I tend to think of Minnesota as more of a win-it-now kind of grouping that seems to have failed. Some good youth but hardly a young team.
Yeah, that's the same thing I said, I'm just pinning the "failed" part on "the kids" who as you point out aren't hardly kids anymore.
Parise and Suter signed to be closer to home... but at the time much was made of "the kids" in the system and how we were so up and coming that within a year or two, we'd be legit. We heard a LOT about "the kids" - Granlund, Coyle, Nino, Dumba, Kuemper, etc.
Within the first year or two of Parise/Suter, they made the Pominville/Vanek trade/signings pretty much because "the kids" weren't stepping up. No one grabbed those top-6 spots and said, MINE! So, they grabbed Vanek/Pommer as a band-aid... but don't worry "the kids" would still develop and fill out our roster nicely. Then last year came the trade for Dubnyk because "the kids" (Kuemper esp.) were not living up to what they hoped.
This year was really go-or-no-go time for "the kids"to finally
take the next step. While they have all turned into serviceable NHLers, none has jumped up and turned into the stars they were hoping/selling them to be (I'd put Brodin as the lone exception). Granlund's not a legit #1 center (at least not against what we face in the Central). Coyle and Nino are nice 20-25 goal scoring parts, but neither is on track for a reliable role on this team. Zucker, Dumba, Scandella all took big steps backwards.
I have no idea if the kids didn't develop the way they thought or if they hit exactly what they were going to be and it was the staff who just overhyped them as being more than they were ever going to be? That part is what makes our owner's vote of confidence in GM Fletcher so odd as he's the guy who put all his eggs in these kids baskets and big money to Heatley, Vanek, etc who haven't panned out.
But yea, with Parise, Suter, Koivu, Dubnyk we're still in win-now mode (or else we're screwed). It's a big ask to swap out the Zucker, Haula, Dumba type parts and hope for something better, but that's really all we've got until we blow it all up in a few years if it continues not to work.