28 June 2011

Three Quick Notes: Congrats to Boston, Wild hire new coach, trade Burns.

I think I might make "Three Quick Notes" a feature here at SOTSO Hockey.

1) Congrats to Boston.

Yes, I rooted against you in every round except for the final (and I was probably rooting for Boston in the first rounds against Montreal). Yes, you were my pre playoff pick to win the final, and yes, I bailed on you after a dissapointing start in the first round. And yes, while I'm glad you have defeated the most hated team in hockey, I'm sure next fall, you'll remind me why I hated you so much against Buffalo and Tampa. Though I must admit, for teams like Tampa and Boston, they played a game 7 that was way cleaner than it should've been. There were no penalties, but not for the usual reason of the refs ignoring stuff, it was becuase they really played hard and clean.

2) Wild Hire Yeo

I do think Fletcher made a gutsy pick here after all the deserved criticism of hiring the inexperienced Todd Richards. I understand where he's coming from, the coaching pool this year was much thinner than it was two years ago. I think Fletcher is rejecting less appealing big names here. The Wild need discipline, I don't think Richards ever had the ability he needed to motivate the locker room. The two "big names" were MacTavish and Hitchcock. Both teams lost their recent NHL gigs for the same problem Richards had, though I would say Hitchcock got some redemption in the recent World Championships with team Canada.

Still former Houston Aeros coach Mike Yeo was recently a head coach (unlike Richards who was a few years removed from being "the guy"), and led the Aeros to a phenomal season which resulted in a trip to the Calder Cup finals. Motivation appeared to be a key in Fletcher's remarks (while, to his credit, he was very careful to not directly disrespect the outgoing Richards), and Fletcher later even went so far as to later call out the players' conditioning.

Yeo has more upside than Richards, and has a record of being able to motivate players, specifically players that will be with the big club before too long as the Wild go into this summer ready to "blow it up"

3) Burns trade

I'm sorry to see Brent Burns go, but I understand after the abltross that was Kim Johnsson's contract, the Wild were going to be wary of overpaying another defensman. Burns is going to command more on the open market than the Wild would be willing to pay next summer. But I think they made a good deal with San Jose to get an extra 1st round pick, the affordable, albiet inconsistent scoring winger Devin Setoguchi, and prospect Charlie Coyle who has a pretty glowing scouting report (stick tap to Hockey Wilderness).

I think this is a pretty good price they probably would not have been able to get if they waited until the deadline. This is a good deal for San Jose too, Burns will be joining a deeper defensive core there, which means he won't always have to against opposing top lines. Both teams did well on this, but give the Wild credit for making the Sharks pay, this is way better than getting nothing for Gabroik for sure!

No comments: