Despite signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter last July for nearly $200 million combined, the Minnesota Wild apparently have some work to do on the ice before the national media buys in. Buzz around the Wild is higher than it’s ever been in franchise history, save the one exciting run to the 2003 Western Conference finals. Yet some media pundits are still in wait and see mode.
In ESPN’s preseason power rankings, the Wild rank #15. A spot that is probably low for this team. Here’s what Pierre LeBrun had to say:
“Yes, I know, lots of people are way higher on the Wild after the twin star additions of Parise and Suter. The hype reminds me of Buffalo a year ago after the Sabres’ bankrolling offseason. I do believe the Wild will make the playoffs, but before I anoint them Cup contenders I want to see how they jell with their new.”
While the ranking feels low, LeBrun’s take seems fair. Basically, prove it on the ice first, then we’ll buy into the hype. This seems like a fair way to approach things.
On the other hand, TSN.ca has the Wild ranked even lower than that with a preseason ranking of #20.
“No team made a bigger splash in the offseason than the Wild, adding marquee free agents LW Zach Parise and D Ryan Suter. Combined with a quality crop of prospects, including playmaking C Mikael Granlund, who is ready to contribute immediately, Minnesota should be much improved, maybe enough to reach the playoffs which, I acknowledge, is probably what all Wild fans are expecting after the summer bonanza.”
Everything about this ranking is odd. Scott Cullen has the Wild as likely making the playoffs, adding two “marquee free agents”, and bringing in a solid crop of young talent, but somehow they’re not good enough to be in the top two-thirds of the league. That doesn’t add up.
Regardless, we’ll finally be able to see our new talent play. Come this Saturday at 8pm, all the talk will be finished. It’s time to play hockey.