Today I am going to take a look at a number of the Minnesota Wild’s single season records and speculate on whether they will ever be broken. First up…goals!
Most goals in a season: Marion Gaborik, 42, (2007-08). Chance to be broken: 10%. The Wild have never had a goal scorer as good as Gaborik, and the trend in across the entire NHL is that we are seeing fewer and fewer players put up really gaudy goal numbers. Sure, we have a couple per year–Steven Stamkos immediately jumps to mind–but the 40-goal scorer isn’t as common compared to even just a few years ago. I don’t see anyone in the Wild organization who could realistically break this record right now. Zach Parise has the best chance, he scored 45 goals in 2008-09, but with the style the team plays and the amount of focus defenses will put on him, I think it will be very tough for him to eclipse that mark.
Most assists in a season: Pierre-Marc Bouchard, 50, (2007-08). Chance to be broken: 85%. Bouchard tallied 50 assists in the last season in which he played 80 or more games. It was also the same season Gaborik set the goal record. Mikko Koivu has come very close to surpassing the 50-assist mark in recent years–in 09-10 he had 49 helpers, and in 10-11 he tallied 45 in 71 games, so if he had not been injured he likely would have passes Bouchard. Koivu and Bouchard are both still south of 30 years old, and wunderkind Mikael Granlund will get his chance to play in the Show as soon as the collective bargaining situation shakes out. I’ve got to think one of those three guys gets more than 50 assists, there’s just too much talent there for it not to happen.
Most points in a season: Marian Gaborik, 83, (2007-08). Chance to be broken: 65%. You’re probably noticing that all these records came in the same season. Gaborik went (42+41=83) that year, which is certainly one for the record books. My hunch he is that with all the playmakers in the Wild system, we could see someone put up a Joe Thornton-like season and rack up a huge number of assists. If that happened, the player wouldn’t necessarily need to light the lamp 40 times to break the points record,which is why I give this one a better than average chance to be broken,
Most points in a season, defenseman: 46, Brent Burns (2010-11). Chance to be broken: 88%. The obvious answer here is Ryan Suter, who tallied (7+39=46) just last year in Nashville. While he doesn’t have a Shea Weber to man the blue line with any longer, he is still very much in the prime of his career, so it’s reasonable to say that this record will go down in the next couple of seasons. The Wild have a lot of other talented prospects on defense, starting with Jared Spurgeon who cannot really be considered a prospect any more after playing the bulk of last season. Then there’s Marco Scandella, who could develop into a very good two-way defender, though I don’t know if he could rack up 50 points in a season. Finally, Matt Dumba is very raw, and with his aggressive style of play, he could mature into quite a dominating force on the blue line.
Most points in a season, rookie: 36, Marian Gaborik, (2000-01). Chance of being broken: 90%*. This one is tricky thanks to the lockout. If they still manage to somehow, some way get an 82-game season played this year, it would be almost guaranteed that Mikael Granlund could shatter this record. However, if they start games in December or January, and play a shortened season of say, 55-60 games, it would be tougher for him to put up those points. And the by the time his first full season rolls around, he would no longer be considered a rookie. Then again, with the flashes of brilliance Granlund has shown in the SM-liiga, it’s within the realm of possibility that he could go…say (15+25) in 50 games and still break the record. If Granlund doesn’t break this record, it’s quite likely that Charlie Coyle, Jason Zucker, or Dumba cold take control of this record when they get their chance in the big leagues.