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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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f the Wild were Judge Charles H. Older, the judge that sent Charles Manson to the clink: “2 weeks in the workhouse and 1 month probation!”
I am all wound up. Clompage coming from all angles, personally and professionally. Much on my mind and heart. Here goes:
-- Awesome win by the Wild yesterday. Hearing again Blackhawks have another gear they will hit and we need to be concerned. Heard same thing after game one and, indeed, we couldn't match strides in game two, which went pear-shaped.
Hey, Speedy 'Hawks, we don't care about your "new gear" or "wake-up calls" or vibe. We are an eight seed, were nearly 5-to-1 'dogs into the series and are inches from being up 2-1 in this sucker. You, too, are inches from being up 3-0 -- I get it -- so let's play the games and see where your '27 Yankees status takes you.
Anything else we can do for you, by the way? Starting goalie out 15 minutes before game one, HEATLEY not there to grind in front of the net, POMINVILLE not sounding better in FM, calling up guys from Houston who haven't played much with us of late? Every facet of your team supposedly is better than ours so let's see you steal the commanding lead in the series tomorrow night and assert dominance. This game will be a typical meatgrinder between Minnesota and Chicago -- most are one-goal affairs -- and if we pull the upset it's more than on; it becomes anybody's series.
... CHRIS KLUWE RELEASED: Had the punter on the 9-to-Nooner 30 minutes after he tweeted a goodbye bit. I understand why they released him and in patented SPIELMAN fashion he's taking a stand. That's what he does -- he makes big moves and sticks by them (PONDER pick, cutting TONY RICHARDSON, letting WINFIELD slip away, trading PERCY, KALIL over CLAIBORNE, JARED ALLEN trade, etc.).
When the UCLA kid was drafted it was lights out for Chris. He has played here for nearly a decade and leaves owning all the franchise's most significant punting records. Statistically ,he is the greatest punter in team lore. Rick is making a move like he did last year with LONGWELL out and WALSH in. And until HAUSHKA became injured end of the season in Seattle, sadly Ryan was on the street. Remember the theme -- Rick wants to get young and stay good. That's what this is.
Chris had an average season last year, some of his numbers are on the decline and from a directional punting standpoint they think they can do better with the fifth-round selection. The decision is an incomplete until we play the games, just like everybody's offseason moves. That's in part why I refuse to grade teams off drafts because until they play the games we have no idea how new players will impact the game. Same with the new punter here.
I very much enjoyed Chris's company and unique look at life. His outspoken nature never bugged me, I enjoyed his prose and never felt it was a team-wide distraction. The guy set all the Vikings records while playing bass and/or video games until 4 a.m. many days of the week. He's off injury, into the final year of his deal and Spielman trusts the rookie more than Chris with a bunch of outdoor games coming the next three years. As usual, I hope he's right.
... VIKES ROOKIE CAMP: I am excited CORDARRELLE PATTERSON is on our team and hope he is a scholar of the game and learns all the plays so they become second nature. His after-catch moves are quite wonderful and it was a treat to watch him this weekend at Winter Park.
A guy who is in a wonderful spot if good enough is CB RODERICK WILLIAMS, who last played for Edmonton in the CFL. He's charismatic and was a star in the CFL. BRANDON BROWNER, who also back in the day was a CFL stud, starts at CB for Seattle after years in the minors, but Williams is not nearly as stout or big as him.
Not sure off this week's camp whether Williams can play in the NFL, but he's fiesty, those I trust like him and with COOK, RHODES, ROBINSON, new guy and former Colt JACOB LACEY and SHERELS there might be a job to be won. My guess is Robinson becomes the "nickle" and plays inside or closest to the line of scrimmage. I trust Josh will improve off his rookie year and he had a pretty good start to the season last year.
I'd make Cook, Rhodes and Robinson favored to play the most, but this spry Williams may jump into the race starting at mandatory camp middle of next month, and that will be fun to follow during training camp/preseason games.