(Ed. Note: As the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, we're bound to lose some friends along the journey. We've asked for these losers, gone but not forgotten, to be eulogized by the people who knew the teams best: The bloggers who hated them the most. Here are Chicago Blackhawks bloggers CT, Morph, Slak, Thrillho, Umlaut, Forklift and Big Cheyenne of Hockeenight.com, fondly recalling the Minnesota Wild. Again, this was not written by us. Also: This is a roast and you will be offended by it, so don't take it so seriously.)
We are gathered here today to mourn the passing of the Minnesota Wild, who were put to an early death by a Chelsea Dagger.
At least those of you mourning the demise of your heroes can be comforted in the knowledge that the end was quick and painless.
The Land of 10,000 Lakes has done its best to attach its affections to the Wild, who replaced the North Stars.
This is like replacing a three-legged dog with one that scoots its ass on the rug, leaving skid marks.
Of course, the North Stars were named after Peter North, as they were a reprehensible puddle of man goo, led by world-class miscreants like Dino Ciccarelli, Shane Churla and Basil McRae.
But that’s not why we’re here.
The Wild tries their best to be villainous, but their main bad guy is … Zenon Kenopka?
He owns a winery. And a pet bunny. I’m not kidding. Of course, if anyone would actually drink what one can only surmise is mildewy grape juice that aspires to be sold in a box instead of a bottle, perhaps it could be featured on bumwines.com.
Instead, the winos of the Twin Cities will continue to eschew Zenon’s offerings for vanilla extract and Cepacol.
When you have a team called the Wild, it’s easy to lack a certain identity. For instance, in Chicago, Jonathan Toews is a Blackhawk. In Minnesota, Mikko Koivu is … what is he, anyway? Although, we’d ask the same question if he played his home games in the United Center.
Wild Owner Craig Leipold took advantage of years of revenue sharing, paying a total of $196 million over 13 years for the services of Ryan Suter and Zach Parise. This bold leadership enabled the Wild to make the big leap from 12th in the Western Conference all the way up to 8th.
The Wild also had the advantage of being in the same division as both teams from Alberta. The Flames and Oilers are each run by paste-eating mouthbreathers, neither of whom are Mike Rupp.
Leipold also showed that same bold leadership during the lockout.
He was vocal about long term deals with big front-loads and wide variances being bad for the game.
The same type of deals given to … Ryan Suter and Zach Parise.
Leipold has won awards for Sportsman of the Year and Father of the Year. These were due to his inspired leadership of his franchise as owner. Of course, that franchise was the Nashville Predators, which he used to own.
The Wild gave it a valiant effort. They started off a little slow due to the addition of the two new stars. However, they got acclimated, and the train got rolling. In fact, it looked for a while as if they could overtake the Vancouver Canucks to win their division.
And you all stood behind the Wild. But you should have stopped taking steps back to pretend you weren’t with them. With a chance to clinch at home the Wild spit the bit, and you booed your team. You even booed Josh Harding, who will win the Masterton Trophy every year he wears an NHL uniform. On the bright side, you treated him like he was just another goalie.
As long we were talking about class and support, even though the Wild are (is? You guys seriously couldn’t find one goddamn plural word in the dictionary?) no longer with us, the Xcel Energy Center official scorer just credited Cal Clutterbuck with five hits.
Speaking of Clutterbuck, what a vile individual.
A native of Wellend, Ontario (where he was known as “The Bellend From Wellend”), what he lacks in scoring prowess and finesse he makes up for in complete disregard for basic hygiene. His odor is so rank that when he walks down the street he’s followed by a dozen cats who think the smell is coming from a halibut he has in his jacket.
When he actually does hit somebody, his skates come so far off the ice that there are judges scoring it. He might as well do a triple axel into a camel while he’s at it. Oh, and he uses the sweat from his ass crack as hair gel.
So now it’s time to bury the Wild. We can also bury the cap hit from buying out Cam Barker, who the Wild acquired for Nick Leddy. The Wild certainly couldn’t have used a player with Leddy's speed and offensive abilities, nosiree.
We wanted to bury the Wild in their uniforms, but nobody could figure out what the hell their uniforms even are these days. All we knew was that we didn't want to use those red and green monstrosities that make you think they're all Santa's elves - except for Jared Spurgeon, who actually is one. Jared, get your ass up to the North Pole - those toys aren't going to make themselves, you know..
And as the Good Book says, “I am the resurrection of life.”
Next year the Wild will be on Conference III with the Blackhawks. While Blackhawks fans file past the statues of Bobby Hull and Stan Mikita, Wild fans have the statue of Mary Tyler Moore.
And maybe the Wild can make the 2013-14 season last longer.
Unless they have over 20% of their cap space taken by two players.
Nah, nobody could be that dumb.