One of my favorite hockey movies of all time delivered this gem of a quote, "if you don't play this game with a big heart and a big bag of knuckles then you don't got dinky doo." Mike Meyers delivered that line in Mystery, Alaska when he played Donnie Shulzhoffer, the Don Cherry / Barry Melrose-esque intermission hockey analyst. As the games get tougher, the theory is the teams that advance and succeed in the post season have enough players who play an effective physical game. A bit of a nagging complaint about the Minnesota has been a lack of toughness and that opponents were able to take liberties against the 'soft' Wild team without any fear of reprisal. Perhaps that explains the Wild's move on Wednesday to trade defenseman Brian Connelly to the Chicago Blackhawks for left wing Brad Winchester.
Connelly, the former Bloomington Jefferson Jaguars star was small offensively gifted defenseman that provided quality minutes for Minnesota's American Hockey League affiliates in Houston and Iowa respectively. He had 10 goals, 61 assists in 84 games with Minnesota's AHL teams. Connelly never got a chance to play for the Wild in the regular season despite a few call ups where he was a healthy scratch. He'll be returning to play for a Rockford Ice Hogs squad he was a offensive workhorse for 3 seasons. That will likely mean more ice time for Jonathon Blum in Iowa who will have to pick up the slack as the Wild's offensive defenseman. So what does Brad Winchester bring to the Wild?
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