The Wild appears to be in a midsummer holding pattern. While the Wild still may be in the market this offseason for at least one more forward, most the team's focus has turned to re-signing three key restricted free agents. "This has become the typical shift in the NHL after the first few days of free agency," Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said. "You talk to players, sign a few, then shift to the RFA's. Once that's done, you see where you're at when you have a little better sense of your available cap space. If something's out there now that makes sense, we'd do it. But once the RFA's are done, we can check back in and see if there's a fit out there." The Wild has $15.741 million of cap space left if one presumes rookie Joel Eriksson Ek, goalie Alex Stalock and defenseman Mike Reilly, who last week signed a one-way contract, make the team. A large chunk of that cap space — potentially more than $13 million — could be eaten up by unsigned Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Marcus Foligno. Granlund and Niederreiter, both coming off career years, have filed for salary arbitration. If unsigned beforehand, Niederreiter's hearing is slated for Aug. 3 and Granlund's for Aug. 4. "The two arbitration cases are really the bigger focus, and we have to work out something with Foligno, too," Fletcher said. "We have some cap flexibility, but it's not unlimited." The Wild has only 10 forwards signed to one-way contracts. A number of unsigned forwards are still available, including future Hall of Famers Jaromir Jagr and Jarome Iginla, veterans Shane Doan and Thomas Vanek and depth players like Scottie Upshall, Daniel Winnik and Matt Hendricks.
Wild turns attention to signing its restricted free agents while looking beyond next season
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Jul 11