ST PAUL, Minn. — Wild Fans, it’s time to stop being angry. It’s time to stop resisting change and understand that in order to get better – you’ve got to give a little.
Last night, Wild fans refused to cheer when the team hit the ice, were noticeably silent when they announced new GM Bill Guerin during Zach Parise’s Silver Stick ceremony and there were probably some boos, but I am not here to lecture fan behavior.
I’m here to ask you what you want? Are you OK with barely making the playoffs and exiting in the first round? Because if so, I’m sorry. Bill Guerin isn’t here to keep the status quo, and, if you’re a real fan, you shouldn’t want that. You should embrace what happened this week knowing it hopefully makes the future better.
Jason Zucker is a great hockey player and a great guy and will be just fine in Pittsburgh. But the deal got the team things they need: money and youth. Adding some financial flexibility to sign free agents this summer like Kiril Kaprizov – who is thought by many to be one of the best prospects the franchise has ever had.
Zucker is a very good winger, but the Wild have plenty of those. Maybe they aren’t of his talent level now, but they can be and they can come at a cheaper price. And the extra money allows the Wild to go find players they need either through the draft or free agency, pure scorers and a legit number one goaltender. Their "must have manifest" is longer than an 8-year old’s birthday gift list, and unless some of them get crossed off, they’ll never be able to have their cake and eat it too. And that might mean the team loses others this week.
And Bruce Boudreau being let go shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. The moment the season began without a new contract for him, it ultimately signed his pink slip. New GM’s almost always bring in their own guy – and since you can’t fire players, a coach is the one that takes the fall.
Listen, I get it, we all have bad nightmares about Paul Fenton running the team last year like it was a video game. Some of those lopsided deals he did – and others that he didn’t – will haunt this team for a long time. But Bill Guerin isn’t Paul Fenton. He is not making deals just to make them, but he’s also not going to just sit on his hands and stand pat hoping something changes. And you – as fans – shouldn’t want that either.
In the NHL, you’ve got to give to gain and it’s time we all become OK with that if we ever want to see a Stanley Cup parade in the state of hockey.