Schaefer had a brief NHL career (5 games) for the 36-37 Blackhawks and is one of the first Minnesota-born NHLers (but not the first). Minnesota has produced some tremendous talents: Frank Brimsek was born in Eveleth; Phil Housley was born in St. Paul; and Neal Broten was born in Roseau.
The Minnesota Wild and the Edmonton Oilers are in a flat-footed tie with the season 57% in the books. The Wild have made a couple of moves to address weakness recently (acquiring Robbie Earl and Dan Fritsche) which will no doubt (if history repeats) have a greater impact than expectations imply. Earl is a speedster best described as a “tweener” but the Wild have an ability to grind just these types of players into useful role players. Fritsche is a player who has size, grit and some skill. He was miscast in his first NHL stop and snowed under in NYC, but if he can avoid injury will be a useful player on the Lemaire assembly line.
The Oilers entered the second season on a nice run and fell flat against Buffalo the other night. Those blowout, crush-your-nuts games can either galvanize a team or send them in the other direction. As a fan, I’m hoping like hell they come out and kick the living daylights out of the Wild. They’re a better team than they showed the other night, their coach deserves a better effort on his behalf, and the money spent on this roster should deliver better results. However, this team is a coach killer.