So, I’m going to start revealing the Worst All-Time Wild team as selected by you, the fans. To recap how we got here, the Wild is celebrating 10 years of hockey during the upcoming season. Come on. Sure, surviving 10 years is great and all. But, with one notable exception, it was 10 years of mediocre hockey. The early years... we’ll give them those as starting out as an expansion team has natural obstacles to competitiveness. But, on the whole, 10 years of pretty much underwhelming results on the ice. And, as one good turn deserves another, if the Wild wants to bask in its self-created glow of 10 years of on-ice performances, then we can send up our own Bronx cheer right back at ‘em.
I kept the field of possible choices open. While a lot of the players who have pulled on the IRR over the years did so very few times, it was just too small an overall sample to disqualify players right off the bat. And, in any event, we can use games played if and when it comes to tiebreakers and such.
So, without further ado, the fans’ choice of Worst All-Time Wild goaltender is:
Jamie “Noodles” McLennan
Jamie easily won the popular vote, garnering 33% of the tallies.
He appeared in 38 games with the Wild, during the inaugural 2000-2001 season, amassing a record of 5-23-9. And, actually, his goalie stats aren’t horrible: 2.64 GAA, 0.905 SPCT. And two of his (five) wins were by shutout.
What appeared to draw fans’ ire about Jamie was his inability to hold down the backup role on a crappy team. After the ‘00-01 season, he appeared in 51 games in Houston in ‘01-02 (with decent numbers, by the way) and then moved onto Calgary, the Rangers, the Panthers and then back to Calgary before finally washing out of the league after the ‘06-07 season.
The other side of that coin is that 2001-2002 was the first season Dwayne Roloson appeared on the scene in St. Paul. But, nonetheless, Noodles was unable to escape the wrath of the Wild faithful.
Others receiving votes: Wade Dubielewicz, Manny Fernandez, Zac Bierk, Dieter Kochan and Josh Harding.
NiNY’s pick: Frankly there aren’t too many BAD goalies in the Wild’s history book. I didn’t want to give the nod to one of the Derek Gustafson types (read: only a couple GP), so I went with McLennan too. I seem to recall that Jamie had a pretty good personality, did a couple of those Wild Unplugged things and was not unpopular. He just….wasn’t as good as Backstrom, Roloson and Fernandez. I understand the urge to nominate Manny, based on his perceived attitude if nothing else. But I have a hard time discounting the fact that he is the goalie of record for half of the Wild’s all-time playoff series-won.
Up Next: Defensemen