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Souhan on Sports blog: Goodbye Cuddyer? Or is it hello again? And other stuff

  • Blog Post by: Jim Souhan
  • December 15, 2011 - 2:50 PM

I know we tend to react strongly when a winning team doesn't draw well, and the empty seats at the X have been troubling, given the outstanding performance of this year's Wild team.

My take: Don't sweat it. If this continues to be a good team, and I think it will, the fans will arrive. Probably after football season and the holidays pass, and the NHL standings become more meaningful.

Wrote about the Wild for the Friday paper. A quick preview: This team is overachieving right now, given the injuries and difficult recent schedule, but I think this organization is set up to win for a long time. GM Chuck Fletcher has done a masterful job of giving this year's team a chance to win while also acquiring young talent.

The Wild is four good goalies deep, meaning Fletcher may be able to trade one for value. About all the Wild seems to lack moving forward is a signature scorer, a 40-goal guy. If Fletcher could somehow land Parise, this team could become a championship contender.

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One thing I've heard from a lot of people around the Wild is that Martin Havlat's departure was a key for this team. He was quite disliked in the lockerroom, and he was not an end-to-end player. If he had played for the Wild this year, Mike Yeo would have had to make an example of him. Chuck Fletcher spared Yeo the trouble.

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I think the signing of Josh Willingham rules out the Twins' re-signing Michael Cuddyer, and here's the catch for those who want to see Cuddyer brought back at any price:

If the Twins are willing to pay Cuddyer what he wants, about $10 million a year, that could be a sign that they don't think Justin Morneau is going to be healthy.

If Morneau is healthy, the Twins don't have a huge need for Cuddyer. If Morneau isn't healthy, then Cuddyer could be the starting first baseman.

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Saw two Wolves practices this week, and was struck by how much better this coaching staff is than its predecessor, and many in Wolves' history.

You've got Adelman, one of the best coaches of his generation, and Jack Sikma coaching big men, and Terry Porter coaching guards. I heard from a lot of people last year that not only was Kurt Rambis challenged as a head coach, but his staff was awful. Bill Laimbeer mailed it in. Reggie Theus was looking for his next job. Dave Wohl was not well-liked.

This staff will get the most out of this roster.

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Upcoming: I'll be on 1500espn from 6-8 tonight with a bunch of guests, including Jared Spurgeon, Toby Gerhart and probably someone from the Wolves from Mankato. Also joining me will be Brian Allee-Walsh, an old friend who has covered the Saints for decades.

Also, I'll be on 1500espn at 2:05 tomorrow with Reusse and Mackey, and Tom Pelissero and I will run Sunday Sports Talk from 10-noon before the Vikings game on Sunday.

My twitter name is @Souhanstrib.

 

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