We asked you on Twitter to rank the four major men's pro teams in town in order of LEAST dysfunctional to most dysfunctional. (The Lynx are not part of the discussion because they are CLEARLY the least dysfunctional organizatoin in town).Here are the results (and our thoughts below):
Of 29 Twitter votes among those who voted for all 4:
*21 picked the Wild as the LEAST dysfunctional
*7 picked the Wolves as the LEAST dysfunctional
*27 of 29 picked the Wolves either No. 1 or No. 2
*26 of 29 picked the Wild either No. 1 or No. 2
*18 picked the Vikings as the MOST dysfunctional
*9 picked the Twins as the MOST dysfunctional
*28 of 29 picked the Vikings No. 3 or No. 4.
*25 of 29 picked the Twins No. 3 or No. 4.
If you want another shot at voting, you can go to our startribune.com poll.
Our order, which is based primarily on problems that surfaced (or continued) two years ago and each team's ability or inability to solve them:
1. Wolves. The Timberwolves won just 17 games in the 2010-11 season, and while there were many problems, a big one that continued to vex the team the next two seasons was the lack of a reliable true shooting guard. That problem appears to have been corrected with the free agent signing of Kevin Martin, and the Timberwolves -- with their roster assembly and head coach -- arguably have the most potential of any of the four.
2. Wild. The glaring weakness? Well, basically the objective of the sport: scoring goals. The Wild offense struggled in 2010-11. The next season, 2011-12, the team scored 166 goals, by far the fewest in the NHL. Despite the additions of Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and others since then, the Wild entered play Thursday ranked 25th in the NHL in goals scored with just 21 in their first 10 games. Based on scoring chances and potential, however, the Wild could be on track to fix things as the season goes along.
3. Next we have the Twins, whose starting pitching was a major problem in 2011 when the team went from 94 to 63 wins. The team ranked 26th in starters’ ERA that year. Modest attempts to fix that have flopped, with the Twins ranking 29th in starters’ ERA in 2012 and 30th – dead last – in 2013.
4. And finally we have the Vikings. They entered 2011 knowing they needed a quarterback of the future. They drafted Christian Ponder in the first round and floundered in 2011 with a 3-13 record. Even a 10-6 playoff season in 2012 didn’t quell skeptics, and rightfully so. The team is right back where it started, at 1-5 in 2013 and with no discernible quarterback of the future.