Basically, the potential problem I'm seeing is that they've pushed all their chips into the middle for a veteran core. A forward's prime years are 25ish-30ish. Parise is 29. Koivu is 31. Pominville is 31. Moulson is 30. Vanek - since everyone's so sure he's headed to Minnesota - is 30. They have good young talent, but with all of their leaders having already played their best hockey, I'm kinda scratching my head here. To me, this looks like about a five-year window of opportunity, Cup-wise, and that's assuming they make some incredible progress in the ultra-tough West. Something in me says that's not at all what they were going for when they signed Suter and Parise and traded for Pominville and everyone said, "Oh s***, these guys are building the next Wings. They'll be competitive forever." (OK, maybe no one said that. But you get my point.)
You can say that we wouldn't make the playoffs in the Western Conference. (Personally, I think we would.) But how does that validate the Wild? We're in a transitional stage; just making the playoffs is a pretty big deal. The Wild? They want the Cup. Relative to their expectations, a first-round exit = abject failure.
I just find it weird. Like...this is it? This is the Minnesota Machine that everyone's been raving about? This is the team that's going to be a contender for years and years and years to come?