Wild's season's over, but jabs still fly

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 21, 2007 - 9:07 PM

The Wild-Ducks animosity didn't fade away, with the teams' GMs, in particular, taking some final digs.

The Western Conference quarterfinals officially ended Thursday when the Anaheim Ducks bid adieu to the Wild in five games, but parting shots took place Saturday between both clubs, particularly the teams' general managers -- the Wild's Doug Risebrough and the Ducks' Brian Burke.

The detonation again had to do with Anaheim's Brad May, who called Kim Johnsson on Friday to apologize for leaving the Wild defenseman concussed with a surprise punch to Johnsson's left eye. It was an apology not accepted, if you read between the lines.

Risebrough, who said, "May's probably made a lot of those calls," insinuated that actions like May's follow Burke around, a subtle reminder that Todd Bertuzzi broke Steve Moore's neck when Burke managed the Canucks.

"They started whining after Game 1, they whined after Game 2 ... after Game 3 ... after Game 4 ... after Game 5," Burke said by phone. "I suspect after Games 6 and 7, we'd be treated to more whining. There's a right way and a wrong way to lose. The right way is to give credit where credit is due and acknowledge that the best team is still playing.

"But this is embarrassing."

Series-long tensions erupted during the Wild's Game 4 victory over Anaheim. Near the end, a scrum broke out. As Johnsson skated, May, claiming to be "defending myself, my space on the ice," skated right to left so that Johnsson couldn't get by. He grabbed the nonpugilist and decked him.

"I'm disappointed ... that stuff like that can happen," said Johnsson, who thought his cheekbone was broken. "I feel that's not the right way to do it. If he wants to fight, at least tell me that he's going to do something so I can protect myself."

Asked if he accepted May's apology, Johnsson said: "He apologized, but let's leave it at that. I don't want to say what he said or what I said."

Johnsson is feeling better, but Risebrough said he wouldn't be able to play in the "near future." Risebrough also has been told that May broke his hand during the incident; Burke denies that.

"It's probably worthwhile for the league to find out how accurate it is," Risebrough said. "As an ex-player, I know if a guy hit me and he broke his hand, he hit me pretty hard. It does tell you the impact, and it certainly does tell you, which is contrary to what Anaheim broadcaster [Brian Hayward] said, that Johnsson didn't turtle. He was knocked out."

A skirmish between the teams broke out during Game 5 warmups, after Derek Boogaard admittedly elbowed defenseman Chris Pronger.

"Yeah, I did," Boogaard said. "He crossed over the red line, so I got in his way just on their side of the ice and then he shot a puck at me. And then [George] Parros came flying over the line. It just escalated from there."

After the game, when both teams lined up to shake hands, Risebrough kept Boogaard from joining, because "I did not trust what they were going to do." Wild coach Jacques Lemaire and his assistants also didn't shake hands with the Ducks coaches, which angered Burke.

"The reason is very simple," Lemaire said. "[Burke] started first to say his team is bigger, tougher, they had more fights and all that [stuff] before the playoffs, and I didn't appreciate it. Then ... what May did, that's the reason I didn't shake."

Risebrough said that it's time "to hold general managers accountable for how their teams play. Some of these things follow general managers around."I'm at a loss of how to respond," Burke said. "I don't even know what that means. This was a warriors' series. I have not heard one person from Minnesota praise how hard my team worked, how good our special teams were. It's certainly an ungracious way to lose. When they came back from 3-1 [to beat Vancouver in 2003], go back and see if I bellyached like this."

  • related content

  • Caution is requested as players make exits

    Saturday April 21, 2007

    The turned-off lights made Xcel Energy Center eerily dark Saturday morning. The ice was empty, the boards had no advertisements, the arena was silent.

  • Fernandez appears likely cap casualty

    Sunday April 22, 2007

    The $4 million-a-year goalie figures he'll be pushed out to create some salary-cap wiggle room for the Wild.

  • Wild 4, Anaheim 1




  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


Atlanta 7 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Miami 5 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Baltimore - LP: K. Gausman 4 FINAL
Detroit - WP: J. Nathan 6
Minnesota 4 FINAL
Boston 5
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Toronto 4
Cincinnati 13 FINAL
Cleveland 2
Los Angeles 9 FINAL
Chicago WSox 6
Kansas City 3 FINAL
Seattle 0
Seattle 1 FINAL
Milwaukee 15
San Diego 3 FINAL
Arizona 3
Washington 3
LA Angels 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 4
Colorado 3 FINAL
Texas 6
Oakland 6 FINAL
San Francisco 4
Indiana 107 FINAL
Milwaukee 111
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL
Carolina 5
New Jersey 2 FINAL(OT)
Washington 3
Los Angeles 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 4 FINAL(OT)
Buffalo 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL(OT)
Boston 2
Nashville 3 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Detroit 4
NY Rangers 5 FINAL
Ottawa 1
Florida 4 FINAL
Toronto 1
Montreal 2 FINAL
Winnipeg 5
Colorado 4 FINAL
Vancouver 1
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Notre Dame 81
North Carolina 72 FINAL
Wisconsin 79
Evansville 89 FINAL
Louisiana 82
West Virginia 39 FINAL
Kentucky 78
Xavier 60 FINAL
Arizona 68
St Johns 55 FINAL
Villanova 63
NC State 79 FINAL
Temple 80
Missouri 55 FINAL
Michigan 65
Oral Roberts 64 FINAL
Louisiana 65
Duquesne 39 FINAL
West Virginia 60
Ole Miss 70 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 82
Northern Colorado 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 77 FINAL
Sacramento St 69
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: What are you following most closely right now?

Weekly Question