Did you see that catchy headline? And I’m just getting started! Get ready for a full season of references to “turduckens,” “Madden Cruisers” and “bushy, orange eyebrows.” I promise, you’ll love it and won’t ever get sick of it.
As reported on Wild.com, three-time Stanley Cup winner John Madden has come to terms on a one-year deal with the Wild. Madden has been one of the best defensive forwards in the game over his 10-year career, and he adds even more depth to the growing list of Wild centers.
It’s assumed that Madden now centers the Wild’s “third” line, which is likely made up of Chuck Kobasew, Cal Clutterbuck and/or Eric Nystrom. Kyle Brodziak now moves down to the fourth line slot, most likely. What will be interesting is to see what this means for James Sheppard, Casey Wellman and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Assuming he’s healthy, Bouchard likely shifts to wing. The tougher choices will be made when it comes to Wellman and Sheppard. Playing down in Houston certainly wouldn’t do anything to stunt Wellman’s growth, but he showed last year that he’s not out of place in the NHL. As for Sheppard, he’ll need to turn in a big performance at training camp if he wants to play center. Perhaps the Wild moves him or Wellman to the wing as well?
Madden is currently in Hawaii on a scuba boat, so he was not available for immediate comment. It’s expected that he, along with newcomers like Nystrom, Matt Cullen and Brad Staubitz, as well as Mikko Koivu, are going to make a media appearance together in Minnesota prior to training camp.