The Minnesota Wild have made plenty of moves this offseason, what is the general confidence from Wild fans?
If you didn’t participate in the poll, make sure to follow me on Twitter (@aaron_heckman) so you can participate in future polls.
The first question was assessing the confidence the Wild fans have in the Wild management and GM Bill Guerin. What was the confidence in the direction the Wild are taking, and therefore, the confidence in Bill Guerin’s vision?
It was overwhelmingly in favor of the Wild’s direction. Nearly 60 percent are confident and almost 33 percent were very confident after the conclusion of the NHL Draft and free agency.
Bottom Line: Minnesota Wild fans are confident in the Wild front office and Wild GM Bill Guerin.
The second question is regarding whether Wild fans believe the Wild make the playoffs next season. There are a lot of factors that still need to be determined that could greatly affect the Wild’s chances. How much does division realignment or possibly having hub cities and bubbles affect the Wild?
Wild fans clearly do not believe that Wild fans will make the playoffs next season. Nearly 64 percent believe the Wild miss the playoffs. I disagree with this, I think the Wild arguably got better this offseason in terms of overall impact. The Devan Dubnyk departure and the Cam Talbot free-agent signing will have a bigger effect than most people think.
Dubnyk was the worst goaltender in the NHL this season behind the best defense in the NHL. If at worst, Cam Talbot is an average goalie next season, that is a huge change let alone if he has an above-average season.
The Ryan Donato move is definitely a transaction the Wild will regret in several years. Nick Bonino is a solid impact center and replaced the Wild’s analytically weakest forward this season in Luke Kunin. While Eric Staal is the better player, Johansson is a lot younger and provides the Wild with some much-needed speed.
Bottom Line: Wild fans do not have confidence in the Wild this season and it shows.
The third question is regarding when Wild fans think the Wild will become a contender.
An overwhelming majority believe the Wild will be a contender in 2022-2023.
This was the safe option for Wild fans. With the additions of Kaprizov and Rossi along with an abundant amount of cap space next summer, I could see the Wild’s window opening in 2021-2022. This would be assuming that Cam Talbot plays average and none of the Wild’s veterans display any regression.
Bottom Line: Wild fans are confident but also cautiously optimistic.
The next question was which trade Wild fans disapproved of most.
Almost 40 percent said they are happy with all of the trades and that they were all good. Both the Eric Staal trade and the Luke Kunin trade were unfavorable among the voters. It is no surprise that the Eric Staal trade garnered over 33 percent of the votes, but it is shocking how many of the voters disapprove of the Luke Kunin trade.
For so many Wild fans complaining about not accumulating draft picks, it is quite ironic. Luke Kunin was the Wild’s analytically weakest forward this season, and the Wild were somehow able to accumulate several draft picks and a better player in Bonino.
Kunin is still young enough and has the potential to become a solid middle-six winger, so it’s too hard to see the winner of this trade for a while.
Bottom Line: Kunin and Staal were well-liked in the State of Hockey and this didn’t sit well with a lot of Wild fans.
The next question was regarding the Wild’s draft.
Over 90 percent of the participants thought the draft was good, great or one of the best the Wild have ever had. This is most likely due to the draft day steal in Marco Rossi, along with several other highly-touted prospects.
Bottom Line: Judd Brackett had a phenomenal first draft with the Wild.
What did Wild fans think about the goalie free-agent market?
It looks like most people are happy about the Wild’s free-agent acquisition. I personally would have been with the 23 percent who wanted Brayden Holtby. The Wild overpaid a little for Cam Talbot compared to what Holtby got. The Talbot signing was still good and gives the best defensive team a little hope for next season.
Bottom Line: Most people approve of the Cam Talbot signing.
Who should be taken in the upcoming Seattle Expansion Draft?
Nearly half said they want Ryan Hartman to be taken which is very interesting. It is beyond absurd to see that over a quarter of the participants said they want Jordan Greenway taken, that is such an awful take.
Bottom Line: Don’t make deals, we don’t need a Tuch 2.0. The Wild are going to lose a good player either way.
The next question is what the Wild should do at the deadline depending on where they are at.
About half think the Wild should sell at the deadline even if they are in a playoff spot which I think is a smart thing to do. I’m going to assume 12 percent of you accidentally pressed buy and actually didn’t mean the Wild should buy at the deadline.
Bottom Line: The Wild should sell at the deadline and accumulate as many draft picks for next summer’s draft where they already have two first-round selections.
Who scores more goals, Kevin Fiala or Kirill Kaprizov?
It looks like Wild fans are confident that Fiala will be able to translate his second half of the season play into next season. Fiala won this one with over 75 percent of the votes.
Bottom Line: Kaprizov and Fiala are going to score a lot of goals next season.
And finally, does Kaprizov win the Calder?
Most Wild fans are confident that Kaprizov can step into the NHL and become a star. If he were to win the Calder, he probably has to score close to 30 goals.
Bottom Line: Wild fans have immense confidence in Kaprizov.