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|WEDS., MAY 22 (subject to change)|
OPEN: COREY CHAVOUS
|9:20: draftnasty.com stays|
9:33: OEONO'S JON LEUER/nba playoffs
|9:55: BEN LEBER IN STUDIO|
|10:20: leber stays|
|10:33: SPORTS ESSENTIALS|
|10:53: TOM CHORSKE FSN IN STUDIO|
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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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MAY B&B ...
November 16, 2007… Since that date, the Minnesota Wild cannot, and will not be considered a tough team.
Vikings' GM RICK SPIELMAN was in studio yesterday and for the most part was patentedly evasive. There is no true upside for him or the team for him to divulge the exact plan, but in reading between the cliched lines here's what I think of our offseason approach/plan:
PHIL LOADHOLT -- It seems to me re-signing the starting RT is priority numero uno. And they need to get it done before free agency because Phil's the kind of guy who could go early. Not sure what it will take to keep him here -- $14 million promised? -- but having him and KALIL as bookending tackles gives us one of the better tandems in the game.
Phil is an elite run blocker and his pass protection jumped up last year. I asked a Vikings' source whether Phil would be the type to get all fat and happy with new money and said insider said "No chance. He's the last guy I'd worry about with stuff like that." Phil likes the team, likes living in Minnesota and needs to stay.
We may need a new starting left guard but it seems they are quite secure with the rest of the line, and BRANDON FUSCO finished the season extremely well. After playing four years as a D-II center, the affable kid from Slippery Rock has found his feet in the NFL at RG and will start next year.
PERCY HARVIN -- Still don't totally know what to think about this. I am not completely secure with the way Rick answered questions about the game-changer yesterday. Something has gone wrong between Harvin and the team but it may be fixable.
To wit, when I asked him about CHRISTIAN PONDER he steadfastly proclaimed "Christian is our starting quarterback." He didn't stamp my Percy question regarding his 2013 inclusion with the same conviction. If somehow Percy has jettisoned his team ways he needs to go. I love Percy Harvin's on-field game but if he has a bleep-you attitude towards the HC or team he has to leave, and I think we could house multiple picks for him, and that includes a first-round selection.
If they keep Percy, entering the final year of his rookie deal, they'd have to give him new money. If they keep him up to training camp and don't give him a new deal I believe he will hold out and will not budge until week 10 of the 2013 campaign.
I support whatever Rick does with this because he knows more about the inner-workings of the deal than we do, but drafting a quality WR at 23, re-signing JEROME SIMPSON and bringing back Harvin would help our passing game. But, again, if Percy Harvin no longer wants to be here he has to be dealt.
LINEBACKER -- I don't see both ERIN HENDERSON and JASPER BRINKLEY returning but do believe one will be back. They both are free agents and I have been told second-year guy /.is ready to play more minutes.
Jasper didn't finish the season very well and I felt Erin played okay this year. The belief is they'll let both test free agency to see if there is a market for them and will bring one back.
THE DRAFT -- My guess is the Vikings will address WR, DL and DB through the first three rounds. With all the juniors entering the draft there are defensive studs to be had all over the place. Wouldn't be surprised if they go WR at 23 and load up on DL after that. We need some help at DT given KEVIN WILLIAMS is at the end and the tackle spot next to him was a rotation.
If I were drafting for the team right now I'd hone in on Louisiana Tech WR QUINTON PATTON at 23 if available. He was one of the stars during Senior Bowl practice week, and is exactly the kind of outside guy we need. As mentioned/written I would like the team to re-up with Simpson, who was hampered by a lef/foot injury most of the year, can be had for little money and will be dramatically better than last season.