The Minnesota Wild coaching staff have made something of a controversial decision and there seems to be a lot of negative reaction regarding the news.
According to a report from Minnesota Wild insider Mike Russo of the Star Tribune, the Wild have made the decision to scratch veteran forward Ryan Donato for the first time since he joined the ranks of the Wild organization. The timing of Donato being scratched could not be worse for the forward and I have no doubt that this will serve to light one hell of a fire under him given the circumstances that I am about to illustrate behind today's scratch.
You see earlier this morning a young boy named named Eli flew in from Boston to get a chance to hang out with his very favorite player, Ryan Donato. Now the Wild being a first class organization gave the young boy a tour of their facilities, gave him the chance to take pictures with Donato and at his locker, but of course as you would imagine the young boy was no doubt hoping to see his favorite player out on the ice. To his credit in spite of the fact that it must have been crushing for Donato to learn that he was being scratched, he spent significant time with the boy today according to Russo, a sign that Donato himself is truly just a good guy.
Given the circumstances behind the decision from head coach Bruce Boudreau you can see why the move would rub some fans the wrong way, this in spite of the fact that Donato has shown very little through his first 3 games with the Wild this season. That decision was made even more controversial however when it was revealed exactly who Donato was being sat for. According to Russo Donato has been sat tonight so that Boudreau can insert the much-maligned Victor Rask into the line up, a hugely unpopular decision given the fact that Rask is a product of the failed Paul Fenton era in Minnesota. Rask was of course traded for former Minnesota Wild veteran Nino Niederreiter and the trade has looked like a complete disaster from the perspective of the Wild ever since.
Russo believes there are two key motivating factors behind this decision, the first and most obvious being that Bruce Boudreau does not want to leave a $4 million dollar player on the sidelines for an extended period of time, and the second being that Boudreau wants to see Luke Kunin on the left wing. Nonetheless you can see why this one has caused some uproar, but I don't think it is entirely fair to lay the blame entire at Boudreau's feet. After all he is not the one that made the trade that brought Rask to the organization.