Wilderness Walk: 6-6-2013

Well, looks like the Eastern Conference Finals was a bit of a dud after all. - Bruce Bennett

A brief thank you, and your regularly scheduled programming.

Hey Wilderness!

Before getting on to today's news, I just wanted to give a quick follow up to my article Monday about my puppy, Doug Funnie, passing away. It's still hard, but my girlfriend, Alicia, and I are through the worst of it. We're eating again. We're sleeping again. We've each gotten through shifts at work without crying. We can look at pictures of him, or tell stories about him, and smile. We're slowly changing our mental image of him from how confused and scared he looked in the last minutes of his life, and transitioning it back to the sweet, happy boy he was when he was with us. We're very grateful for this, as we're looking forward to our pain healing like his nightmares once did.

This couldn't happen at the rate that it has without the support of you all. Alicia and I could feel your love and your willingness to share in our grief, even though there's plenty in the world to grieve, plenty in the world to be sad about. The fact that you chose to help bear our burdens will not be something we soon forget, and for that, you all receive our most sincere gratitude.

Life moves on. And thank God it does.

Onto the Walk.

Wild News

Raanta reportedly agrees to terms with the Blackhawks | StarTribune.com- So, that was one of the ways to get a cheap new goalie. I've no idea why he'd want to sign with the Blackhawks. Corey Crawford doesn't have the pedigree, but he's gotten the job done. Does he think he's going to take that job?

First Round Bust: Minnesota Loses Out on Antti Raanta; Forced to Settle With Zach Parise/Ryan Suter- Does this mean we'll see the return of Backstrom, after all?

Analyzing the Minnesota Wild’s Restricted Free Agents – Part One: The Forwards - Gone Puck Wild- This is mostly Cal Clutterbuck, who I think is expendable.

Michael Russo: Minnesota Wild 'Will Try' to Trade for 1st Round Pick - Gone Puck Wild- Supposedly this is a deep draft into the second round. Guys fall, so unless he feels there will be an elite late round option (ala a Zack Phillips), I don't know why he'd want to trade for a first round pick. I'd keep the second and two thirds, or trade the two thirds for another second, especially with Flahr's track record.

First Round Bust: Mike Modano Will Appropriately Have His #9 Retired Against Minnesota- Great. Pencil that in for some North Stars name v. Wild name talk.

First Round Bust: PHOTO: Iowa Wild Do Not Retire #1- They will retire the number "Corn", though, so there's that.

Tending the Fields

Please make sure to stop by later (or now, depending on whether it's 10 AM yet) and see the continued progress of Dan Chan's HW 2013 Community Mock Draft. Yours truly has been making a killing in it (with the caveat that having three first rounders often will do that, but whatevs) and may even get to make my second round pick today. Anyway, it's a great way to learn about the prospects the Wild could have drafted had they not traded their pick to Buffalo, and when you get into Rounds 2 and beyond, you start seeing the people the Wild may actually be able to draft. It's been a good time.

Off The Trail

Patrice Bergeron’s double OT goal gives Bruins 3-0 series lead on Penguins | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports

IT'S OVER (via Homestarrunner.net: It's dot com!)

Duncan Keith suspended for Game 4 after ‘retaliatory’ high stick on Jeff Carter | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports-

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I think this was a (adjective) suspension, and it'll be interesting to see how (noun) handles it, as they strive to (verb) the (adjective) (noun).

Brad Marchand back to being NHL’s most annoyingly great playoff performer | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- And this was before he assisted on the OT winner.

NHL players vote to grandfather in mandatory visors | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- I think any reasonable step towards safety is a good idea. Now, get no-touch, or at least hybrid, icing in there, and for God's sake, let's get some reasonable goalie pads on these guys.

30 Thoughts: Penguins desperate for inspiration | Hockey | CBC Sports- A lot of stuff, but one thing that stuck out- Gui Latendresse could be in Europe next year. After what he provided for the Wild in that magical half-season: Wow. How the mighty have fallen.

Thoughts on Thoughts: Penguins desperate for inspiration | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Bourne elaborates.

Unsung Hero: Bryan Bickell is going to get paid | Puck Daddy - Yahoo! Sports- Chicago does have plenty of cap space, though. But a lot of people to re-sign.

The Quiet Room: The Stinky Slewfoot | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- If you woke up wanting to read about slewfooting, it was your lucky day.

These are now the official jerseys of the Carolina Hurricanes | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Meh. It'll never live up to the Whale. And also, I can't tell you by looking at these how they've deviated from the previous ones.

These are now the official jerseys of the Dallas Stars | Backhand Shelf | Blogs | theScore.com- Anything beats the Mooterus. But seriously, these are OK. At least they didn't try to go with Red or Powder/Navy Blue, like just about every other team.

P.S. Also, after 5 months on this job, I finally stopped being stupid and figured out how to get these links to open in a separate window. It was insanely obvious. Enjoy.

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