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  • Tarps Off Could Be the Minnesota Wild's Motto

    Image courtesy of Bally Sports YouTube screenshot
    Mikki Tuohy




    The Minnesota Wild are known as the Tarps Off team because, despite a rotating cast of characters, there are always several players who are comfortable with their bodies enough to be half naked, even during television interviews. (cough cough Jacob Middleton cough cough). However, this extends further than just being a joke about players who refuse to wear clothes.

    Tarps Off could really be known as the team’s motto.

    In essence, Tarps Off means to strip away the top layers. It means to get down to the simplest form, the core of an object. And that sums up so much about how the Minnesota Wild operates. They are Tarps Off on and off of the ice, literally and figuratively.

    When the Wild are playing at their best, they play a simple brand of hockey. Sure, they have superstars who can make a pretty play. But when they drop the “tic-tac-toe” passes and complicated plays, they dominate. Their strength is in their physicality and keeping things simple. 

    It extends to the locker room. When they bought out Ryan Suter and Zach Parise, it was widely reported that they were cutting out a “cancer” in the locker room. There used to be a strict hierarchy off of the ice that depended on rookies keeping quiet and veterans ruling over them.

    Minnesota's current locker room is completely different. Captain Jared Spurgeon was a rookie during the contentous locker room days and probably knows how it feels to be unable to speak out for fear of being sneered at by the veterans. He has been a big part of maintaining the new “Tarps Off” style of locker room.

    In the Wild locker room, everyone is seen as equal. It seems like every time a new rookie comes to Minnesota, they talk about how welcoming the locker room is. Everyone is allowed to talk and joke. The veterans are friendly and helpful to the younger guys. In the locker room, metaphorically, everyone has their Tarps Off. They all are stripped down to the fact that they are all simply human beings, bound together by their love of hockey.

    Having this mentality might be part of the secret that makes players fall in love with Minnesota. Think of things that might draw a player to other teams: warm climate, big city, long-standing franchise, recent Stanley Cup wins or deep runs, etc. Minnesota doesn’t have any of those things. 

    However, there is a current trend of players talking about how much they love Minnesota and want to stay. Players who sign extensions in Minnesota when they could’ve easily found a similar contract with another team. There have also been several players traded who expressed sadness at having to leave, even if they were going to a team in the Stanley Cup playoffs. 

    Perhaps Minnesota fans should take the Tarps Off motto to heart. The reason Minnesota fans are never happy is that they make everything too difficult. Simplify! Peel away those layers and enjoy the good parts. Celebrate the wins and focus on this club's very bright future instead of dulling that light with layers of “but what about” and “this stinks.”




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    I've just gotta say, I am not a tarp's off fan. You can put me in the I like "what about this" and "this sucks" camp. Weirdly, there's not a "bulking up" camp in this article!

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    Suter and Zach were still playing as of a few days ago.. I guess  causing cancer in there new locker rooms gets you deep in playoffs. . Spurg and his team are on the links . Obviously a friendly locker rooms doesn’t mean squat on the ice. The wild over payed Zach and Ryan to get them to come here. Other than that there has never been a prime free agent signing. The free agents that love minny , love the guaranteed contract and long summers. No legit free agent ever has said they want to play in minny unless they are old and washed up. Just like kappy knows and why he goes. . 

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