bryan- Mr. Hockey Day. Chad Rau was the one guy Wild fans wanted to see all season, and they finally got their chance. And he scored some goals. That's how you continue to get the call when someone is needed. He played well. Why the heck not keep him up? Who knows, but he didn't get to stay. Maybe next year.
Jesse- If it's an important day for hockey, Chad Rau will deliver a game-winning goal. Unfortunately for Chad, there were only 2 such days this last season. Rau makes for a good secondary scorer in Houston and a decent call-up option, but that's probably the extent of his professional ability. Like McIntyre, he's just finishing his ELC, so he'll be back with Houston. A Rau/DiSalvatore combo to help supplement a Coyle/Philips/Fontaine skill line in Houston next year could prove to be an AHL Championship pairing.
JS- Minnesota needs more hockey days. Rau was just great. He made himself noticeable every game with his speed and raw determination. He actually took me by surprise, as I wasn't expecting much when he was called up. To me, he's the new Robbie Earl, but possibly better. He only played 9 games, so it's hard to tell.