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Article: The Wild Need To Take A Step Back To Move Forward

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Furthermore, Spurgeon didn't show up in the playoffs, which has become a trend recently. Heck, even the always reliable Brodin didn’t play like his usual self.

I am glad someone else has noticed this too. Spurgeon has had a great run with us, and he's an inspiring story. He is undervalued at his current salary and is still playing healthy and at a high level. Could he help us get a piece we need? Spurgeon plays #1D on this team and would be considered a 1st pairing guy in the NHL. Yet, when it comes to playoffs, he looks more like a 2nd pairing guy. I think his numbers will bare that out.

He's not getting any younger, and he's still very useful. I'm just wondering if a team a little closer to the cup could use Spurgeon as a 2nd pairing guy? I'm sure we could find a win-win scenario where Spurgeon can help another franchise while we are kind of in neutral for a couple of years. 


Most importantly, it’s time for the Wild to insert their young players and prospects into the lineup permanently. They should find a way to financially tender a qualifying offer to Sam Steel and see what he can do for another year. Marco Rossi and Calen Addison need to be on their roster next season, and it’s time to end the notion that these prospects need to be completely polished or “ready” before having a permanent spot.

Steel and Addison will not need much to be qualified. Honestly, I don't think Steel earned much in the way of a raise, and should probably be thrilled just to be on an N roster. Addison may be a trouble spot. Looking at his body language late in the season, he looked more like a poster boy for Southwest Airlines in their "Want to get away" advertising slogan. I'm not sure he even wants to be here anymore. This is a guy who might go the offersheet route. Or, he might be open if Shooter asks him about a trade.

But the real meat in this statement is the end, bring up the prospects! How is the best way to do this? Would it be best to have a shuttle running from St. Paul to Des Moines, where the kids get somewhat sheltered minutes in St. Paul, yet extended minutes in Des Moines? Take what they've learned in St. Paul and apply them to their A game? Or is it best to get promoted and stay there? And then comes the big question, will Evason even play them? 

I have found that having extra players around generally means those that are playing at the higher level play harder because they can see who's behind them. The Wild like to carry rosters of 22. Many of the kids don't require waivers to go up and down. While this may not be an optimal way of doing things for the kids, it can be explained in training camp that they will get turns and tastes of the NHL this season but their growth needs both places. 

Also, who is coaching the A team? Is an NHL assistant higher up the chain than an AHL head? Would someone like Bob Woods be a good candidate to be a head coach in Iowa? Would Darby Hendrickson? It is very obvious that the big Wild need new assistants/associates on the bench. Would Bombadir or McCleod be coaching candidates? Or even Hendricks? 

Evason's job is to win. The players' job is to win. I think that Shooter can instruct Evason to win by playing the young guys more. I think his willingness to do that helped him get the job over BB to start with. He's proven himself to be an excellent regular season coach. Now we need him to buy into the development side of the kids and go back to his AHL teaching roots.  

In the A, Hicketts, Mermis, Baddock and Chaffee may be gone. Fogarty and Petan have 1 year left.  The rest are the kids right now. I'd rather use the kids as depth call ups at this point. Generally, you need some older guys to show the younger guys how. Or, you can use some NHL calibre coaches to do the same. 

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