In the last three days, the Minnesota Wild have added Andrew Ebbett off waivers from the Chicago Blackhawks and traded Benoit Pouliot to the Montreal Canadiens for Guillaume Latendresse. These moves are likely seen from the front office as a way to spark a rather anemic offense and to try to provide some change to a team that has been underperforming to the expectations set by the franchise and the fanbase.
We've already looked a bit deeper into Andrew Ebbett, and much has been said about Latendresse's lackluster performance in Montreal, culminating in this passage from Habs Eyes on the Prize
2009-10 was said to be a season in which Latendresse would finally surpass the 20 goal mark, which is still something noteworthy for depth player on teams thought to be playoff bound. After seasons of 16, 16 and 14 goals, much more was expected of the former second round pick.
What effect will adding Ebbett and Latendresse have on the Wild? Where will they fit in the lines? How will this affect the offense, and will they be the type of players to give their all on every shift, work hard in the offensive zone and get back to cover their defensive responsibilities? How will this change the
Ebbett seems to be a second or third line center. He'll likely fit with Cal Clutterbuck and will likely see Latendresse on his other wing. With these two coming in, it's already moved Nathan Smith back to Houston and will probably see Danny Irmen on his way out other, with Robbie Earl joining them if/when Chuck Kobasew, Petr Sykora and Pierre-Marc Bouchard return.
With everyone healthy, lines might look something like this:
Andrew Brunette - Mikko Koivu - Martin Havlat
Owen Nolan - Eric Belanger - Antti Miettinen
Guillaume Latendresse - Andrew Ebbett - Petr Sykora
Cal Clutterbuck - Kyle Brodziak - Chuck Kobasew
So, where does this leave PMB, should he ever return? What about Derek Boogaard? Can you move Robbie Earl back to Houston? Does James Sheppard fit anywhere? Obviously injuries have played a major role this season, but if everyone's healthy, there are simply too many spots, and not enough guys have proven that they are assured a spot in the lineup.
So Wilderness, give me your answers!