"I'm getting too old for this," I muttered, as I stepped back into the room. I brushed my hand in the familiar place to flip on the light switch, and surveyed the room. It was the same. The exact same way that I remembered it. It was dusty, but otherwise untouched by time. With little time to spare, I sat down, opened my laptop, and started to do the Walk.
I'm back in the Wilderness Walk game.
We've got a lot to get to today, but before we do I want to mention two things. 1) We have a super awesome Draft Party that we're hosting at Wild Tymes in St. Paul on June 24th. If you think you're desperate for hockey now, your appetite for our favorite game will be ravenous by late June. There's going to be a live episode of our podcast, and some kick-ass dance music at the conclusion of the first round. It's a must-attend event.
2) If you haven't heard it yet, we have a new episode of our podcast. Special guest Adam Stafki joined us to discuss the three coaching candidates that Chuck Fletcher had in-person interviews with, Fletcher's denial-heavy press conference, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter's influence on the Wild organization, and expansion. If you haven't listened to an episode before, give it a try! At worst, it'll kill an hour of your commute/workday.
And now we Walk.
Boudreau expected to interview with Ottawa; Wild coaching update - StarTribune.com- That Bruce Boudreau would interview in Ottawa was always going to be a given. He owes it to himself to do his due diligence in this coaching search.
The more notable news in this is that Fletcher has conducted phone interviews with Marc Crawford and Guy Boucher. Let's get to Crawford first: I'm not a fan. Discussing his performance first, Crawford won a Stanley Cup early in his career, like Randy Carlyle did, and similarly to Carlyle did so with one of the better teams in recent memory- the 1995-96 Avalanche. He has one playoff series win this century, and spent his last 5 years piloting his teams to no better than 4th place. Throw in his role in the Todd Bertuzzi - Steve Moore incident, and I want nothing to do with Crawford.
I think of all the coaches in the Not-Boudreau division, I like Guy Boucher best. He doesn't have a huge track record, and he might be too defensive to be the Wild's ideal candidate, but I liked that he managed to navigate a terrible goaltending situation and get an otherwise good Tampa Bay team to the Conference Final in 2010-11. There are risks, but he might be the best of this bunch.
Torching Pommer - Articles - Articles - Homepage - Wild Xtra- Ben Remington looks at whether the end of Jason Pominville's season merits him sticking around.
2015-16 Minnesota Wild Season Report Card: Team Assessment | State of Hockey News- Derek Felska grades the team's offense, defense, and special teams.
Reusse: Wild candidate Boudreau has history with colorful Fighting Saints - StarTribune.com- It's maybe not the same as having a granddaughter in Minnesota, but Boudreau does indeed have some Minnesota ties.
Tending the Fields
Picks, analysis for each first-round pick of the 2016 draft - NHL- The Wild pass on Kieffer Bellows in this mock draft to select a pivot. (Insider)
Today's Slapshot 2016 Mock NHL Draft - Picks 1-10- No Wild pick in this one, but also, no paywall. Check out how the first 10 picks could go down.
Off the Trail
Cody Eakin snipe in overtime ties Blues, Stars series | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- I herd u liek overtime.
Huge if True: NHL coaching carousel waits on Bruce Boudreau | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- No one's going to move on a coach until Boudreau signs. Maybe not even Anaheim.
Panthers re-sign living legend Jaromir Jagr to one-year deal | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- You might wonder why a 44-year-old Jagr would return to play hockey, but he was the NHL's leader in 5v5 Points/60.
You read that right.That's amazing.
Defense Wins Cups And Other Playoff Myths - TSS- Though anyone watching the Wild these last 15 years could tell you that "defense wins championships" is a myth. Defense gets you to a Conference Final once every decade and a half.
4 trades paying huge dividends for the Penguins | theScore.com- The Penguins rebuilt their depth thanks to some savvy trades.
Down Goes Brown: The top 10 old guys without a Cup - Sportsnet.ca- Must be some sliiiiiiiiim pickings if Steve Ott ranks #10.
3 Up And 3 Down - Pending NHL Free Agents - TSS- A look at who's improving and depressing their stock in the playoffs.
Jack Adams Award Finalists: Gallant vs. Ruff vs. Trotz | Puck Daddy - Yahoo Sports- There were a lot of good candidates for this award, but these three are solid choices.
NHL Salary Cap Crunch Makes For Desperate Trades - TSS- Hopefully the Wild can find an even-more-desperater team than them to trade with?