Thursday, July 26, 2007

Being Backup is just Harding’s Ticket

Josh Harding, the Minnesota Wild goaltender of the future, will no longer be limited by that particular title. Harding is ready to step up to be net-minder luminary Niklas Backstrom’s backup, and the Wild signed him to a multi-year deal. With Manny Fernandez shipped off to Boston, Harding will no longer have to compete for backup time. Backstrom will undoubtedly need a rest periodically throughout the season, giving Harding those spot chances to shine that he so specially excelled in last year. In seven games last season, Harding put up a 3-2-1 record with a phenomenal, if not fluky, 1.16 goals against average and a .960 save percentage. He also recorded two shutouts. I’m anxious to see if Harding can keep up these amazing performances in his primary backup role.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wild Mark their Calendars for Revenge

The Minnesota Wild will get four cracks at defending Stanley Cup Champions the Anaheim Ducks next season according to the 2007-08 NHL schedule released last week. The games will come about midway through the season, and they might be a good measuring stick for the Wild’s postseason potential. Get hockey tickets to see the Ducks vs. Wild when the Ducks come into town on Friday, January 18 and Wednesday, January 30. Don’t be surprised if the second matchup in less than two weeks between the teams turns a little chippy, because after last season’s often deadlocked playoff series, these two teams might do anything to gain the upper hand. The Wild has to travel to Anaheim two times as well to play the Ducks on Sunday, October 14 and Friday, December 14. Buy your Minnesota Wild Tickets now! Let's go Wild!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Wild Sign Sean Hill

The Minnesota Wild signed Duluth, Minnesota native and 37 year old defenseman Sean Hill last week. Hill had one goal and 24 assists in 81 games for the New York Islanders last season and was also the first NHL player suspended for violating the league's drug policy. Hill was suspended hours before the Islanders playoff loss to the Buffalo Sabres due to a positive test for the anabolic steroid boldenone, which is banned by the NHL. Hill received a twenty game suspension and will miss the first nineteen games of the new 2007/08 season. The Wild said Hill acknowledged using a doctor-prescribed testosterone booster approved by the NHL, but told the team he did not knowingly take boldenone and is unsure how it got in his system.

As an eighth-round pick of Montreal in the 1988 draft, Sean Hill has also played for the Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes and the St. Louis Blues. This hard-nosed Minnesota native ranked third in the NHL in hits and sixth in blocked shots last season which is probably why the Wild signed him to the one year deal. Minnesota Wild fans look forward to Hill helping beef up Minnesota Wild defense and Wild fans certainly hope that the Sean Hills next drug test turns out clean because every one knows head coach Jacques Lemaire doesn't mess around with troubled players.

Monday, July 2, 2007

Wild Trade Manny Fernandez

MN Wild Freak had a feeling about Minnesota Wild goalie Manny Fernandez being traded and the feeling was right. The Minnesota Wild traded goaltender Manny Fernandez to the Boston Bruins Sunday. In exchange for Fernandez and his $4.3 million salary, the Wild receive forward prospect Petr Kalus and a mid-round draft pick. The Wild confirmed that the trade was approved by the NHL just after midnight and came so late because of a league technicality. The 2007-08 salary cap didn't officially increase until Sunday, and Fernandez's salary would have pushed the Bruins over the $44 million cap if it had happened on Saturday.

Manny Fernandez was one of the three original Wild players still with the team last season. He had a record of 113-102-28 in 260 games with the Wild, with a 2.47 goals-against average and .914 save percentage. True Minnesota Wild fans will miss their beloved Manny, but goaltender Niklas Backstrom won’t leave us disappointed. Let’s go Wild!