Surprise! Not Gretzky!
Some days, it is difficult to be a writer outside the "mainstream." The view from the basement at my mom's house isn't always that good, what with the window well needing to be cleaned out and all. Other days, however, it is a great deal of fun to not be tied to a job that would likely fire me for expressing my opinion.
Today is one of those fun days.
First off, over at SBNation Minnesota, I take a look at this odd belief that if Zach Parise wins the Stanley Cup with the Devils, he would somehow then be more likely to sign in Minnesota. Sorry, Tom. That post was written last night, published this morning at 8AM, and ready for you to digest.
The reason I mention it, is because if the article from Sid Hartman had been available last night, you wouldn't even have known that Mr. Powers had written anything. Yes, Minnesota's favorite crotchety old man is at it again. Make the jump for a look at one of the most entertaining articles of the year.
You might need a doughnut or something here, folks. It's that good.
In his column, known for rambling on longer than Grandpa Simpson and giving even less useful information, Mr. Hartman today goes after Mikael Granlund. Hartman is not happy about the fact that a handful of people have compared the Granlund situation to that of Ricky Rubio. If that is what Mr. Hartman would have said, we likely wouldn't be having this discussion.
Instead, we get this:
Mikael Granlund, a 20-year-old star in Finland, hasn't played a single game in the NHL and already he is being built up as another Wayne Gretzky, or Ricky Rubio on skates.
I'm not even sure what to do with this. So is Mr. Hartman comparing Ricky Rubio to Wayne Gretzky?
The media (of which Mr. Hartman is a part) has certainly built up Granlund, and the excitement that comes with him. Somehow, though, I don't think anyone has compared him to Gretzky. If they did, please let me know and I will personally give them a digital slap across the face.
The only one who has used Gretzky and Granlund in the same article, let alone sentence, is Mr. Hartman. No one here at Hockey Wilderness, no one at the Star Tribune, no one at the Wild, and no one at any of the other Wild blogs have done so. Why? Because Granlund isn't Gretzky, and we know it. Everyone knows it. Hell, Sidney Crosby isn't even Wayne Gretzky.
No one has built up anyone to the levels of being the Next One, Sid. No one. Well... except you.
Now, as for the build up of young Mr. Granlund. To be fair, Rubio was mentioned on every news cast, in every newspaper, on sites from Canis Hoopus to SBNation.com, and everything in between for years before he decided to grace the Wolves with his presence.
Here is the quote from Mr. Hartman:
Is there any doubt that the competition while playing with an elite Finnish team against other European teams is a lot different than facing proven NHL stars?
No, there isn't. Did someone suggest otherwise? At the same time, was there any doubt that playing in Spain against other European teams is a lot different than facing proven NBA stars? Just curious.
Rubio degraded the state after being drafted, didn't want to be here, and likely only signed because he realized he had no other choice if he wanted to be in the NBA. Granlund signed because he fulfilled all of his other obligations. That's a big difference.
Basketball fans wanted updates on Rubio. Hockey fans wanted updates on Granlund. The media provided them. Is that not exactly what the media is supposed to do? Unless, of course, from now on the StarTribune and all other media sources are supposed to pretend these kids don't exist until they sign. Judging from the number of page views we get from prospect work, that isn't likely to happen.
As long as the fans want to know where the prospects are, the "media" in all its forms will provide that information. Simple as that.
Now can someone please tell me how the hell Wayne Gretzky got involved in all this?
Note: Mr. Hartman also discusses how Parise would be more likely to sign here after winning a Cup. Please reference the article linked before the jump.