Posts Tagged ‘Todd Richards’
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The NHL has released the schedules for the upcoming season today. Here are some of the highlights for the Wild.
- The Wild’s season opener will be on October 3, against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
- Their home opener will be against one of Chuck Fletcher’s former teams, the Anaheim Ducks, on October 6.
- The team starts the year with a very road-heavy schedule, playing nine of their first fourteen games on the road.
- The Wild play fifteen sets of back-to-back games. In other words, 37% of their games are back-to-back sets.
- Marian Gaborik returns to Minnesota on October 30, while Jacques Lemaire returns on January 2.
- The team will play home-and-home series against Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Carolina.
- Three of the team’s last five games are on the road against Division Rivals.
- Todd Richards will return to San Jose on October 10, Martin Havlat will return to Chicago on October 26 and Chuck Fletcher will return to Pittsburgh on October 31.
- Training camp will open on September 13 and pre-season games will be announced at a later date.
So I’ve returned, after a very long hiatus. Believe me when I say, it was a much needed one too. Nothing like a little distance to clear your mind, but there’s no time for waxing poetic…It’s free agent time!
The Wild kicked off their free agency day with a whisper, rather than a bang.
They have shown a propensity over the last couple weeks to bring in players that are familiar with new coach Todd Richards (who I am very optimistic about, by the way) and this is no different.
The Wild used their first signing of the day, bringing in defenseman Greg Zanon, previously of Nashville. Zanon, 29, is a defensive defenseman through and through. Zanon played all 82 games for Nashville last season and had 237 blocked shots and 153 hits. In other words, he’ll be manning the fifth/sixth defensive slot and spending a lot of time on the penalty kill for Minnesota.
I like this signing for the simple reason that I like the way that Zanon plays the game. He is definitely not a signing that we would have seen in the Risebrough/Lemaire era, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Zanon is a rough and tumble d-man, of which we already have John Scott, but Zanon also is a much better skater than Scott.
Like any signing, time will tell how good this really is, but right now I think it’s an optimistic first signing for the Chuck Fletcher-era team.