The Minnesota Wild have been impressive this year leading the Western Conference with 84 points yet they still don’t check all the boxes it takes to be a Stanley Cup Contender.
Throughout the NHL season, everybody from ordinary fans to expert analysts make predictions on who will be the last two teams standing in the Stanley Cup Final. The teams we chose at the beginning of the season are usually completely wrong but it’s still entertaining to look back on our decisions in retrospect. What’s even more interesting is our thought process of why we chose those teams.
With the NHL Draft, free agency, and affiliate teams, plenty of players come and go each year in the NHL. This makes it extremely hard to tell what team has what it takes to win a championship, but in the back of our minds we all have our own checklist. The following criteria is what I believe every Stanley Cup contender should have in what I like to call “The Test.”
A Smart Head Coach
A Strong Two-Way Captain
Stanley Cup Experience
A #1 Defenseman
Blue Chip Players
Many people think that the Minnesota Wild pose as the biggest threat to the Blackhawks in the Central Division. This could be true and Minnesota may have enough this year to finally beat the ‘Hawks, but that might be it.
Looking up and down the items on “The Test,” the Wild only have about half of the criteria checked off which is to much concern. Some things you can get away with hiding, but the most obvious that you cannot hide are Blue Chip caliber players.
Next we’ll go through each criteria and put the Minnesota Wild to “The Test.”