Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
Fletcher said as of now he's not inclined to bring in any unsigned veterans to camp on pro tryouts, although he said that could change once he meets with the coaches next week. I have gotten the impression the Wild has at least talked about bringing in some center insurance like Stephen Weiss, but like I said, Fletcher told me right now it's not in his thinking. If the Wild suffers injury or poor performance in camp, Fletcher feels those options may still be there (for instance, maybe you sign Weiss or James Sheppard or Scott Gomez, who will go to St. Louis on a tryout) or there will be guys available via trade or waivers.
more on the Wild...
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
For the past two weeks, almost every single weekday, Matt Cooke has skated hard at Braemar Ice Arena in Edina with several NHLers, including old Wild teammates Zach Parise, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville and guys like Nick Bjugstad, Kyle Okposo, Derek Stepan, Dustin Byfuglien, James van Riemsdyk and Ryan McDonagh.
The only difference between him and many others is the veteran winger, who turns 37 on Labor Day, hasn’t latched onto an NHL team since being bought out of the final year of his contract by the Wild in June.
“This is the first time I’ve had to go through it,” Cooke said this week. “I knew it was coming. I just thought it might be after next year as opposed to this year, but it’s the cards that I’ve been dealt.
“I was hurt last year. There was some mismanagement on my [hip] injury, and part of that is my fault. It led to me getting hurt twice in one season. I’m 36 years old, I only played 30 games last year and then me getting bought out, that’s a tough scenario [to find a job].
“Patience is a virtue and right now all I’m doing is making sure I stay ready, that I get ready. We’re still three weeks away [from camp].”
continued plus more Wild topics...
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
This is not a list of the "best" player on each team but the most important. And important is a relative term to be sure.
To be honest, Vanek has been relatively disappointing since signing a three-year contract with the Wild in the summer of 2014. In fact, he was relatively disappointing before signing the deal but that didn’t stop general manager Chuck Fletcher from bestowing a three-year deal worth $6.5 million annually on the skilled winger.
The Wild are at a kind of crossroads having made the playoffs in three straight seasons, advancing to the second round in each of the last two appearances. Fletcher has assembled an enticing blend of veterans led by Parise and Suter -- the undisputed leaders on this team -- and impressive youngsters, including Jonas Brodin, Jason Zucker, Erik Haula, Matt Dumba and newcomer Mike Reilly. Fletcher also locked up Vezina Trophy nominee Devan Dubnyk for the long haul after acquiring the netminder from the Arizona Coyotes last season.
from Dave Aeikens of KSTP,
Minnesota Wild assistant coach Darryl Sydor was arrested Thursday in Fridley on suspicion of driving drunk with his 12-year-son in the sport utility vehicle, according to Lt. Mike Monsrud of the Fridley Police Department.
Sydor was stopped at 5:15 p.m. on Minnesota Highway 65 and Medtronic Parkway in Fridley while he was on his way to his son's hockey game in Brooklyn Park, Monsrud said.
Sydor's blood alcohol level was 0.30, Monsrud said; he is expected to appear in court Friday on drunk driving and child endangerment charges.
thanks to a tweet from Chad Graff for the pointer
from Jon Lane of NHL.com,
Here are four reasons for optimism in Minnesota:
Stability in goal: The Wild have their finest goaltending depth in years with Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper. Dubnyk went 27-9-2 with five shutouts, a 1.78 goals-against average and .936 save percentage after he was traded to Minnesota by the Arizona Coyotes on Jan. 15. He was rewarded with a six-year, $26 million contract and is the unquestioned No. 1 goalie, but won't have to start 39 of 40 games again.
Kuemper is 27-22-6 with a 2.48 GAA and .910 save percentage in 63 NHL games (56 starts). He is capable of giving Dubnyk a breather, which is important considering Dubnyk and the Wild ran out of steam against the Blackhawks.
"Right from the start I want [Devan] to compete and I want him to play a lot of hockey games, but we know Darcy Kuemper is very capable," Wild coach Mike Yeo said. "I think he'll provide some good support for Devan. And Devan is going to help him too, an awful lot. As a young player (25), there's not going to be quite as much on his shoulders as there was in the past, and that will allow him to kind of settle into his own game, feel confident, feel good about himself, and with that we'll see his game continue to rise."
NEW YORK (Aug. 5, 2015) – Representatives from the National Hockey League, Minnesota Wild, Chicago Blackhawks, National Hockey League Players’ Association and University of Minnesota gathered at TCF Bank Stadium today to unveil plans for the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™.
In January, the NHL® announced the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ will be comprised of two games: the Wild vs. Blackhawks at TCF Bank Stadium Sunday, Feb. 21, at 3:30 p.m. ET and the Colorado Avalanche vs. Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 8 p.m. ET.
The Wild-Blackhawks game will be broadcast live in the U.S. on NBC as part of a Hockey Day in America triple-header on NBC and NBCSN. In Canada, the event will be televised live on Sportsnet and TVA Sports.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed goaltender Devan Dubnyk (pronounced DOOB-nihk) to a six-year contract through the 2020-21 season.
Dubnyk, 29, went 36-14-4 in 58 games during the 2014-15 season and ranked second in the NHL with both a 2.07 goals-against average (GAA) and .929 save percentage (SV%), T-4th with six shutouts and T-6th in wins. He won the 2015 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team, and finished third in the Vezina Trophy voting and fourth in the Hart Trophy voting. The 6-foot-6, 210-pound native of Regina, Sask., set single-season career highs in GAA, SV%, games played, consecutive starts (39), wins, shutouts, minutes, assists (2), shots faced (1,625) and saves (1,510).
via the Minnesota Wild,
The Minnesota Wild has re-signed center Mikael Granlund to a two-year contract.
Granlund, 23, collected 39 points (8-31=39), a plus-17 rating and averaged 17:54 in TOI/game in 68 games with Minnesota in 2014-15. He ranked third on the team in plus/minus and fifth in scoring and set career highs in games played, plus/minus, hits, faceoffs taken and faceoffs won and TOI/game. The 5-foot-10, 185-pound native of Oulu, Finland, added six points (2-4=6) and a plus-2 rating in 10 playoff contests. Granlund has tallied 88 points (18-70=88) in 158 NHL games during three seasons with Minnesota and owns 13 points (6-7=13) in 23 playoffs matches.
from Michael Russo of Russo's Rants,
I'm told they're not far off money-wise. Wild has gotten up to the low $4 million range. Dubnyk is willing to come into the high 4s.
I do think term is the biggest issue. Dubnyk is asking for bigtime security (many years, maybe the max eight, I hear) and the Wild likely doesn't want to go more than four years and probably prefers three.
We'll see if Dubnyk budges.
A lot of that could depend on what he's hearing from teams like San Jose, which has shown interest during the free-agent shopping period along with one other team. A lot could depend today where Cam Talbot is traded to because that could get the ball rolling in terms of other goalie trades like Eddie Lack, Robin Lehner, Martin Jones and Antti Raanta.
Dallas could have interest, too, in Dubnyk, although the Stars still have Kari Lehtonen at three years left with a $5.9 million cap hit. Like I inferred above, I'm not 100 percent sure of the other team I heard showed interest in Dubnyk yesterday.
I hear Buffalo has been offering its 31st pick in deals for one of the goalies, by the way.
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