Wild GM Fletcher desperate, and other teams know it
As the Wild aired things out in a team meeting in hopes of easing tension that has infiltrated the sinking team, and as the Wild hit the ice at the Toronto Maple Leafs practice facility in hopes of ending a 10-game road winless streak Thursday against the Leafs … Chuck Fletcher was on the phone.
The Wild general manager was ducking behind signage, slipping into hallways, finding quiet spots in quiet areas — his Blackberry always at his ear.
With the Wild having lost 14 of 16 games and having fallen out of the top eight for the first time since Oct. 31, Fletcher was busy trying to unearth ways to shake the struggling Wild out of a one-month funk that shows no sign of ending.
“I think I’m doing a disservice to our players if I’m not trying to give them the ammunition to make the playoffs,” Fletcher said. “But the way we’re going now, one player is not going to all of a sudden turn everything around, too. We need to get back to what we were, and we need to become the team that we were earlier in the sense of being a team.
“We’ll keep looking to upgrade the talent. We’ll move whatever we have to move if it makes sense. Not everybody’s untouchable. And certainly we have a lot of prospects we’re not going to move, but there’s assets we have that we can move to make our team better if we can find the right fit.”
The question is whether Fletcher can find that “right fit” and if it can happen before it’s too late. The Wild looks to be a fractured team, and frustration has set in (see Cal Clutterbuck’s four minor penalties Tuesday in Philadelphia).