Wilderness Walk- 03-08-2013: Realignment, And It Feels So Good Edition

Hey, this is really fun, we should do this more often. - Jonathan Daniel

The Wild finally win realignment. Celly here.

YES WE CAN!

YES WE CAN!

12 years of all of this bullshit. The late games. The fake rivalries. The hideous travel schedule. Being denied the chance to compete against some of the richest histories in the NHL that the West has to offer. Finally, all of that is over, as the Wild and their fans finally got the decent end of the NHL's stick (rather than being poked in the eye with the short end of it), and are finally in a position to be in a division that is actually beneficial to the Wild.

While it's important to realize that this isn't official yet, there's virtually no chance the owners back out at this point.

So what does this mean for the Wild? Pretty much the opposite of the first paragraph. The Wild get to play in-division games with Chicago, St. Louis, and Winnipeg, rather than Vancouver, Edmonton, and Calgary. Those road games will be on at 7 or 8. Not 9 or 10. That's huge. Wild fans will be able to fully enjoy real rivalries, and even better, rivalries with fan bases we might actually come into contact with.

That, as you may imagine, takes up most of the news for the Wild, but the tourney, trade deadline, and some other fun stuff comes into play, too. So, let's get to the Walk.

Playoff Bubble Today

The Wild are placed 10th in the Conference with a total of 24 points. 4 points out of the Northwest Division lead. 4 points out of 4th in the Conference, and 2 points from being inside the playoff bubble.

Vancouver (28 points) lost in overtime to Columbus, by a score of 2-1.

Detroit (28) defeated Edmonton (21) in regulation 3-0.

St. Louis (26) defeated Phoenix (25) in regulation 6-3.

Dallas (26) defeated Los Angeles (26) in regulation, by a score of 5-2.

Wild News

NHLPA consents to realignment | StarTribune.com- Quick hit from Russo on realignment.

Minnesota Wild 'very pleased' with NHL realignment agreement - TwinCities.com- Craig Leipold's very happy about this. He's wanted this to happen since he bought the team. A much longer piece about realignment.

Cal Clutterbuck Practicing with Minnesota Wild - Gone Puck Wild- Gone Puck Wild with their take on Clutterbuck nearing his return, and also a bit on "Stompin'" Tom Connors.

The Tourney

Pioneers flex muscle (Hill-Murray v. Eastview) | Minnesota Hockey Hub

Pick up line (Edina v. Lakeville North) | Minnesota Hockey Hub

Wild goal Chase (Wayzata v. Centennial) | Minnesota Hockey Hub

Hounds hang tough (Duluth East v. Moorhead) | Minnesota Hockey Hub

Tending the Fields

Solar Bears made two deals at ECHL trading deadline - OrlandoSentinel.com- Some hot, breaking trade deadline news from the ECHL.

Off the Trail

NHLPA signs off on realignment; will ‘re-evaluate’ after 2014-15 season | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- This has a really extensive breakdown of realignment. If you want to understand the nooks and crannies, hit this link.

Fighting realignment too risky for NHLPA - Cross Checks Blog - ESPN- If you want to read on why the PA would approve this, even with plenty of people (mostly on Eastern Conference teams) pretty happy with the current arrangements, hit this Pierre LeBrun article.

NHL - Corey Perry, Daniel Alfredsson among top potential rental players on trade market - ESPN- Insider, but a pretty good breakdown of 20 players that could be available.

The Anaheim Ducks should trade Corey Perry and/or Ryan Getzlaf | Backhand Shelf- To the Wild. For a salary dump. Pretty sure that's what he's saying.

There’s no middle ground in NHL fighting debate | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- The only time fighting has ever been debated. Ever.

Dividing the NHL’s star forwards by style: Lurkers, Bombers, Long-Bodies and more- Justin Bourne's attempt to categorize the NHL's star forwards. Please pick up your torches and pitchforks for him not including Mikko Koivu, and join me in front of his house.

What’s behind St. Louis Blues’ humbling slump? | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- I don't know, but if they can avoid getting it together before the end of the season I could deal with it. You know what I'm saying, Broseidon?

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