With No Playoffs In Sight, Uncertainty For Wild

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — The Minnesota Wild play the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night at the Xcel Energy Center. But that’s really not the story line these days in St Paul — it’s about who stays and who goes, including head coach Todd Richards.

On Tuesday night, the Wild won a game and snapped an eight-game losing streak. While it’s too late to make it to the playoffs, a win is a win.

“It was nice to get a win the other night and hopefully we’ll get the confidence back a little bit and we can keep rolling,” said Wild center Kyle Brodziak.

But the truth is the rest of the season’s games have taken a back seat to speculation as to who will be back next year for the Minnesota Wild, starting with head coach Richards.

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has yet to give an endorsement for the future and there may be uncertainty about his own status.

As for Richards, he knows the talk but he chooses to focus on the task.

“Right now my focus is on the game tonight. It doesn’t go passed this game. Deal with this game tonight, get up and then we have to plan practice tomorrow and get ready,” said Richards.

But the uncertainty about his status is there and also about the status of the team.

“Once the year is over I’m sure everyone kind of in the back of their mind wonders what’s going to happen, who’s going to be here, who’s going to be gone or what’s going to be going on,” said Wild defenseman Nick Schultz. “So it’s definitely in your mind when you’ve have a season we’ve had now.”

At season’s end, they will reflect on what was and what could have been. But this much they know…

“It’s going to take a little bit of time to sit down and reflect back. It’s been a really emotional rollercoaster-type ride,” said Richards.

More from Mike Max
  • thumbody

    Has the coach gotten the support of management in the last two years and the players needed to win?

  • Jeff Z

    Richards is doing a fine job. No coach has done better with what he has to deal with. Cullen, Madden, Brodziak, Bouchard are all good, and should be considered to keep (but not all of them; at least 1 needs to go). Koivu, Brunette, Latendresse, Clutterbuck and even Havlat (who finally decided to start playing), should be definite keeps. The guys who need to go are: Kobasew and Miettenen for sure. The team is full of mediocrity. They need a scoring duo (Gretzky and Kuri, Hull and Oates, Selanne and Kariya, Ovechkin and Semin, Crosby and Malkin, St Louis and Lecavalier [and Stamkos]). The Wild at least need 1 30+ goal scorer. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a Wild player score a ton of goals. I mean, Latendresse led the team in goals last year. That’s got to say something about their talent lineup.



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