Ok, we all know how the Wild perform in Dallas.
Niklas Backstrom had an amazing game against Florida last night, but I’m betting he’d like to forget all about tonight’s game which saw him pulled shortly into the second period. 3 goals in 14 shots will do that; granted, only about 1.5 were his fault. Matt Hackett was his usual unflappable self, stopping everything else Dallas sent his way (the 4th Dallas goal was on an empty net).
Quick rant…I don’t know why the Wild bother pulling goalies. The puck handling lately is so bad that you just know it’s going to end with another goal for the opponent. Rant over. Now on to the big news.
The game tonight was entirely overshadowed (check out Twitter if you don’t believe me) by the announcement that the Wild have shed some dead weight. Underperforming, and I’m being nice, defenseman Marek Zidlicky no longer wears a Wild sweater. Zids has been traded to the New Jersey Devils in a deal that Herb Brooks would not-so-subtly characterize for New Jersey as being bent over, and the Wild didn’t use Vaseline. It’s a Herb thing. I’m allowed to quote a Minnesota hockey icon.
Zidlicky is gone, and the Wild have picked up two familiar faces to fans. Defenseman Kurtis Foster and forward Stephane Veilleux will wear Wild colors once again. In addition (yup, we got that much for him folks!) the Wild acquired young forward Nick Palmieri, a second round draft pick this year, and a conditional third round pick in 2013.
Looking at their contracts, Foster and Veilleux may only be in Minnesota for this year, but who knows? Palmieri is young and big, with solid OHL and AHL stats behind him. I personally think he may be the best part of this deal thus far.
GM Chuck Fletcher has again made a move that favors the future of the Wild organization. With amazing prospects joining the team next year, this is shaping up to be a very different hockey club down the road.