Eulogy: Remembering the 2016-17 Minnesota Wild
(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 and fans who hated them the most. Here are the merry pranksters from St. Louis Game Time, fondly recalling the 2016-17 Minnesota Wild. Story by Brad Lee, images by @HitchsHat, save for the last one, which was done by Kelly Wilson.)
(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.)
By St. Louis Game Time
Magnus Paajarvi has just scored the overtime, game-winning and series-clinching goal in Game 5 against the Minnesota Wild on their home ice. The Blues are celebrating in the corner, the Wild gather in their own end to console each other.
John Forslund: Quite the end to this series. It’s usually hard to say what goes through a person’s head at an emotional time like this. I say usually because today is not the case. Using cutting edge holographic technology that can drill inside a person’s head with minimal damage, we are privileged to give you a peek inside the head of one Mike Yeo. I probably don’t need to tell you in a folksy kind of way that the head coach of the St. Louis Blues held the same job less than 15 months ago for these Minnesota Wild. Competition makes for strange bedfellows, indeed. During this most sacred of playoff traditions, the handshake, we will take you inside Yeo’s brain and tell you what he’s really thinking as he shakes hands with his former players and shares what I can only predict is admiration for their performance this series.
Yeo Inside: I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT! I DID IT!
Yeo Outside: Great team win, fellas. Great effort. You guys did the hard work, made St. Louis proud.
The Wild players start to approach to shake hands, Zach Parise first.
Yeo Inside: Look who it is, Mr. Moneybags. You’d skate faster without those gold doubloons in your hockey pants. Maybe you should have gotten more private lessons from Adam Oates. Congratulations on tying for the team lead in playoff points with three. You make more than every other forward on the Wild with a cap hit of more than $7 million a season until you turn 38. Mr. Boat Anchor is more like it. I’m sure you cried yourself to sleep when I got fired.
Yeo Outside: Heck of a series, Brinks. You gave us a run for our money.
Chris Stewart extends his hand.
Yeo Inside: Oh look, it’s one of the Wild’s “tough guys.” I’m not afraid. Because there’s not a lineseman holding me back, so I know you won’t try to punch me. Ryan Reaves looked at you and I’m pretty sure a little bit of pee came out.
Yeo Outside: Good series, Stewie. You played hard as nails.
Mikael Granlund skates up next.
Yeo Inside: Here’s Chuck Fletcher’s master work. The ninth overall draft pick in 2010, he’s finally realized his potential as a hockey player scoring 69 points to lead his team in the regular season at just age 25. He’s a restricted free agent making $3 million a year. And because of the other contracts on the team, he probably won’t be here in a year. Chuck Fletcher, everyone! Man, these internal thoughts are really detailed.
Yeo Outside: Bruuuuuuuce. Hold your head up, you had a great season. Your Brinks truck is coming.
Martin Hanzal approaches.
Yeo Inside: Look, it’s the noted faceoff cheater. Where did that get you, big boy? At least you made the playoffs unlike your old friend Shane Doan. Hope these five games didn’t affect your handicap on the golf course too much.
Yeo Outside: Good series, you were really hard to beat on the dot.
Matt Dumba is next.
Yeo Inside: Have fun playing for Vegas next year.
Yeo Outside: Have fun playing for Vegas next year.
It’s Charlie Coyle next in line.
Yeo Inside: Man, the Wild are ruining this kid. He spent time on the fourth line during the season because he had a bad stretch of 25 games. He’s signed for three more years and is the same age as Granlund. And he scored twice in this series against us. I bet if we offer Ty Rattie to Fletcher for Coyle he’d take it for the salary cap room. And because Fletcher makes bad decisions. LIKE FIRING COACHES TOO SOON! I COULD ONLY DO SO MUCH WITH YOUR PLAYERS! Why am I yelling in my own head?
Yeo Outside: Good series, Sir Charles. You really sliced through our defense and bloodied us. On the scoreboard.
Jared Spurgeon offers his hand.
Yeo Inside: Hey looks, it’s one of the few guys who didn’t play to get me fired. I’m lying. He totally wanted me fired.
Yeo Outside: Good seeing you, Tank. You have a good offseason.
Ryan Suter reaches for a handshake.
Yeo Inside: You know, I used to daydream about playing you for 60 minutes one game just to see if you could do it. I think Bruce Boudreau might actually try it next season. Everyone knows playing a 32-year-old defenseman more than 30 minutes a game in the playoffs is a recipe for success every time.
Yeo Outside: Once again you earned your name, Iron Man.
Devan Dubnyk reaches for Yeo’s hand.
Yeo Inside: You said it sucked when I got fired. I think you sucked and that led me to being fired. But all of a sudden, I’m not as bitter. I don’t know why. Maybe because I have the SECOND ROUND TO THINK ABOUT!
Yeo Outside: Duuuuuuuuuuuuuub.
Mikko Koivu grabs Yeo’s hand.
Yeo Inside: Man, I loved you. I let you do whatever you wanted as my team’s leader. You’re the only captain in Wild history. And now here we are. I’m moving on to Nashville and you’re headed home for the summer. SUCKS TO BE YOU!
Yeo Outside: Good to see you Kaptain. All the best, buddy.
Yeo meets with reporters after the game. The NBC technology is inadvertently left on.
Yeo Outside: It’s not about me and that’s what I’ve said. I’ve been sincere when I’ve said that. I don’t think that what I’m feeling right now would be any different if it was any other team.
Yeo Inside: I DID IT! TAKE THAT FLETCHER! State of Hockey? More like State of Never Going Anywhere In the Playoffs! Juicy Lucy’s are overrated! It snows in May here! The Twins suck! The Vikings aren’t real contenders! And you don’t even have Prince anymore!
A short time later, current Wild coach Bruce Boudreau meets with reporters. Still, the NBC technology gives us a peek inside.
Boudreau Outside: Every team is capable of winning, but usually the best team does win. They weren’t the better team, but they won four games.
Boudreau Inside: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!
Thanks to St. Louis Game Time. Story by Brad Lee, images by @HitchsHat save for the last one, which was done by Kelly Wilson.