The way we're going, Minnesota may become the Fourth Line capital of the world.
Just recently, Wild coach Mike Yeo took a couple of top-six players and put them on the fourth line. Then Chuck Fletcher traded not one but two players to the New York Rangers for another fourth-liner. Poor Matt Kassian, who has waited patiently, can't even get a shot on that fourth line.
Meanwhile, there are plenty of other candidates for spots on the fourth line. Apparently, it is the "in" place to be. It is the Studio 54 of fourth lines. Unfortunately, all those candidates for fourth-line duty currently skate on one of the Wild's top three lines.
Nine games in, and the Wild can't score and can't win on the road. What's new? We're talking about franchise hallmarks, folks. But this time there is an obscene amount of money on the line. If the Wild don't make the playoffs, their ownership group will have to take up residence at a busy intersection -- carrying cardboard signs and seeking donations.
During the offseason, the Wild threatened to become relevant for the first time in the Craig Leipold Era. Early signs now indicate they are backing off. The organization isn't in panic mode at this early stage, but let's say it is standing on the fringe of anxiety. And the owner probably is more than a little jumpy.
Minnesota Wild's fourth line 'in' place to be
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Feb 6