King Hired To Boost PP, Other Areas Need To Be Addressed
We all feel the Wild pain of losing in the first round of the playoffs year after year. It is not fun and the wait for the next 82-game marathon to qualify for the next season's Spring dance is long and painful.
In Minnesota, the fans have become numb to their sport's team's post season failures, having not celebrated a championship in either of the four major sports since the Twins won the World Series way back in 1991.
However, this is the State of Hockey, and the passion for a great hockey team runs deep in the fabric of Minnesota. The fans deserve a championship, and that is what owner, Craig Leipold wants more than anything, to deliver that coveted, Stanley Cup.
Bill Guerin has been entrusted to put together a team of coaches, players, and staff to get that job done. Guerin has put his stamp on the club with some bold moves, along with more calculated building of the prospect pool, to feed the Wild roster over the next several seasons.
Dean Evason has built a strong culture in the locker room and provided a stable system that has produced solid regular seasons despite the fact that the Wild have never had a top six center.
Each year the playoffs provide the same story though. A first round exit, primarily due to the fact that the team fails to kill penalties nor win face-offs. Their powerplay struggles as well compounding the issues.
We know there is not much room for Guerin to maneuver the roster at the present time. So what could he do to shake the tree a bit to get more from what the Wild have?
Tim Army was not retained as head coach in Iowa l, mainly due to the fact that he was not on the same page as Evason and the big club. So we think that Guerin will make his first true coaching hire (as Evason was hired by Paul Fenton originally, and promoted by Guerin), but that was not the case as Brett McLean was tapped for the Iowa job leaving a vacancy on Evason's staff.
In come Jason King, as Guerin hired the former Canucks assistant to provide a boost to the Wild powerplay. I am anxious to see what King can do and it does provide us optimism that the Wild PP will be improved heading into the 2023-24 season.
That does nothing for the lack of penalty kill and face-off circle woes. My question is how on earth do the Wild retain the same caoching staff year after year and expect different results in these critical areas of the game that are the direct responsibility of the assistants?
Optimism for sure for the Wild powerplay, questions abound after that...