Paul Allen Proudly Endorses:
|THURS., JUNE 20 (subject to change)|
OPEN: LIVE FROM VIKINGS MINI CAMP
9:33: BEN LEBER/GM RICK SPIELMAN JOIN
|9:55: leber/rick stay|
|10:20: leber stays/chipmunk story?|
|10:33: SPORTS ESSENTIALS/NBA FINALS|
|10:53: PETE BERCICH/WOBBY JOIN FROM WP|
|11:20: see 1053|
Click here to view the WCHT photo gallery.
We celebrate the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey Team and one of its stars, Jonny "The Mouse" Mikkelson, who once told me "Our team was so good the varsity wouldn't play us." When asked why he didn't play varsity Mouse said, "Too little." Cutest ever. So, we salute the greatest Club Hockey Team ever, a squad so vaunted even Jim Craig's Miracle team wanted nothing to do with it. Trottier, Bossy, Gretzky, Messier ... dead! Long live the 1983 Wayzata Club Hockey team!
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NHL DRAFT B/B ...
Even though we are closer to the 4th of July than Memorial Day, the NHL is still extremely intriguing to hard-core hockey fans. The playoffs have been outstanding. The Cup final is shaping up to be a classic with two classic, old-school squads. Two of the best uniforms in hockey too. Once the Finals are over, the much-anticipated NHL draft is next. Well, it’s probably as anticipated as the new phone books arriving at your house in that plastic bag which 98% of people just toss it into the recycling bin, but I digress….
That leaves Halifax Moosehead Nathan MacKinnon going to the hockey hotbed Florida Panthers. Me and my hockey-playing buddies have gone to visit Halifax for the past 8 years. Through business and friendships with Moosehead owner Bobby Smith (yes, former North Star Bobby Smith), we go up to Halifax, play against Moose coaching staff, trainers, and yes owner. We get our butts kicked. Hitting many of the local watering holes, golf, boat rides, more watering holes and going to Moosehead games is included. The Mooseheads got to the QMJHL finals against Sid the Kid back in ’05. Then got really bad. Then, through multiple trades, this year Bobby Smith got the Mooseheads to win the “Q”, then the coveted (well, in Canada anyway) Memorial Cup. Nathan MacKinnon being the main reason (hat trick in final game.) Smith traded 3 first-rounders for MacKinnon. Worth every penny. Projected to go right after the Shattuck-St. Mary product MacKinnon will be Jonathan Druin. He will go to Tampa Bay. I have seen these guys play in person and they’ve been jaw-droppingly good. (yea, I even have a #22 MacKinnon Moosehead t-shirt…)
I would love to see Chuck Fletcher make a move to get the 2nd pick, but it would cost the farm. The Wild don’t have the farm. It won’t happen. So, long story longer, you have read it here first. Nathan MacKinnon will be the best player in the NHL in a few years. The thing that sucks is it will be for a team nobody cares about, the freaking Florida Panthers.
(I’m guessing this will be the only NHL draft-related material on this website. PA, if you were going to break this down too, I apologize…)
WR AARON DOBSON is the name, a changing games may be the game. Slowly starting my approach to taking Sneak Peeks at Fresh Meat and concocting plans for the Vikings to have another amazing draft.
WOBBY from Vikings.com put me on this guy during the 9:55 today and I never had heard of him. Good-looking thing and the write ups on him are solid. He's a receiver who plays "outside the numbers" and our first pick -- 23rd -- could be WR. It also could be CB, DL or LB.
My walk up to the draft is pretty slow and intensifies next week with the week of Senior Bowl practice and when doing a couple of shows from the NFL Combine in Indy. I don't start picking minds of the learned for info until the time is right, and the approach taken by Our Favorite Squad will be intriguing.
I wonder what they will do with PERCY HARVIN and/or JARED ALLEN? I'd like to see them both back next season but given I believe they will find a WR in free agency and re-sign PHIL LOADHOLT there may be some required to change their deals to help the greater good. Jared is owed some obscene figure -- $17 million? -- and that won't happen even though he's still quite good at what he does.
I still am not sure things are status quo with Percy but as written and mentioned I'd like him back here during a contract year. Percy would not hold out for a new deal into the season and would play very, very well.
If, however, they receive push back from Jared on the new money and the perceived problems with Percy are so bad he cannot return to the covenant then call Arizona and put together a package for LARRY FITZGERALD, JR. The Cards would have to switch to a 4-3 defense because Jared cannot play DE or OLB in a 3-4 set. And given they already are ready to pay Fitz a ton for next year they probably have it saved up in case they land a quality player like Jared, who lives in Arizona in the offseason.
SPIELMAN is not afraid to make splashy deals, even if it entails moving Pro Bowl-type players to assist the greater good. That we went 5-and-2 sans Harvin proves we can be very good without him but losing Jared definitely would be a hit. All of this is top-of-the-head stuff for me and I don't expect any of it to transpire, but there will be some tough decisions made this offseason and some could involve a few of our best players.