First, the Lighthouse doesn’t necessarily speak for others in the Wild organization but it goes without saying that the entire Minnesota Wild organization sends its deepest sympathies to the family, friends and fans of Rick Rypien.
Of course, the image of Rypien many of us here have is his confrontation with a fan at the beginning of last season. It was easy to forget then that this guy was also a respected teammate and by all accounts, a good person. We know too well the pain that a loss like this causes and let’s just hope it’s the last time we’ll have to deal with a similar tragedy in hockey.
NHL.com recently posted a story previewing the Minnesota Wild in its 30-for-30 series. Like most preview articles, it pretty much summarizes what happened in the obvious, and then speculates about what the Wild needs to do to be successful.
There was one portion of the article that cooked my goose, and that was the topic of Niklas Backstrom needing to regain his form this season. It says “Backstrom attributed his rough season to a shoulder injury he suffered in October and then re-aggravated at the end of February.”
Maybe his shoulder problems were the reason for a rough March, but I don’t recall Backstrom ever “attributing” any struggles to his shoulder injury. He doesn’t make excuses. He makes saves.
Anyway, further down, E.J. Hradek predicts the Wild to be on the bubble but to ultimately fall short of the playoffs. We all know that Mr. Hradek has never made a mistake in his predictions to this point, but I say he’s full of poppycock on this one.
A few other tidbits on this lovely Tuesday: the NHL TV broadcast schedule will be released this Thursday, and you can expect every Wild regular season game to be televised locally or nationally.
The Minnesota Minute Men announced that Doug Woog will be the 2011 recipient of the Courage Award. The award will presented to Woog during a Luncheon in his Honor at Mancini’s Char House, Friday, September 9th at 11:30 am.
The Courage Award has been presented by the Minute Men since 1979 to individuals for their outstanding service to the community. Some past recipients of the Minute Men Courage Award include: Hubert Humphrey, John Mariucci and Cal Stoll.
The Luncheon is open to the public, tickets are available at http://www.minnesotaminutemen.com