Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
Other than the obvious talent, it’s this Koivu quality or intangible that makes GM Chuck Fletcher want to make Koivu the centerpiece to everything he builds in Minnesota.
Obviously, a seven-year, $47.25 million commitment is, in fact, quite the commitment. It’s a $6.75 million salary cap, which is a colossal price for somebody who’s not scored more than 22 goals. I figured Ryan Kesler’s $5 million-a-year contract would be a starting point and the Wild would have to come in higher, but I never thought for a second it’d come in over 6. And truthfully, neither did a couple agents or GM’s I texted with last night.
I asked Fletcher about Koivu’s cap hit on yesterday’s conference call, saying he’s giving this to somebody who doesn’t score 40 or 50 goals. Fletcher replied, “How do you know?”
Hey, very true. But what I meant is Koivu probably could pop in 35 or 40 if he really wanted to, but the reality is he really doesn’t want to.
from Glen Andersen of Wild.com,
On Thursday, the Wild inked the 2001 first round pick to a seven-year extension, meaning Koivu will be a member of the Wild through the 2017-2018 campaign when he’s 34 years old.
“It’s a milestone day in the history of the Minnesota Wild,” said Fletcher minutes after seeing the signed deal on his desk. “When you have your franchise player commit to you, really for the next eight seasons. He’s our best hockey player. He’s our captain. And he’s still just 27 with his best hockey years ahead of him.”
added 5:56pm, via Michael Russo tweet,
Sources: Koivu’s deal is 7 years, $47.25 million. $6.75 AAV, no-trade, 5 signing bonuses throughout. Richest deal in #mnwild history
from Bruce Brothers of the Pioneer Press,
Six months ago, Pierre-Marc Bouchard not only stayed off the ice at the Xcel Energy Center, but he dared venture out for only short walks through his neighborhood.
Mentally, he said, he “kind of hit the bottom.”
Last week, however, Bouchard was back to feeling his oats.
“Gotta go,” he said by phone from his summer home in Montreal. “My brother wants to go for a bike ride.”
It’s no coincidence that as Bouchard missed 81 of the Wild’s 82 games last season because of post-concussion symptoms, the Wild floundered in the NHL’s Western Conference standings and fell short of the playoffs.
Team personnel, along with Bouchard, are cautiously optimistic that the playmaking former first-round draft pick will play for the Wild this season. Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher can’t wait to see the shifty, 5-foot-10 forward back in the team’s lineup.
“He will come back, and the sooner the better, but again there’s still some healing to be done,” Fletcher said
from Richard Durrett of ESPNDallas,
The market for Mike Modano’s services appears to be growing. The 40-year-old forward said Friday that the San Jose Sharks and Minnesota Wild have contacted him about the possibility of playing next season. That comes days after he met in Detroit with Red Wings personnel.
Modano said Minnesota may want to meet face-to-face with him soon, but no date has been set.
from Michael Russo of Russo’s Rants,
Ran into former Wild defenseman Willie Mitchell and his wife last night here in Minneapolis, and Mitchell, who completed a four-year deal with his hometown Vancouver Canucks, is recovering well from a concussion that cost him much of this past season. He was hit from behind by Evgeni Malkin. Mitchell definitely has plans to hook on with a team later this summer, but he’ll be patient to continue his recovery.
Heck, maybe the Wild comes after him later in the summer. I still maintain the Wild needs another NHL defenseman.
more plus other Wild notes…
via Bob McKenzie tweet,
Eric Nystrom signs with MIN, three years at $1.4M per year.
via John Shannon tweet,
Matt Cullen signs with the Wild.
No details yet.
The Minnesota Wild have signed forward Guillaume Latendresse to a two-year contract extension worth $2.5 million per season.
Latendresse blossomed in Minnesota last season after coming over in a trade from the Montreal Canadiens. After posting two goals and one assist in 23 games with Montreal, Latendresse was dealt to the Wild on Nov. 23 for Benoit Pouliot. Latendresse responded by scoring 25 goals and 12 assists in 55 games with Minnesota.
Per various sources, the Minnesota Wild have obtained enforcer Brad Staubitz from the San Jose Sharks for a 2010 5th-round draft pick.
From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune’s Michael Russo:
Brent Flahr seems like a quiet, innocent, unsuspecting guy, but when you work with him, you learn awfully fast to never turn your back.
Take Shep Harder, the Wild’s director of hockey administration. He’s allergic to mayonnaise, so during a recent meeting, when Harder asked for “no mayo” on a sandwich, Flahr made sure it had extra mayo.
Luckily, Flahr didn’t kill Harder. But it made for a lot of laughs when Harder ran out minutes later with indigestion.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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