Well, Fletcher and Yeo really did it this time. The Minnesota Wild had one chance to make a serious run this year, and that chance is now blown.
You can talk about your Parises, your Suters, your Backstroms. But everyone, apart from Fletcher and Yeo, knows the Wild engine starts and stops with Jason Zucker.
What's more, the smear campaign against Zucker that has been going on for a week now was the height of folly, and obviously uncalled for. Never in the history of sports has a team's best player been so baselessly and tastelessly derided, and his reputation so injuriously besmirched than what we saw with Zucker the last week. Pathetic. Unprofessional. Dare I say: criminal.
It is enough, in this NHL day in age, to skate fast, to score the odd overtime goal. What more, when we really think about it, could we possibly ask from a player? The only reason the Wild accomplished what they did last season was due to Zucker and his brilliance. How dare anyone question his game? Wild fans know this. That's why we're the State of Goddamn Hockey. Fletcher? He's not one of us. Yeo? Please. Mere carpetbaggers hoping to glean a flash of our incomparable hockey wisdom by association or osmosis.
But, they made their bed, now they have to lie in it. It will be interesting to see how they pick up the dry, befouled husk of a roster they're now left with and try to nurture it back to some semblance of life. And Wild fans? Consigned to yet another season of indignity and losing. Our collective hockey acumen wasted on another fatally flawed roster of ne'er do wells and malcontents.
While the brilliant and tortured Jason Zucker travels to Iowa, of all places, to serve out his purgatory.
What has this world come to, Wild fans?