We have long associated hockey and golf even if it were just the natural right of Spring to wish your playoff opponent an early tee time. Over the years we have seen many NHLers and former players have success on the links.
The U.S. Open is the one tournament that always brings us stories of amateur golfers qualifying, because it is the only event that one can qualify for by winning a local and then sectional qualifier.
That brings us to NHL referee, Garrett Rank, who is in the field this week at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club on Long Island, teeing it up with the World's best golfers at the U.S. Open.
Rank is a very accomplished amateur golfer, according to SCOREGolf Magazine's Adam Stanley Rank won three consecutive Canadian Men's Mid-Amateur titles from 2014-16 and lost in a playoff last year in his bid for a fourth straight title.
Probably the most impressive part of Rank's qualifying story, is the fact that he was only able to play four rounds of golf during the hockey season.
Should be a fun story to follow as it plays out on the fairways and greens this week.
On to Wild news as the draft draws closer the rumors of course are swirling. The only thing that we know for certain is that new Wild GM, Paul Fenton, wants to make his imprint on the team quickly.
His mantra has always been build through the draft, so do not expect movement involving high draft picks. The other element of the Fenton plan is to make "hockey trades" which creates a lot of interesting scenarios given the Wild current group of players.
There are players on the current roster that have significant value around the league, like Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle, just to name a couple that have been mentioned quite frequently.
The great part of having a new man pulling the strings at the top though is he has no ownership to any of the current players and there value is just what he and his staff see. Nothing underlying as far as what was given up to acquire any of these guys and no trying to save face on a past transaction.
Fenton has been very busy, we know that much for sure. But what if anything will he do with the roster come draft day and the days leading up to free agency?
The one player that has been rumored to be a possibility of coming to the Wild has been, Penguins RW, Phil Kessel. Now Kessel the former Gopher would bring the goal scorer and right handed shot the Wild so desperately need, but the $6.8 million per season would be difficult to fit into the cap, especially with Dumba and Zucker needing new deals.
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