Chuck Fletcher, Mike Yeo

Wild GM gives Yeo vote of confidence: ‘Mike and the coaches are doing a very good job’


With his team mired in a funk and criticisms of his coach mounting, Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher extended a vote of confidence on Friday.

“Mike [Yeo] and the coaches are doing a very good job,” Fletcher told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “We’re giving up almost five shots a game less than we did last year and we’re doing a good job. We’ve got a lot of pieces to juggle in a short amount of time.

“We’re trying to find chemistry and frankly we can’t get caught up in the angst and outside opinions and reaction. We just have to stay focused and concentrate on doing a better job and executing at a better level.”

The Wild lost its third straight game on Thursday — 4-1, at home, to Vancouver — and has now lost six of its last eight.

Most distressing is Minnesota’s lack of offense. The team has scored just three goals in its last three games and averaged 24 shots per contest over that period.

The shots on goal total isn’t freakishly low (the NHL median is around 28 per game) but Minnesota seems to go through huge stretches of inactivity at key times.

In the third period of Monday’s 2-1 loss to Phoenix, the Wild put four shots on goal (when they were trying to rally to tie.)

In the first period of Thursday’s loss to the Canucks, the Wild had three shots (after a players-only meeting, the trade for for Mike Rupp and juggled/new-look lines.)

Fletcher said he’s not ready to hit the panic button over the lack of offense — yet. The Wild underwent a number of changes in the offseason, and he feels the talent level will eventually see more shots on goal and pucks in the net.

“We have too many good players for it not to turn,” he explained. “Obviously players are struggling with confidence right now.

“Things will turn, they always do. Players will play to their level.”


Video: PHT Extra — Who’s on the hot seat?

Avs unveil new third jerseys

Avs Jerseys

The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

Gary Bettman, Donald Fehr
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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith