When a team makes significant changes to its roster during an offseason it becomes a lot of fun for fans to play fantasy hockey and start mixing and matching players together as they try and predict who will be paired with who.
One team that has had drastic rate of turnover in the past year has been the Minnesota Wild organization. The Wild have not only gone through 2 general managers in about 2 seasons but the second of those general managers, Paul Fenton, traded away some of the organization's core players in a series of moves that has left the roster looking dramatically different than it did just a year ago. The head coach, Bruce Boudreau, find himself in a rather odd position given the fact that he will now be playing under his third general manager since joining the ranks of the Wild, but he appears to be taking it all in stride.
In fact in a recent interview with Minnesota Wild insider Mike Russo Boudreau appeared to be in pretty good spirits and was even in good enough of a mood to give Russo a preview of what the Minnesota Wild's line up might look like this season once it hits the ice. To be clear training camp as well as the offseason training of all these players could have a major impact on how the lines end up once we are ready for the start of the 2019 - 2020 NHL regular season, but Boudreau seemed pretty confident about the direction he was moving in.
Here's what Boudreau had to say about his line combinations for this upcoming season as per The Athletic(emphasis our own):
You know, I’ve been looking at a couple things that I put on the board. I guess before I answer that, I should make clear that a lot of it depends on how Mikko’s (Koivu) health is, how his leg is. In other words, are we going to have to start him slow or is he ready to go off the bat? So I’ll preface everything that a lot of this depends on Mikko and that these are things that are just going through my head in early August. Anything can change next month. But (Eric) Staal will start as the No. 1 center, and I’m looking at him with (Jason) Zucker and (Mats) Zuccarello. On the board, I really like the look and sound of Parise, Kunin and Fiala. And then, Mikko’s health will probably determine the other combinations. It’ll probably start with Mikko or (Joel Eriksson) Ek with (Ryan) Donato and (Jordan) Greenway and then (Marcus) Foligno with the other center (Ek or Mikko) and Hartman with J.T. Brown and Victor Rask pushing.
What do you think of Boudreau's vision for the future of the team? Would you keep things the same or would you prefer to shuffle the lines in a different manner moving forward?
Photo Credit: Keystone Press