By Michael Russo
Late update I know, but lots of writing for my other job — the newspaper
– Brian Rolston: Since I talked to Brian Rolston yesterday and couldn’t get Doug Risebrough on the phone, today I sat down with Risebrough for his rebuttal. Risebrough said there is a difference in opinion as to what Rolston’s market value is.
You can read all about it in Friday’s paper, but he said in his opinion, market value is different from team to team. He essentially said if Rolston wants to play for more money on a losing team, he’s got that right. But the Wild has to place a value on him, and if Rolston wants to play for what Risebrough considers a winning team in a great market and wonderful place to live, he may need to make a decision and leave some money on the table.
Risebrough said he believes there will be further discussion, but he refused to say there would be further negotiations or offers tendered.
– Olli Jokinen: I’ve been told my multiple league and team sources that the Wild is indeed very much interested in the Florida Panthers’ captain, who’s scored 173 goals the past five years.
Right now, however, the price is not right. The Panthers wants a young, up and coming prospect from the Wild, and Risebrough is not willing to part with him. If that specific part of the package changes, the Wild would pull the trigger. But right now, it will not.
GM Jacques Martin is doing the rounds and trying to get the highest possible return. If he can’t get what he wants, the Wild hopes the price comes down Friday (in other words, different player than that specific prospect).
– Draft stuff: I did a story on the Wild’s sub-par draft from 2004-06, mostly focusing on 2004. The Wild didn’t hit on a player yet in that draft. You can read it tomorrow, but I had to do some significant trims (I like to overwrite), and this is one chunk I cut out. I was doing a comparison with the Red Wings, who’ve got a history on hitting grand slams with late picks. I had to cut this chunk out.
For instance, the Swedish Franzen was apparently playing in the North American
equivalent of a beer league. Datsyuk was a scrawny kid that didn’t speak a lick
of English. (Wings assistant GM JIm) Nill went over to Sweden to scout former Wild Mattias Weinhandl and suddenly asked Red Wings super scout Hakan Andersson, “Who’s that?”
It was a project named * Zetterberg.
Of course, if the Red Wings were so smart, why’d they take three players before
Zetterberg and seven before Datsyuk?
Or, as Nill says, “We had Franzen on our list three years prior and didn’t take
him, so I don’t think we’re that smart. There is an element of luck and we’ve
had our share that didn’t work out. But we give them a good environment to excel
in and they’ve taken it to new levels. We don’t rush players. We allow them to
patient and play in the minors or stay in Europe.
“Zetterberg was in the dressing room with Steve Yzerman. Datsyuk sat with Igor
Larionov. They’ve learned from great players, grabbed them and worked hard to
develop into great players.”
– Lastly, when I went to the Wild’s hotel to meet with Risebrough in his suite, I ran into Glen Sonmor shaking hands in the elevator and saying goodbye to Guelph Storm goalie Thomas McCollum. I still think the Wild is targeting defensemen, but it has given hints that it could take a goalie. And McCollum is the top rated goalie in the draft, and the Wild clearly re-interviewed him because I know he met with Sonmor and chief scouts Tommy Thompson and Guy Lapointe.
OK, I know this reads quick because it was. It’s 8:21 Eastern, and I’ve got people to go hang out with