"He said, Son I've made a life, out of readin' people's faces, and knowin' what the cards are by the way they held their eyes, so if you don't mind me saying, I can see you're out of aces, for a taste of your whiskey, I'll give you some advice. So I handed him my bottle, and he drank down my last swallow, bummed a cigarette and asked me for a light, and the night got deathly quiet, his face lost all expression and he began to speak. He said if you're going to play the game boy, you've got to learn to play it right. You gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run. You never count your money, when you're sittin' at the table they'll be time enough for countin', when the dealin's done," are the lyrics to famous country ballad the Gambler by Kenny Rogers. I loved that song as a kid and I still like it. I think you can apply it to two key figures of the Minnesota Wild; Head Coach Mike Yeo and General Manager Chuck Fletcher whose fate is most likely intertwined as the team tries to pick up the pieces of what was a confounding 2013 NHL season. I think a lot of Wild fans could tell by the expression on Mike Yeo's face and the deep breaths he would consistently take after a loss that the coach was running out of aces. By his own admission, Yeo said he had used every trick in his book to try to will his team out of the slumps it seemed to regularly endure yet fortunately for him the team still managed to qualify for the playoffs by the narrowest of margins.
The outlook isn't much better for Chuck Fletcher. A general manager who still must be credited for his willingness to swing significant deals but we haven't seen too many royal flushes from him either. He's scored on a few hands here and there but some of his gambles haven't yielded much at all while others bombed altogether. So will the organization stay the course with Yeo and Fletcher this summer or will the axe fall on one or both of them? If you believe Fletcher, in what he told CBS Sports here; Mike Yeo is still 'his' coach. That silence you heard was the reaction of Wild fans across the State of Hockey. Many of whom who feel Mike Yeo gets outcoached frequently and feel his unwillingness to break up the top line against Chicago to try to get some production out of its top scoring forwards Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu doomed any slim chance they had at beating the Blackhawks. So what does this off season hold for the Wild? What should be done (but probably won't be)?
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