“Nuh uh…you’re foolin’, right?”
Loosely translated, that was my reaction when one of my coworkers told me Doug Reisbrough had been fired. I thought there was no way. He insisted, and I check out the interweb (sorry IS team, I’ll do an extra 5 minutes of work this weekend) and sure enough, Wild owner Craig Leipold pulled the trigger and surprised everyone by firing DR. I am still in shock. Never saw this coming. I’m so used to hearing about the T-Wolves and Glen Taylor’s “country club” and the other pro teams here in Minny doing just enough to be almost competitive…I just never thought this was possible.
So, I did what any other tech-savvy fan would do…I posted the Strib story to Facebook. Within minutes I had comments from friends expressing their “Like” for the news. No surprise here. DR had worn thin with the Team of 18,000 and I was one of them.
I welcome the change. Whoever Leipold brings in, Reisbrough never had the guts to pull the trigger on a deal. I give him credit for building a playoff contender out of an expansion team, but it is time the Wild become a Cup contender.
What Does it All Mean?
Suddenly this summer which a week ago was going to be filled with fan uncertainty on has new drama. Sure, we don’t know what the new philosophy will be, but there is a new enthusiasm, a new hope that the new regime can bring in new talent and put together a winning product. I have hope that Leipold will bring in a well-known hockey man as GM, and a well-known hockey man as coach. I have hope that this change means Kevin Constantine is not the likely successor to Jacques Lemaire. I am prepared for a year or two of rebuilding in order to bring meaningful playoff hockey to the Xcel Energy Center. I have hope of seeing the Stanley Cup in the outstretched hands of Brent Burns and Nicklas Backstrom. I have hope of going nutso in the streets of St. Paul.
Here’s to hope.