Kukla's Korner Hockey
from the Pioneer Press,
“I think we have one more (move) we’re looking at, and we’ll see how it plays out,” general manager Doug Risebrough said, “but for the most part we’re pretty much done.”
The Wild are looking into signing veteran defenseman Sean Hill, but complications surrounding his 20-game suspension have made it a slow process. Hill tested positive for a performance-enhancing substance late last season and still has to sit out 19 games.
An announcement could come today, but in either case, don’t expect a major move in what has been a relatively quiet offseason for the Wild, whose biggest move was to trade goalie Manny Fernandez to Boston for a prospect and a fourth-round draft pick.
more on the Wild…
added 8:11pm, from the Star Tribune,
The contract is stuck in a holding pattern, Wild assistant GM Tom Lynn said Wednesday, because the team is awaiting answers to a number of questions it has posed to the league office regarding the 19 games Hill has left to serve on his 20-game suspension for becoming the first NHL player to violate the league’s drug policy.
“This might take a while,” Lynn said. “It’s a holiday [Wednesday], and I don’t know how long it’ll take to get answers from a league that doesn’t want to prejudge things. So it makes it hard for us to make a decision.
via the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed center Wes Walz to a 2007-08 contract.
As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
added 6:12pm, Link to story at Wild site…
via the Minnesota Wild,
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has signed free agent goaltender Nolan Schaefer to a multi-year contract.
“Nolan is a young goaltender with a strong record in the minor leagues and some experience in the NHL, and has great potential to become a full-time NHL goaltender,” said Assistant General Manager/Hockey Operations Tom Lynn.
RDS is reporting that Eric Belanger has been signed by the Minnesota Wild for $5.2 million over 3 years.
(English Google translation here.)
Update 5:15pm ET
The Wild still haven’t provided a press release confirming this, but Radio-Canada, which RDS indicates is the original source of this story, has a quote from Belanger himself confirming the deal. (*using the translation tool again):
“I am really glad to join the Wild”, affirms Bélanger. “Jacques Lemaire and Doug Risebrough intend to make me play on one of the first two lines. I intend to seize my chance.”
Update 5:35pm ET: TSN provides that the deal is specifically $5.25 million.
More from Michael Russo at the Star-Tribune,
Back in 2004-05, when I was writing fun things about third-string Dolphins linemen blowing out their knees and being assigned stuff such as Tonya Harding’s prizefight against a transvestite, people would say to me, “Boy, you must be going nuts during the lockout.”
I replied, “Yeah, but the good news is they’ll idiot-proof the NHL’s economic system, stop the owners from spending recklessly and the league will live long and prosper.”
Well, this NHL writer learned a lot in these first few days of free agency, such as, you can’t idiot-proof the system when idiots are at the controls.
continued… *requires registration, unfortunately
From Michael Russo at the Star Tribune,
Multiple sources confirmed Monday night that the Wild is close to signing the 37-year-old Duluth native to a one-year, incentive-laden contract.
Reached at his North Carolina home, Hill said, “We’ve definitely had talks and we’re getting there, but at this point, I don’t want to say anything more and jinx it. But things are moving along good and it’s been very positive.”
In April, Hill, at the end of a strong season for the Islanders, became the first player to be suspended under the NHL’s drug policy. He appealed the automatic 20-game suspension, but the suspension was upheld.
from the Pioneer Press,
The Minnesota Wild traded longtime goaltender Manny Fernandez to the Boston Bruins today.
The Wild, who wanted to unload Fernandez’s $4.33 million salary after signing goalie Niklas Backstrom to a two-year deal this spring, are expected to receive 6-foot-1, 192-pound forward Petr Kalus plus a future fourth-round pick in the NHL draft.
added 8:17pm, via Russo’s Rants,
Official word from the Wild is that no trade has been made, but the NHL source says the trade will become official tomorrow. More to come.
added 10:01pm, A little more from Russo’s Rants,
The trade can’t be announced before midnight because the Bruins’ cap number is at $41 million. Manny’s cap number is $4.33 million. That would push the Bruins over the $44 million cap. Remember, the cap doesn’t increase to $50.3 million until after midnight.
So as long as nothing falls through, this is just a technicality.
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed center Mikko Koivu to a multi-year contract.
“Mikko came to the NHL at a mature age and in just two NHL seasons has displayed the attributes we value in our young players: a reliable and visible work ethic, a commitment to getting better and the ability to take on more responsibility on the ice,” said Risebrough.
Minnesota Wild President and General Manager Doug Risebrough today announced the National Hockey League (NHL) club has re-signed defenseman Martin Skoula to a multi-year contract.
“Marty was an important part of our Jennings-winning defense last season,” said Risebrough. “We wanted him back so we can compete for it again and try to build off that success as a team.”
added 3:49pm, via Russo’s Rants,
The Wild re-signed Mikko Koivu to a four-year, $13 million deal with a $3.25 million annual cap hit.
Martin Skoula signed a two-year deal worth $3.6 million.
frojm Russo’s Rants at the Star Tribune,
GM Doug Risebrough tried to trade restricted free agent to be’s Kurtis Foster and Adam Hall this weekend. He got little interest. Without using their names, Risebrough hinted that he has to decide by Tuesday’s deadline whether he will qualify all his restricred free agents. Now, let’s do the math here. He’s not dumping assets like Mikko Koivu, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Nick Schultz. He’s not getting rid of Derek Boogaard or Josh Harding.
So when I told him that left Foster and Hall, he confirmed it with your typical GM-like uncomfirmed confirmation: “That’d be astute.”
much more on the Wild…
From Michael Russo at the Post-Bulletin,
With moderately priced, top two-line centers at a premium this summer and the Wild in the market for one, don’t be surprised if the team investigates signing the enigmatic Alexei Yashin when free agency begins July 1.
Yashin, who has alternated between superstar and sleepwalker throughout his 11-year NHL career, had the final four years of his contract bought out by the New York Islanders this month.
The buyout was finalized this week, meaning teams are free to talk to his representatives but can’t sign him until July 1.
Although the Wild has not yet called his agent, the Wild likely would be interested in Yashin if it could sign him to a one-year deal in the $2 million range.
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.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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