Friday, October 5, 2007

Hang another banner

Steve Wagner made his NHL debut Thursday night, playing more than 16 minutes in the St. Louis' loss to the Phoenix Coyotes. David Backes also played and assisted on one of the Blues' goals.

As far as St. Louis rookies went, all eyes were on 2006 No. 1 draft pick and ex-Gopher Erik Johnson, but coach Andy Murray made a point to including Wagner in the discussion, according to the St. Louis Post Dispatch:

"Something that's been lost here is Wagner and his impact here with our team," Murray said. "He's a first-year guy, too. He's a little older, so he's got more experience. But he's going to kill penalties, he's going to play on the power-play. I just think at this point we can use (Wagner) in more situations (than Johnson) because he's got more experience."

Minnesota State hung giant banners in what is now the Alltel Center last season honoring its two NHL players, Tim Jackman and Grant Stevenson. Backes and Ryan Carter should be added this year, but the Mavericks have until their home opener on Nov. 9 to add Wagner to the wall.


Pugman said...

The fued between Backus and Ballard continues. Did anyone see the fight between these two Thursday night? Is it out there for viewing somewhere?

Chris said...

It's not exactly Domi/Probert.

Dave M. said...

Looks like Backes needs to attend the Boogaard camp next summer if he wants to keep going after Ballard.

MSUMaverickFan said...

As posted on, thought it was relavent. Great idea on the hockey blog Shane. Keep up the good work....

One more thought on the former Mavericks' success in St. Louis.

I know there are a lot of Jutting bashers out there, but to his credit, he has produced 3 fine NHL players in recent years. Steve Wagner and David Backes, by all accounts, are shaping up to be fixtures in St. Louis; and if the trend continues for the Blues, both of those guys could be big parts of a playoff caliber team.

Ryan Carter is also hanging with the defending Stanly Cup champs, to his credit. I'm curious to see how Ryan can develop in the NHL. He's basically in the same boat as Wagner, being a true rookie in the bigs.

Why is this important? These guys have become our biggest recruiting tool. The truth is, with the talent we aim to recruit, one of their main concerns is making it to the NHL. In the last 3 years we have produced 3 very legitimate NHL prospects. This helps NHL teams get necessary exposure to our program. If MSU can become a legitimate feeder program, we could have a lot of success. Again, this is to Jutting's credit. Top-notch players have had success continuing their career in Mankato under Jutting, no less making a quick jump to the NHL.

My point is that we are beginning to crank out some legitimate NHL caliber players, and this can't help but boost our recruiting. Let's home that success can continue. I'm a believer that if you have friends in high places you can go far.