Back in May I was suggesting that the Minnesota Wild pick up Keith Ballard and yesterday the former Gopher defenseman was signed by the Minnesota Wild. Also, two players that I wanted to see gone from the Wild roster are no longer here. I am thinking, I need to go out and buy a lottery ticket this weekend. Below is what I wrote...
Based on what I have seen during the past season, I would say that the Minnesota Wild are challenged defensively, after the first defensive pairing of Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin, the Wild are thin on defense and need some help.
Granted, Jared Spurgeon is a great up and coming offensive defenseman and Marco Scandella proved to be a nice surprise during the Wild's short playoff run. After that, Justin Falk proved that he's a defensive liability and at times look like a big green road cone. Former Badgers defenseman Tom Gilbert looked to have taken a step back this past season and I was unimpressed with his play as well because he was a defensive liability.
In my opinion, the Minnesota Wild could use a solid stay-at-home defenseman or two. Former Minnesota Defenseman Keith Ballard "could" be a candidate for an amnesty buyout in Vancouver and might be available to come to the Minnesota Wild at a reduced rate.
I know people get lucky sometimes but here is what I submitted for the season grades for Tom Gilbert and funny how things worked out for the Minnesota Wild.
The former Wisconsin Badger Tom Gilbert is an utter disappointment in my opinion, that Wild are being cheated, he’s not worth the money he’s being paid. Gilbert is being paid a hefty four million a year to be a turnover factory and an unimpressive top-six defenseman. If I was a general manager for a day, he would be the first Wild player out of Minnesota; Justin Falk would be number two. The Wild should consider his four million dollar contract for an Amnesty buyout this summer as well. If they Wild could trade him for a bag of wood hockey sticks I would urge them to consider the deal. One positive is that he can’t play any worse than he did this season. Nowhere to go but up for Gilbert, I don’t think he can play any worse. Looking at the stats, in the plus/minus department, -11 is brutal.