Tonight marks the return of Marian Gaborik and Derek Boogaard to the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul for the first time since, well, The Wild have had a REAL GM. Maybe I should not be so harsh, but I tend to see the big picture. Sure I miss old Wild players at times, but they are going to be here tonight, big deal. Seems to be the hype all over Minny today.
Here is a shot from last year’s Halloween game against the Rangers when Gaborik was out (injured). Best costume of the night I think!
I’ll start with Derek Boogaard, because it is really simple. He is a big guy, big deal. He fights, big deal. He can not skate, and he cannot score. So why all the hype? I was never a fan when he was here. Of course I was a fan of the team, but not a Boogaard fan by any means. Nothing he did stood out to me. He fought, and through the years, they became less and less. I am an “avid” jersey collector. While I expect seeing hundreds of Wild Boogaard jerseys tonight, I have never purchased one. So many people disagree with me. If you look at who we signed, while not signing Boogaard, and for less money, how can you argue with me? [see Boogaard & Scott out, Nystrom and Staubitz in... WIN] There was always better out there. With Doug Risebrough, we were stuck with him. Any game I went to that he was not actually benched, you would never hear me with the “booooooooooooo” when he came on the ice. I do not boo players! If you did hear me, it was a slip of an actual boo!
Now on to Marian Gaborik. He was a player everyone loved while here, for obvious reasons. At the same time, when injured, “fans” were not so inclined. Seems to be the Minny way, which is sad. (Yes I was all over Niklas Backstrom for a long time, but it was not an injury or a couple bad games, it was more than an entire season!) I just call things as I see them. So back to Gabby…
He will always be remembered in Minny, and missed for most. Sure I miss him when I hear he scores a HT, or has a multi point night, but really miss him? Not me. When Chuck Fletcher did not throw a contract his way, I was impressed as well as happy. He had already rejected 7 mil a year earlier int he season, and the case of injuries, Fletcher earned my respect immediately. I was at the last game Gaborik played in a Wild jersey. You could tell, from the look on his face, he was not coming back no matter what. It just showed. I was 3 rows off the glass on the end, and he was throwing out pucks left and right, he was gone, and it sunk in. I cried on the way home a bit, because he had been the face of the franchise for a few years. (I usually cry anytime we don’t re-sign a player or they get traded, it’s in my blood!) But it was done, and nothing I could do except move on.I have connections to all the players that have left The Wild, and always will. I invest my life in these guys, and I always will. (Along with The Flyers of course)
How will these 2 come into the Xcel tonight? I honestly think Gabby will have butterflies. There is no way any human could not. Sure he is a scoring machine, but he is human, too. He’ll get over it and come out full force, because of all the boos. There are many “fans” here that blame him for not being here. First off, Lemaire and him never saw eye to eye. How do you take a player like Gabby, and put him the ugliest defensive trap system out there? There is no way he would have accepted at that point. Enter Fletcher. He never offered him a contract. Gabby himself said that he wanted to stay, but after the look in his eyes at that final game, I in no way believe it. I think you had to be there to see it to know what I am talking about.
Then the bobblehead giveaway tonight. You have to be kidding me! This is ludicrous! Why are we giving out Gabby bobbleheads, in a Wild jersey anyway? He is not A Wild player anymore. He is a Ranger! If this is a way to get more fans through the door, I say do this… play 60 minutes! We have the talent, now use it, and abuse Richards’ system in a good way, not the way they are now!
So I say this, there will be more Gaborik and Boogaard Wild jerseys tonight than even Koivu and Burns tonight. I appreciated one of them when they were here, but they are gone! And you are supposed to be a WILD “fan!” Ugh, just ugh!
Expect a lot of boos tonight. Boogaard will get his normal boooooooooooooooooooo, while Gabby, from the uneducated “fans” will get the other type. It is a boo bird haven at the Xcel tonight. Never boo a player, my god, respect the sport, and the guys that go out there every day for your entertainment. They cannot all be a Stamkos, or Crosby, how boring would it be if they ALL were? Think about it! Save the booing, and the tin foil, for the refs!
If you want more on my take on it click here -> Puckdaddy Roundtable
Comments always appreciated, and welcome, really!
GO WILD GO
NO Gabby goals tonight hockey gods! Although a Staubitz/Boogaard fight would be SWEET!