Dynasty Hockey League


The Wild decided almost one calendar year ago today to push the reset button. The team finished season 18 in 5th place in the Western Conference and promptly went down in six games to who else but the San Jose Sharks. Far from un-respectable but more of the same for a team that had moments of brilliance during the regular season only to lay an egg in the playoffs.

The team was built on Jonathan Toews and Gabriel Landeskog, two players who defined two way play. But the supporting cast was perceived to be the biggest issue, every offseason i was scourging the bottom of the barrel hoping to catch lightning in a bottle but never quite got there. Adding to that fact was an ever increasingly difficult UFA system that separated the haves and have-nots, back in my day $20 million would get you several seasons of a top six forward but now $20 million would get you a couple seasons of a second pairing dman.

Now deciding when to rebuild is probably as much about timing as anything and with a strong 2015 draft class coming I decided to dish as much talent as I could shed and load up on picks. But i didn’t totally scorch the earth, i added some players that i felt could contribute with bounce back seasons and kept players who I didn’t get enough value for.

I dished franchise pieces like Jonathan Toews and Gabriel Landeskog, and then dealt second tier players like Eric Staal, Patrik Berglund, Matt Beleskey, Niklas Kronwall, Cam Talbot and Nick Leddy. My prospect pool was full of junk, my best prospect was literally Nick Baptiste. By the end of season 19 I had added 27 picks for both split drafts of 2015 including eleven 1st rounders. I was hoping the lotto gods would reward my trying to remain semi-competitive but alas the highest I got in either lotto was 4th overall.

By the end of season 20 I had amassed some bonified prospects like Kasperi Kapanen, Jake Virtanen, Zachary Senyshyn, Lawson Crouse, Jack Roslovic, Jansen Harkins and undrafted wizkid Artem Panarin. I also leveraged some of those picks and prospects to add pro talent such as Matt Duchene, Martin Hanzal, Bo Horvat, Mike Hoffman, Milan Lucic, Justin Abdelkader, Justin Schultz, Sven Baertschi and James Reimer.

This offseason has been a revalation, we continued to add talent via the draft and trade bringing in more building blocks like Jared McCann, Travis Konecny, Jeremy Bracco, Marco Scandella, Noah Juulsen, Petr Mrazek and Louis Domingue. The depth is the most important part in all this, we are finally able to see the depth chart flush, with picks in future years and talent throughout the lineup. The ability to not have to live and die in UFA will make this team a stronger franchise moving forward and soon we will be able to compete with the Western elite.

While things have certainly taken a step in the right direction I had to hit the brakes early this offseason. Some opportunities came up to add top end players that were under contract for 4 and 5 seasons and I balked. This is probably the best decision I could have made, in the past I have put the peddle to the medal too early and ended up back in no mans land again. So maybe I am getting wiser, or more patient, or both, at any rate I think things are turning the corner and when i am ready to contend again it will be long term.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply