Getty Images(Ed. Note: Welcome to the Puck Daddy 2013 summer project, the National Hockey League of Nations. We’ve recruited 30 writers/blogs to identify the best player in their favorite team’s history for each major nationality that creates the fabric of our beloved NHL: Canada, USA, Russia, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden, Finland and The Rest of The World. It’s their criteria, as long as they can justify it. Read, debate and enjoy! If you want to do so on Twitter, it's #NHLoN.)
By Mike Berg, Jared Mason and Nick Henry of Hitting The Post
You have to understand the mentality of Wild fans.
We are, frankly, a fragile bunch. We love the game of hockey and we think we know it better than any other Americans (and at least 52 percent of Canucks fans). But we are also basically Atlanta-North when it comes to holding onto teams.
The Wild organization, typically very marketing-savvy, attempts to bolster our self-confidence with the whole State of Hockey thing, which alternately stokes the embers of pride or serves as a mocking tribute to our struggles with self-doubt.
So exercises like this are tricky for us. Because, if we are being honest, it is a little embarrassing to peruse our all-time roster. It’s a visit from the Ghost of North Stars Past, a reminder that they had to move to Texas to win the Cup, which means there’s no Worsley, Goldsworthy, Meloche or Ciccarelli available.
It’s also a visit from the Ghost of Risebrough Past, and the string of schlubs that Lemaire’s coaching system and brilliance allowed Doug to get by with signing to one-way contracts during his reign of apathy. With all due respect to Lubomir Sekeras…you’re Lubomir Sekeras.
And it’s also a slap in the face with the cold, dead fish of reality that, although we love the game like no other Americans, we do not have a very good track record of producing people who can play the game at its highest levels.
Minnesota….well Minnesota produces grinders. The Sons of Minnesota are like the Shoveler in Mystery Men: we shovel very well. For every Parise we have a murder of Brotens, a passel Christians, a Wyatt Smith. Here a Mark Parrish, there a Darby Hendrickson. No, we are not a flashy lot.
Yes, the history of the Minnesota Wild is relatively unremarkable, in pretty much all facets. Heck, many of the “best” players we’ve managed to stuff into a Wild uniform tend to have one thing in common: they peaked before they got to St. Paul (e.g. Heatley).
But they are all we have. So here is our list.
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