Here we are, a full week into the season, and the Wild are... the Wild. There are still things going right, some things going very right, and oh so many things going oh, so very wrong. Fans are going to begin to pigeon hole players. Who is the new Skoula? Who are the leaders? Who makes too much? Who is the best bargain? Who needs to be benched, and who deserves more time on the ice?
No matter what, there will be players to buy into, and there will be players to sell off. Make the jump for this week's stock listings.
Mikko Koivu (Ticker Symbol: KAPT): Koivu has many nicknames. "Kaptain Koivu" being the favorite around these parts. He may have to fight for it, but the new nickname could be "Mule." He certainly carries enough of this team around on his back to deserve it. Sure, it's taken. Who cares? The captain of the team is always going to be a favorite, and Koivu is no exception. He is what he is, and he is nothing less.
Rating: Strong Buy
Guillaume Latendresse (Ticker Symbol: BTE): $2.5 million per year to skate on the fourth line, and he looks more and more like he deserves to be there. Too many times in the game with Columbus, he was floating, tired, out of position. It pains us to see him like this, for obvious reasons. We put a strong buy on this guy before the season. Clearly, he doesn't want to prove his worth. At least... not at the moment. Pull it together, Lats. A lot of people put a lot of faith in you.
Rating: Strong Sell
Martin Havlat (Ticker Symbol: CZCH): Havlat is tearing it up. Told he is "light years ahead" of where he was last season, Havlat responded with a two assist game in which he was everywhere on the ice. If Koivu has an off night, Havlat is going to need to step it up, and he did just that. He has a ton of pressure on him, so hopefully the new second line can make things happen.
Eric Nystrom (Ticker Symbol: WHO): Nystrom is a -6 on the season. Sure, he is on a checking line, but he also always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Brought on board to secure the defensive side of the team, he has contributed, but not nearly as much as he could. If it were up to a choice between him and Robbie Earl, I'm buying the sombrero.
Antti Miettinen (Ticker Symbol: MITTS): Mittens has shown something in the first four games that we did not see all of last season. An ability to put the puck on, and in, the net. He leads the team with 19 SOG, has a goal and two assists, and for the first time in a long time, he looks like he may just belong on a line with Koivu. Don't get me wrong, he still needs to prove himself, but a little buy in never hurts.
Brent Burns (Ticker Symbol: IJ): Yep. The bandwagon has arrived. It is time to jump on, or miss your chance. The Burns we saw before the injuries and forward experiment is back. Pinching at just the right time, scoring, creating chances, solid defensively... This guy owes Rick Wilson a beer.
Rating: Strong Buy
Wild (Ticker Symbol: W): Sigh. Who knows? 2 to 1 and pick 'em folks. It all depends on which team comes out each night, and it gets a little old writing that, trust me. They play well... when they play. Richards has it right when he says they seem to be waiting for something. Until they figure out what that something is, you should wait as well.
Invest your emotional fan dollar wisely. Buy low, sell high. Learn from past performance, and wager on the "Sure thing." No matter what? Enjoy the ride.