We've been reading the comments to the last several posts, and we thought there were a few items that you guys have mentioned and discussed that should be addressed in a post. So I got the assignment. And note, for the most part, what you are about to get are my opinions, and my opinions only. We are in agreement on some of the things I write, and there is also much disagreement over some of what I write.
The decision to fire Jerry Meins did not come from the people in Houston. It specifically did not come from the business staff or from any of the people who were hired or used to work for Tom Garrity in Houston. This decision was made in Minnesota, and it was made by the hockey people, not the business people.
That said, I am as angry about the decision as you are. One person left a comment talking about how wrong this decision was, but how this kind of thing happens in sports all of the time. And that person was right. Still, I think Jerry Meins has done a great job with this team, and to the best of my knowledge there is nothing in regards to his work that caused this action. I am particularly angry about the way the move was made, which was Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher calling Meins, with Fletcher in Minnesota and Meins in Houston, to tell him the news. Meins' position with the team, as well as his time spent with the team, means to me that he deserved to have this action take place face-to-face.
But in the end, Fletcher has the right to have his own people here in Houston assisting with his operation. Fletcher's job is to do what he thinks is right for the Minnesota Wild, not what he thinks will keep the people in Houston happy. The Aeros are, after all, a minor league team owned by the Minnesota Wild, and the purpose of the Aeros is to make ready players to promote to the Wild. If the Aeros win, that's fine, but it's secondary to assisting the Wild -- thus despite the Aeros fighting for a playoff spot, it's more important to the Wild that Krys Kolanos and Anton Khudobin sit in the press box with the Wild because of potential injury problems.
With that in mind, I note that many of you are angry over the Wild's treatment of the Aeros roster, and many of you think that there was not effort made to retain last season's playoff club. I'm upset about some of the moves, as well, particularly Mitch Love and Nolan Schaefer. But hear this: the club did want to retain Corey Locke and Marco Rosa, and they made offers to them. It's just that those two guys received incredible offers from the New York Rangers and Manitoba Moose that the Wild were just not in a position to match. Rosa's contract in particular, from what I hear, was rather hard for the team to match as an AHL-only contract. And as Andrew has written, Kolanos had worn out his welcome with the club.
As for players like Love and Schaefer, I can't offer much beyond the fact that, with regards to the goalies, Barry Brust and Anton Khudobin are signed to contracts for this season, and both have proven that they can play goalie at this level. And as much as I want Love and Tony Hrkac and Matt Beaudoin back this season, my desires, and the desires are the fans are of secondary concern to Fletcher and his assistant, Jim Mill. Their concern should be what is best for the Minnesota Wild organization, and if they don't think those guys fit into what they have in mind for the organization, or with the type of hockey that they want to play, then they are under no obligation to sign them to a contract and bring them back to the team. They have been busy with signing guys to contracts, and we have to work under the assumption that Fletcher thinks these guys are what he has in mind for the new style of play of the Wild.
Now with that said, I'm going to address the comments about the business side of the Aeros.
Many of you were upset that we got a quote from Courtney Eidman regarding Jerry Meins. I'm sorry that you don't like that, but frankly, I don't give a damn. She was the proper person in the Aeros chain of command for this matter. In the past, we would have contacted Patrick Armstrong or Scott Henninger, but both have left the club and their replacement will not be arriving until next week. I'm sure we could have waited to talk with the new Director of Communications or Communications Manager, but then many of you would have probably been angry at us for not talking with the Aeros right away.
Some of you have also said that Eidman, the mysterious Senior V.P. -- which has me thinking of this guy -- and other people who were associated with Tom Garrity are responsible for many of the bad things that are happening with the club. And you might be right about that. I deal with the media guys, game ops people, and Joe O'Donnell. I don't deal with the people that you season ticket holders deal with, and they don't get my money -- I'm comped, sorry. So for all I know, many of you are right in some of the things that you say. But...
The lack of media attention this team gets isn't because of anything "the three blind mice on Lamar" have done. The lack of television media attention is because local sports don't get much attention on local news as they used to -- you can thank ESPN for that. It's generally the last segment of the news, right before Letterman. And local television media is always going to concentrate on the big three of the Astros, Texans, and Rockets, before any other team. Look how much attention the Cougars and Owls get, which is just barely more than the Aeros, and both of their football teams went to bowl games last season. It's just the nature of the media. And do you really want the radio talk show guys trying to talk hockey? Those guys have enough difficulty with making coherent arguments about baseball, basketball, and football. Do you really want to hear what they'll say about hockey?
That said, you are now getting much more media attention on the Aeros than you were three years ago. Andrew's in the Chron. I'm on HoustonPress.com Heather writes about the team at Pro Hockey News Daily. Then there's our group project here with Fred, that we call T3I. And I think that we're giving the Aeros better, more comprehensive, more factual, more entertaining, more objective, and more analytical coverage than any sports team in the city of Houston is getting. So in away, you guys should feel blessed. The Aeros will never return to the days of the 90s when the Aeros were treated as a major league team. First, the Aeros aren't a major league team. Second, back in those days, the Oilers had deserted the team, baseball was coming off the cancellation of a season and a World Series, and the Rockets were on their way into suckitude.
And speaking of the "three blind mice," I should also point out that virtually nobody in this position with a sports team has a background of playing the sport -- some of you have complained that they don't have any hockey background. Pam Gardner with the Astros never played baseball. Most of the business people with the Texans have never played football. Neither have most of the communications people. So I fail to see what their lack of so-called knowledge of hockey has to do with their jobs. For instance, I never played hockey, so I should probably never write about it. And I'm pretty sure that most of the major complaints that ticket holders have result from decisions made in St. Paul, not in Houston -- well, okay, I'm sure the horrible anthem decisions are made in Houston, as are the six choirs a night that all perform "God Bless America."
I've gone on way too long, and many of you are probably mad at me, but remember, this is me, not Andrew, Heather, or Fred. I hated what was done to Jerry Meins. I hated the way it was done -- I lost my job back in March and I'm still unemployed, so I'm more pissed about this than many of you know. But in the end, it's the Wild's right to do what they want. Same with player decisions. The Wild have to be more concerned with getting guys they think can play in their system than they need to be concerned with us here in Houston. I'm not saying it's right. I'm just saying that this is the way it goes when you are fans of a minor league team.
I apologize for anything that might have angered you guys. But we felt these issues should be discussed. And this is what I think. I see my job as trying to provide an objective view of what is going on with the Aeros. And I believe I have done that. And I believe that I will continue to do that. So I guess that all I can say is fire away.