If Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher made anything clear during his season-ending press conference with head coach Mike Yeo on Monday, it's that the bar has been raised for more success next season.
The entire team was stunned by it's quick exit, a four-game sweep, from the second round of the playoffs. Fletcher's quick summation of the season: "I think it was a disappointing end to a good season, but we wanted better than a good season," he said, according to Anthony LaPanta.
Lou Nanne: Wild aren't that far off
Sid Hartman wrote about the Wild in his Sunday column in the Star Tribune, and the ageless wonder got a few good quotes from former North Stars player and general manager Lou Nanne, who doesn't think the Wild's dismal performance against the Blackhawks is an indication of how far they still need to go to beat the best in the West.
“Even though it’s four straight losses, people want to make it seem like it’s far away, but they easily could have won three games (in the series),” Nanne said. “They gave up a bad goal in every game, which you can’t do if you’re going to win, and they didn’t get the goal scoring on the opportunities they had.
“They’re not as far away as you’d like to think. Some people want to say that, but you play that series again next month and different things could happen. If they scored that goal during the end of the second period in the first game [that Chicago scored], a lot of things could have changed.”
Wild want Dubnyk back; won't be big free-agent spenders
The No. 1 priority on Fletcher's off-season to-do list is to reach a contract agreement with goaltender Devan Dubnyk before he becomes a free agent on July 1.
After spending money in an attempt to keep players currently on the roster, Fletcher might not be able to afford any prime-time players in free agency, Michael Rand writes. Despite that, Fletcher said this year's free-agent class isn't a deep one.
Although Dubnyk struggled against the Blackhawks, he was brilliant for the other nearly four months on the team. Minnesota acquired him in a trade with Phoenix in mid-January and he went on to play well enough to earn top three consideration for the Vezina Trophy.