Friday, May 10, 2013

Thanks For Coming Out, 2013 Minnesota Wild

After making a big splash in the summer with two big free agents landing-- the stumble the Wild had at the start of the season and then barely squeaking into the playoffs makes many wonder how much they are going to be overrated for the years to come.

Granted, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter did come along as the season happened, they both seemingly disappeared in the playoffs combining for a single point and a minus-12 rating. Of course, not many showed up for that series, seemingly-- only seven goals scored by the Wild in the five games-- but that's not the bread and butter for the Wild. Even with that, the support of P-M Bouchard and Matt Cullen helped-- but both are unrestricted free agents. Despite the Wild being under the cap as it is, they could sign both and be at the cap risking their moves during the season.

Plus, with the youth movement of Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker coming up through the pipeline, the need to sign Cullen and Bouchard is probably not as urgent as it once could have been. Zucker did create a lot of offense, despite it not showing up in goals and assists. With having Cal Clutterbuck as a RFA, odds are Coyle and Zucker will have an advanced role next season as Bouchard and Cullen will probably be cut loose.

One of the big questions is whether or not Niklas Backstrom will be re-signed. While he did have a solid season and the health of Josh Harding and stability of Darcy Kuemper may make the Wild give him a one or two-year deal with the Wild. Nothing too long-term and something that would make him easy to unload if it comes to that point.

Going into next season, Mike Yeo will have to do a lot with the talent of the team or else he could be on his way out of there. Chuck Fletcher has done a lot to make hockey in Minnesota competitive again, but for that to happen-- he'll need to have the right person at the helm for that. Yeo may or may not be the guy for that, but if he's not-- you can bet it won't be long for Fletcher to pull the trigger on bringing in someone who can do the job the way he wants.

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