Joe Yerdon at NBC’s Pro Hockey Talk has weighed in on the firing of Todd Richards:
Is it his fault that he couldn’t get a team weighed down by bad contracts and mostly average talent into the postseason though? We’re not buying it. When you look at what the Wild have on their roster and then compare it to what it costs to ice a team like that, it’s staggering to think that you can expect any coach to make a playoff team out of that quagmire.
Things aren’t going to be much easier for GM Chuck Fletcher next season either as the Wild are committed to over $52 million next season already. Even with the salary cap reportedly headed up to $62.2 million next year, with all the issues and holes the Wild have on their roster, that extra $10 million or so in space doesn’t leave them much room for improvement. The Wild aren’t a team that needs to patch a couple of holes, they need a complete overhaul of the roster. The problem there, what do you do with some of the bad money?
A complete overhaul that doesn’t really seem possible in the current NHL, and with the owner wanting to win now. A full on rebuild is what would be the best, but fans don;t want to wait for it, and Craig Leipold doesn’t want to pay for it. Thus, Chuck Fletcher is put into a position where Todd Richards is the only move to make.