Yesterday afternoon the Minnesota Wild announced that Mikko Koivu and Andrew Brunette would be donning the permanent Assistant Captain crowns for the 2008-2009 season. Very strong choices: Koivu, who has been tagged as "Franchise" by the players since last year (and rightfully so) and who has grown within the organization, and Brunette, a long-time favorite of the Wild faithful and a veteran who is respected by all in the locker room.
The team said it would be known this morning who would be putting on the rotating Captain's C. Initial rumors had it staying with Kim Johnsson who wore it through the preseason.
Instead, the Wild pulled a sneaky one, naming Koivu as captain for the month of October. They have not officially stated who will wear the other A just yet but I'd lean towards Johnsson at this stage. But we will have to wait and see.
Meanwhile, on the Gaborik front, talks are at an impasse. The Wild have reportedly offered the oft injured semi-star a 10 year deal of over $8 million a year, putting him in the top 5 bankrolls.
Now, with the puck set to drop on the season with a home opener tomorrow night against Boston, one has to wonder how long this scenario will be allowed to play itself out. Every game this contract renewal goes unresolved adds one more day of scrutiny and inquiry from the media, which only elevates the distraction.
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UPDATE: Marian Gaborik, surprisingly, dons the second A.