Originally posted on State of Hockey News  |  Last updated 2/28/13
Minnesota Wild (9-7-2)  20pts  2nd in the Northwest 2.06 Goals For (30th) 2.33 Goals Against (8th) 13.8% Power Play (26th) 85.0% Penalty Kill (6th) Top 5 Scorers: 1. #11 Zach Parise ~ 8G 5A = 13pts 2. #9 Mikko Koivu ~ 3G 10A = 13pts 3. #20 Ryan Suter ~ 0G 11A = 11pts 4. #15 Dany Heatley ~ 5G 4A = 9pts 5. #7 Matt Cullen ~ 3G 6A = 9pts Top 3 PIM's: 1. #28 Zenon Konopka ~ 52 PIM's 2. #27 Mike Rupp ~ 22 PIM's 3. #10 Devin Setoguchi ~ 14 PIM's Top Goaltender(s): 1. #32 Niklas Backstrom (7-5-2)  2.17GAA  .919%SP  2. #35 Darcy Kuemper (1-1-0)  2.02GAA  .934%SP 3. #37 Josh Harding (1-1-0)  2.92GAA  .885%SP  1SO   Vs.     Phoenix Coyotes (9-7-3)  21pts  5th in the Pacific 2.79 Goals For (12th) 2.58 Goals Against (13th) 16.9% Power Play (16th) 84.8% Penalty Kill (8th) Top 5 Scorers: 1. #89 Mikkel Boedker ~ 4G 9A = 13pts 2. #17 Radim Vrbata ~ 4G 9A = 13pts 3. #23 Oliver Ekman-Larsson ~ 3G 9A = 12pts 4. #11 Martin Hanzal ~ 3G 7A = 10pts 5. #50 Antoine Vermette ~ 5G 5A = 10pts Top 3 PIM's: 1. #24 Kyle Chipchura ~ 37 PIM's 2. #3 Keith Yandle ~ 28 PIM's 3. #19 Shane Doan ~ 19 PIM's Top Goaltender(s): 1. #41 Mike Smith (7-5-2)  2.63GAA  .909%SP  3SO 2. #31 Chad Johnson (1-0-1)  .98GAA  .952%SP  1SO 3. #1 Jason LaBarbera (1-2-0)  2.83GAA  .908%SP Click on "Continue Reading" for the rest of the article...   Compared to most teams in the National Hockey League, the Minnesota Wild has a relatively short history.  Yet, we have a rich, long hockey history.  The Minnesota Wild has honored those roots since their inception.  Whether it's the ring of high school hockey jerseys in the concourse, which has been imitated by other teams (as the old saying goes, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery) to inviting past stars (including State Tournament stars) of the game to be involved with the team on game nights are a testament to this long history.  While we may be the "new" kids on the block, we're far from being "new" in the community.  To some it may seem cheesy, but what I really appreciate is how the Wild have always seemed to reach out to its own relatively short history.  The first example came when they brought former Wild defenseman, Brad Bombardir, into the front office.  Bombardir currently serves as Director of Player Development.  One of his main roles is to visit, work with and evaluate the team's prospects.  One of his biggest events of the year is usually the team's prospect camp during the summer.  Bombardir has always struck me as an honest, hard-working individual and his personality is one that seems approachable, especially to young players who are just starting their professional careers.  His work ethic as a Wild player during those formative years of the team can only serve as an example for the young men who hope for a long, successful National Hockey League Career. The next former Wild player to be brought into the Wild's fold was Minnesota-born forward, Darby Hendrickson.  At first, it felt like a bit of a media ploy.  We had a new coach in Todd Richards, who was also a former player for the University of Minnesota.  While Richards didn't last long in the system, Hendrickson was kept on the coaching staff by current head coach Mike Yeo.  While Hendrickson was never a star player in the NHL, he was serviceable.  And every team needs those hard working, role players, and that is what Hendrickson was.  One reason that I personally think that Hendrickson has been kept on, even through a coaching change, is that Hendrickson was pretty much taught his role by one of the greatest hockey minds, Jacques Lemaire.  For a team like the Wild who are currently struggling to find their identity and scoring touch, it is more important than ever for the team to be as defensively minded as possible and limit the opposition's scoring chances.  Rounding out the front office and operations trio of former Wild players is probably the most famous of the bunch.  Just earlier this month, Andrew Brunette was brought on as Hockey Operations Advisor.  When reading the job description of this particular position, he will be wearing many hats with this organization.  His job duties will entail everything from scouting to free agent signings to helping with the evaluation and development of prospects.  Not only will he be working closely with Wild General Manager, Chuck Fletcher, but with his former teammates that I have already mentioned.  Brunette was an obvious choice to be brought into the fold.  For fans, he essentially can do no wrong, as he will always be loved simply for the goal he scored the game winner in Game Seven against Colorado during the first round of the 2002-03 playoffs.  I know for myself, I still watch that video from time to time. The fourth member of the former Wild brought in, was also a natural choice.  Although, I must say I wish that Wes Walz was either in Mike Greenlay's spot in the broadcast booth or was in the front office.  However, considering the fluff we usually get from the crew at Fox Sports-North I know I appreciate having someone like Walz who calls it like it is.  He's the only voice on the television broadcast crew who will pretty much call out players for playing poorly.  But then he, like Bombardir, Hendrickson, and Brunette were all molded by Lemaire.  Lemaire was a coach who preached personal responsibility for the good of the team.  Lemaire would tell you point blank in a post-game press conference that played horribly.  Now Walz doesn't have quite the same way of doing so as Lemaire, but he's not going to tell fans that the team played well when they didn't.  Considering the struggles that the team has faced this season, he is the voice of reality that everyone needs.  Walz's ability to tell the fans the truth was furthered evidenced by his comments in the Minneapolis Star Tribune.  If there was ever a player who fully bought into Lemaire's system of being responsible defensively, it was Wes Walz.  Walz, along with his longtime linemate, Antti Laaksonen, often made the other team pay for their mistakes with their smarts and speed.  Walz is giving the team a lot of credit for their team defense, and keeping the opposition off of the scoreboard as much as they've been able to.  If there's anyone that can judge that ability, it's Walz. With these former Wild players with the team, we can only hope that the current Wild players can channel their personalities and work ethic.  Sure, these four players will never really be remembered outside of Minnesota when they're long gone, but their places in Wild history are there.  While we don't always want history to repeat itself, the history that they bring to the table, is a history and tradition that I'd like to see once again.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Baker Mayfield addresses Johnny Manziel comparisons

Report: Rob Gronkowski in good spirits, Patriots optimistic he'll play in Super Bowl LII

Astros' Jon Singleton receives 100-game suspension

Jalen Rose: ‘Kawhi Leonard wants out of San Antonio’

WWE fires Enzo Amore in wake of rape accusation

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Tyronn Lue says it’s ‘crazy’ to scapegoat Kevin Love for Thunder loss

Report: NFL wants Raiders to sign Kaepernick after Rooney ruling

Jay Feely: Gisele tried to get me to convince Tom Brady to retire

Raiders to make a run at Le’Veon Bell if he becomes free agent?

Law enforcement to keep close eye on Tom Brady’s jersey, other items at Super Bowl

Joe Thomas shades Big Ben while talking up Todd Haley

The 'OK, so it's not always good to be The King' quiz

How to stop a Pats comeback: Never think you're ahead

How the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at Super Bowl LII

How the New England Patriots arrived at Super Bowl LII

Close calls: 20 MLB greats who came closest to Cooperstown but never made it

Nine reasons why the Eagles will beat the Patriots in Super Bowl LII

The surprising failure of Jason Kidd

How things have changed since last Eagles-Pats Super Bowl

The Chicago Bulls' future is on the clock

Position-by-position breakdown of Super Bowl LII teams

The 'More things change...' quiz

Greatest surprise Super Bowl stars

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Close calls: 20 MLB greats who came closest to Cooperstown but never made it

The 'OK, so it's not always good to be The King' quiz

How to stop a Pats comeback: Never think you're ahead

How the Philadelphia Eagles arrived at Super Bowl LII

Greatest surprise Super Bowl stars

Position-by-position breakdown of Super Bowl LII teams

Oldest players to ever be on Super Bowl rosters

The 'More things change...' quiz

How the New England Patriots arrived at Super Bowl LII

Players with the most Super Bowl appearances

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker