The Wild had a more than respectable 2014/2015, and all indications are that they are making the right moves this offseason to position themselves for an even deeper run at the playoffs next season. To date, they have drafted well, have been going deep into their pockets to attract some quality free agents, and seem to be positioning themselves well to put an even more efficient and productive club on the ice come October.
Spending a lot of cash during free agency certainly does not guarantee positive results, but in Minnesota’s case they certainly seemed to have maximized their prospects. Before the free agency period began, the Wild demonstrated their desire to keep Devan Dubnyk, their starting goalie, in Minnesota for the foreseeable future. Before other teams could enter into the fray, the team signed him for another six years, for roughly $26 million. All indications are that this will be the best move of the offseason, as he is one of the leading goaltenders in the NHL, and would almost certainly been enticed by offers from other teams around the league if he officially entered free agency.
The Wild continued their success of signing their existing players when they got Center Mikael Granlund, entering restricted free agency, to agree on the first day of the signing period to a two-year contract that will earn him a cool $6 million. This is important, as he is viewed as one the Wild’s top young players moving forward, which is enticing to Wild fans. He has not reached his goal scoring potential yet, which might be why the team only agreed to a two-year deal, but if he can increase production accordingly, the team will almost certainly go for a longer-term deal.
Graphic via reddit
The Wild have not neglected their defense during this offseason either. They went after and got defenseman Mike Reily. He is young, but is a solid prospect for the future and was a bargain as an unsigned, drafted player originally selected by Columbus. Their loss certainly appears to be Minnesota’s gain. The Wild were also able to re-sign forward Ryan Carter and defenseman Nate Prosser. Carter received a one-year deal, while Prosser will be in a Wild uniform for the next two seasons. Carter is physical and satisfies many different roles on the roster, so his durability will certainly continue to be an asset.
Just recently, another defenseman in Christian Folin also agreed to re-sign with Minnesota for two-years. He will receive $1.45 million, and the fact that the Wild was able to retain yet another quality restricted free agent speaks volumes in terms of how the players feel about their prospects in the Twin Cities. Signings, trades, and acquisitions will likely continue in Minnesota through the offseason, and fans are excited. Playoff prospects are high, and a conversation about the Stanley Cup, while premature, is certainly not out of the question.
Graphic via wild.nhl