Mid Summer Report: Minnesota Wild

download (19)By Wayne Hallee @waynehallee9 at thehockeynuts.com
As we enter the dog days of summer, activity around the NHL slows down.  Most of the big-name free agents are off the board, and everyone is enjoying some much needed time off before everything heats up in the fall.  During this time, we are taking a look at all 30 teams to see where they are and what they still need to do.  Today, we look at the Minnesota Wild

Last Season’s Finish:  38-33-11, 87 pts, 5th in the Central Division, lost in 1st round of the playoffs

Key Arrivals:

  • F Eric Staal (UFA)
  • F Chris Stewart (UFA)

Key Departures:

  • F Thomas Vanek (Detroit)

Breakthrough Candidates:

  • F Alex Tuch

Unsigned RFA’s (as of 8/13)

  • None

Current Cap Situation as of 8/13/16(source: generalfanager.com)

  • League salary ceiling: $73,000,000
  • League salary floor: $54,000,000
  • Current salary cap hit: $70,831,087
  • Current salary cap space: $2,168,913

 

Expected active roster

Forwards
Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, Jason Pominville, Eric Staal, Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Jason Zucker, Chris Stewart, Erik Haula, Jordan Schroeder, Zac Dalpe
Defensemen
Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella, Matt Dumba, Christian Folin, Nate Prosser
Goalies
Devan Dubnyk, Darcy Kuemper

 

 

Outlook:

Minnesota made the playoffs for the 4th season in a row, but once again, got eliminated early, this time, losing in the first round.  The road will be difficult for them any year, as they will almost have to get past the Chicago Blackhawks if they are going to go deep in the playoffs.  That said, the Wild has been very quiet this summer outside of signing their restricted free agents.  They have had only one unrestricted free agent signing worth noting, as they brought in Eric Staal to essentially replace Thomas Vanek, who’s contract was bought out.  Other than that, this team will look very much like last year’s team.  This is a team that would easily make the playoffs in any other division than the Central Division.  But, in the Central Division, they will have to scratch and claw for every point they get.  They will surely be one of the teams that is right there in the last week of the season.  What side of the playoff cut line they end up on when the season ends will be up to them.