We are gathered here today to talk about the 2016-17 edition of your Minnesota Wild.
I had my fantasy hockey draft last week. A grand total of three Wild players were drafted: Parise, Suter, and Dubnyk. This had me wondering if the Wild could possibly be the NHL franchise with the fewest drafted players at a fantasy hockey draft held right here in the State of Hockey. That would be pretty amazing, but it couldn’t possibly be true; certainly there had to be a couple teams with fewer players drafted than the hometown Wild.
My research was surprising, and telling—I noticed upstart teams like Edmonton, Florida, Winnipeg and Calgary with players listed up and down my fantasy league’s draft board. Even the Utah Jazz of the NHL, the Ottawa Senators, had twice as many players drafted (six) as the Wild! Bottom-feeding Buffalo had four players taken. The Devils and Vancouver were tied with the Wild with three drafted players, leaving only Arizona (two), Toronto (one), and Columbus (two) with fewer players picked than the Wild.
This interesting bit of trivia reminded me of something my teenage son said to me at the end of last season: “Dad, I like the Wild, but they don’t impress me.”
There’s a lot to unpack in that statement. If the Wild have a fault, it’s their tendency to defer to an almost robotic “Wild Corp.” image complete with the State of Hockey song playing on a loop like some sort of demented hockey version of the “It’s a Small World” ride at Disney.
Well, that’s all about to change, because the Wild are about to be paid a visit by Dr. Everything’ll Be All Right. And his diagnosis is that the “Minnesota Mild” are about to Go Wild, and that’s a real good thing. Here are three reasons you should believe in the Minnesota Wild this season:
Sure, I got a text from a buddy who is a Blues fan right when the Wild announced they were changing their goal song. “AT LEAST IT WASN’T ‘RASPBERRY BERET,’” he quipped. But he’s missing the point. The Wild’s old goal song sounded like something manufactured for a hockey video game or a Jock Jams compilation, and amazingly was shared with another NHL team (the Islanders).
Switching the goal song to Prince is huge. For starters, it’s a real song we know and already care about, and it’s as Minnesota as it gets. The Wild playing Prince after goals is like the Red Wings playing Journey and turning down the volume for everyone in the stadium to scream “South Detroit!”
And the message is perfect. Yes, Wild. Let’s Go Crazy. Let’s pull the fire alarm at Wild Corp, untuck the shirt, and have one too many. It’s time for this franchise to let its hair down, and who better to remind us of that than every Minnesotans’ favorite purple-clad uncle, Prince Rogers Nelson?
Bruce Allan “Gabby” Boudreau. I could not be happier to have this man in town. Bruce Boudreau could not be any cooler. He’s an O.G. hockey lifer. He was a Fighting Saint! He was in Slap Shot! Bruce Boudreau is rink rat meets Rat Pack, like a hockey Don Rickles. And oh, by the way, all he does is win.
Boudreau boasts a .659 winning percentage and has filled his trophy case with the AHL Calder Cup, the ECHL Kelly Cup, and the NHL Presidents’ Trophy. He’s won eight division titles. If there is a knock on Boudreau, it’s that he can’t win a game seven in the playoffs, but at some point it’s the responsibility of the players. The Bruce is loose, and hopefully a few hundred well-timed F-bombs might take some of the starch out of this franchise’s collar.
Not every fan gets a chance to give his or her favorite NHL team a locker-room pep talk. Well, that’s exactly what Game On! Minnesota did with this little ditty below. Click below to enjoy the world-premiere music video of Alex Frecon’s brand-new Minnesota Wild anthem, “Going Wild (Bruce Is Loose).”
It’s time to start believing, people. It’s time to start listening to Prince. We’re not gonna let the elevator bring us down. Oh, no. Let’s Go!
It’s time to start hearing Bruce. Like old Mickey in the Rocky movies, Boudreau is the bench boss the Wild have desperately needed in their corner, because Bruce doesn’t give a rat’s ass about anything but winning.
And finally, it’s like Mr. Frecon says below:
Call up Stanley, no more plan B.
Pour that cup for all our family.
We haven’t felt like this in a while.
It’s about time that we all go Wild.
If you’d like to download the track (clean and explicit versions) you can visit iTunes:
Or you can stream “Going Wild (Bruce is Loose)” on Spotify.