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Movember; Fletcher not afraid to deal; LeBrun on Latendresse; What's right with the NHL: Daily Links

Cal_mustache_medium "Wild" 'Staches Help Fight Cancer - CBS News
Playoff beards are pretty common in professional hockey, but November mustaches? They certainly won't help a team win the Stanley Cup, but the Minnesota Wild hope they might do something better - raise awareness of prostate cancer. Wild players have been sporting 'staches as part of the newly dubbed month of "Movember" - a month-long effort that hits close to home for some of them.

NHL -- LeBrun Blog -- Minnesota Wild gain safer bet in trade with Montreal Canadiens - ESPN
In the end, I think the Wild made the safer investment here. Size doesn't grow on trees. I think Latendresse will become a solid, second-line, power-winger type for years to come. The Canadiens got the guy that can still possibly become a first-line offensive threat, but they also took on more risk if he's unable to figure out what it takes to apply his talent at this level.

Wild ready to deal when the deal is right |
The timing, Chuck Fletcher said, was merely coincidental. Monday's swap of the underachieving Benoit Pouliot for Montreal winger Guillaume Latendresse wasn't meant to strike fear in the Wild locker room in the wake of an 8-12-2 start. It will inevitably have that effect on some players. But the general manager sent a more hopeful message, too: that he stands ready and willing to upgrade his roster any time the opportunity presents itself.

Hitting The Post: A pick-me-up
The NHL has come under significant fire lately for all kinds of reasons. Franchise bankruptcies, franchise stability (or instability) in warm-weather locales, players running others and getting away with it, and various other sordid bits of badness. So let's take a moment and give the league credit for what it gets right.

Minnesota Wild lost in mediocrity -
The current State of Hockey is suspended animation. The Minnesota Wild is running on a treadmill to nowhere. The Wild does not look like a playoff contender, despite a reasonable back end with goalie Niklas Backstrom and credible defensemen, but neither does this team look like a no-hope bottom feeder even as it sits last in the Western Conference. It is a mediocre bunch that is a little too promising to be favorites in the Taylor Hall/Tyler Seguin draft sweepstakes that will occur next June. Stuck in the vast middle, the Wild neither remotely good enough nor flat terrible enough to have a solid Stanley Cup run or a gilt-edged draft in its future.