Kobasew seeks larger role, not deal

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 26, 2011 - 1:46 AM

Chuck Kobasew doesn't want to make waves but would love a greater role.

Chuck Kobasew

Photo: Jim Mone, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

ANAHEIM, CALIF. — With the Wild in the thick of the cutthroat Western Conference playoff race, General Manager Chuck Fletcher has said he's not actively looking to trade his potential unrestricted free agents by Monday's deadline.

Those players are Andrew Brunette, John Madden, Antti Miettinen, Jose Theodore and Chuck Kobasew.

But with Kobasew scratched for the first time this season Tuesday and having seen his role and ice time decrease over his time in Minnesota, there's sense Kobasew will be dangled by Monday.

The three-time 20-goal scorer would love a greater role, one bigger than sometimes playing the fourth line and sitting for extended stretches in games. He's averaging 11 minutes, 58 seconds a game but has logged less ice time than that in 12 of 17 games heading into Friday's at Anaheim.

"I'd like to play a little bit more," Kobasew, 28, said. "I don't make those decisions, though. I've been here a year and three quarters. It's been this way. I'm not saying I want to go elsewhere. I haven't said that once. I think that's more speculation. I'd just like to play a bigger role."

Kobasew doesn't want to make waves. But barring more injuries, it appears Kobasew's role is set. Coach Todd Richards said he trusts Brunette and Miettinen as a tandem offensively and defensively and he's extremely happy with Martin Havlat's play.

So they're "chewing up the ice time," Richards said. The coach said "play warrants ice time," and Richards wants to see more from Kobasew, who's scored nine goals and 13 points in 46 games before Friday after scoring nine goals and 14 points in 42 games last season. He believes Kobasew can use his speed to create more plays and calls him "a great pro."

Fletcher said it's up to Kobasew to play in his current role to the best of his ability. "I fully support Todd," Fletcher said. "We have one of the best records in the league since Jan. 1. The coach has to make his choices, and his responsibility is to win games. Frankly, he's done a heck of a job of that the last few months.

"To me it's about the team, not the individual. My only concern is winning games and that's what Todd is hired to do. I've never seen a team from T-ball to peewee hockey, you pick a division of any sport, where every single player's happy with his role. It's impossible. That's just the way it goes. There's only so much ice time and prime roles."

Vancouver's looking for a veteran forward, as is Atlanta. Carolina has coveted Kobasew since Calgary took him one slot ahead of the Hurricanes in the 2001 draft.

Asked if he think he'll be traded, Kobasew said, "Honestly, I have no idea. That's out of my control. I'm staying out of it. I'm here."

Center attention

Wild centers are dropping like flies. Three games since being called up, Cody Almond missed Friday's game with a "lower body" injury. He's day-to-day, Fletcher said.

Warren Peters, who played two games in December, was called up to replace him. To make room, defenseman Nate Prosser was reassigned.

The good news is while captain Mikko Koivu remains sidelined with a broken finger, Kyle Brodziak is feeling better and is expected to play Monday against Chicago.

Etc.

• Guillaume Latendresse said he's improving but still has pain in his hips and groin: "It's going to be that way all year." He's got no timetable on a return.

• Defenseman Cam Barker (upper body) isn't expected to be out long, Fletcher said.

• Brent Burns' 15th goal of the season in Thursday's loss to Los Angeles tied his own team record for goals by a defenseman.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 5:30 PM
Seattle
Miami 13 1st Qtr 5:11
Boston 7
LA Lakers 1:00 PM
New York
Arizona 0 1st Prd 13:49
Montreal 2
St. Louis 1 1st Prd 13:06
Washington 0
Nashville 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Minnesota 2:00 PM
Vancouver
Miami-Florida 36 2nd Half
Florida State 25
Oakland 49 2nd Half
Youngstown St 42
Cincinnati 15 1st Half 8:41
East Carolina 11
Michigan 15 1st Half 10:37
Michigan State 8
Marist 1:00 PM
Canisius
Fordham 1:00 PM
Dayton
Manhattan 1:00 PM
Monmouth
Quinnipiac 1:00 PM
Niagara
Utah 1:30 PM
USC
Connecticut 2:00 PM
Houston
California 2:00 PM
Washington
North Dakota St 2:00 PM
Western Ill
Penn State 39 2nd Half 15:17
(22) Rutgers 42
(14) Texas 13 1st Half 12:14
TCU 13
Coll of Charleston 10 1st Half 9:22
Towson 22
Cornell 14 1st Half 11:07
Yale 13
Xavier 13 1st Half 11:32
Providence 10
Drexel 14 1st Half 11:22
UNC-Wilmington 11
Stony Brook 4 1st Half 11:51
New Hampshire 9
Maine 11 1st Half 8:02
Albany 8
Miami-Florida 14 1st Half 10:38
Pittsburgh 14
(21) Georgia 13 1st Half 11:56
(10) Kentucky 17
Arizona 12 1st Half 9:50
Colorado 14
Wake Forest 16 1st Half 11:06
(4) Notre Dame 19
Loyola-Chicago 13 1st Half 11:50
Illinois State 13
(24) Oklahoma 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Butler 1:00 PM
Creighton
St Johns 1:00 PM
Seton Hall
Delaware 1:00 PM
Hofstra
Binghamton 1:00 PM
UMass Lowell
Vermont 1:00 PM
Hartford
William & Mary 1:00 PM
Northeastern
Boston College 1:00 PM
(16) North Carolina
Virginia 1:00 PM
Clemson
(2) Connecticut 1:00 PM
Temple
Arkansas 1:00 PM
Alabama
Virginia Tech 1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Kansas 1:00 PM
(3) Baylor
Canisius 1:00 PM
Rider
Monmouth 1:00 PM
Fairfield
Quinnipiac 1:00 PM
Saint Peters
Wichita State 1:05 PM
Drake
Evansville 1:05 PM
Indiana State
(18) Miss State 2:00 PM
(6) Tennessee
Villanova 2:00 PM
DePaul
Georgetown 2:00 PM
Marquette
North Texas 2:00 PM
Rice
Auburn 2:00 PM
(12) Texas A&M
(11) Arizona State 2:00 PM
Utah
Missouri State 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
Michigan 2:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
Minnesota 2:00 PM
Northwestern
Wisconsin 2:00 PM
Illinois
Bradley 2:05 PM
Southern Ill
Florida 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
(20) Iowa 3:00 PM
(5) Maryland
(1) South Carolina 3:30 PM
Ole Miss
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close