I’m leaving the country for a vacation today, so I wanted to leave you with a bit of an offseason primer, some things that’ll happen when I’m gone, some things that may happen while I’m gone and an updated depth chart.
1. Da Beauty League, the 4-on-4 league featuring local NHL stars and elite amateurs, begins tonight at Braemar Arena. The league runs every Wednesday in July and every Monday and Wednesday in August until the playoffs August 21 and 23. For more information on rosters and schedules, here’s their site.
2. Stanley Cup champion Jake Guentzel gets his day with the Cup on Thursday. From 1-3 p.m., Guentzel will bring the Cup to HealthEast Sports Center (4125 Radio Drive, Woodbury, formerly Bielenberg Sports Center). The public is welcome to view the Cup or have their picture taken with Guentzel and the Cup. I spoke with him yesterday, and he’s excited to bring the Cup to the rink where he basically grew up playing hockey.
3. I attended the Wild’s development camp scrimmage yesterday, and a real good showing by guys like Sam Anas (two goals), Carson Soucy (goal), Luke Kunin (goal), Jordan Greenway, Avery Peterson (sweet assist), Justin Kloos (goal) and others. Bruce Boudreau was mostly eyeballing guys he could see next season and he really liked Soucy and Greenway. James van Riemsdyk and family were in the crowd watching his brother, Brendan, who’s in on a tryout.
Camp comes to an end Thursday at Xcel Energy Center with another scrimmage that is free and open to the public at 5 p.m. From 6-9, the Wild’s holding a Block Party across from the arena at the Seven Corners parking lot. The event includes an autograph session with Jared Spurgeon and Tyler Ennis from 6:30-7:30 and Anas, Kunin and Greenway from 7:30-9.
Also, the Wild on the Water Fishing tournament will be at Izatys Resort at Mille Lacs Lake on Saturday. Fans can also attend the free Bash on the Beach event on from 12 to 4 p.m. Participants include Boudreau, Jason Zucker, Chris Stewart, Alex Stalock, Spurgeon, Ennis, Kurtis Gabriel, Brent Flahr, Darby Hendrickson, Derek Lalonde, Bob Mason, Mike Ramsey, Keith Ballard, Brad Bombardir, Andrew Brunette, Antti Laaksonen, Jordan Leopold and Stephane Veilleux.
4. The Staal Open is this weekend up in Thunder Bay. Starts Thursday. Here’s the family foundation’s site. I corresponded with Eric yesterday and they had an awesome pro-am that included several retired and current hockey players, including Justin Faulk.
5. At some point (possibly while I'm gone), the Wild will re-sign Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Marcus Foligno (barring a trade). The Wild continues to negotiate all three, and we know at a minimum, the latest Niederreiter and Granlund will be complete is August 5 and 6, which is 48 hours after each of their respective hearings (if it gets to arbitration). Again, here is the story I wrote a few days ago with GM Chuck Fletcher talking about how the Wild’s attention has mostly shifted to the unsigned RFA’s and then the team will address whether it needs to sign another forward (MATT CULLEN) or two.
I interviewed Boudreau on KFAN on Tuesday when I was filling in for Paul Allen, and this is what he said on that subject: “I don’t think we’re done yet. It’s easy to see the amount of one-way contracts that are up front on our forward situation. We’re taking our time. There’s still a lot of good hockey players out there, but we will probably get one more for sure.”
(Subliminal message, Mark Parrish sporting the Cullen St. Cloud State T)
If you missed the show, you can podcast it here. Fun interview with Boudreau on fishing, his new junior team in Coon Rapids (blueoxhockey.com), his hockey camp in Ontario and he’s honest on the team, especially Ennis and young D Gustav Olofsson and Mike Reilly, a fascinating interview with Richard Park, a real fun hour with Erik Stolhanske, Mark Parrish and Paul Fletcher, and also an hour with Lavelle E. Neal III and Guentzel.
6. Here’s the latest Russo-Souhan Show on all things Wild (Kaprizov, arbitration, Granlund, Niederreiter, Cullen, Gavin DeGraw and Walk off the Earth).
7. And, last but not least, the updated depth chart. No doubt (OK, my opinion, and clearly Boudreau's), the Wild still needs another NHL forward/center.
In parentheses, each player’s salary cap hits. Restricted free agents are denoted as RFA.
Rosters are a maximum 23 players. Typically, the Wild keeps 13 or 14 forwards, seven or eight defensemen and two goalies.
Depth chart is my opinion.
Left wing Center Right wing
Nino Niederreiter (RFA Eric Staal ($3.5M) Zach Parise ($7.538+M)
Jason Zucker ($2M) Mikko Koivu ($6.75M) Mikael Granlund (RFA)
Marcus Foligno (RFA Charlie Coyle ($3.2M) Tyler Ennis ($4.6M)
------------------------- Joel Eriksson Ek (894+K Chris Stewart ($1.15M)
Vying for spots: Eriksson Ek, Luke Kunin (925K), Landon Ferraro (700K), Kyle Rau, (700K), Cal O’Reilly (700K), Pat Cannone (600K), Christoph Bertschy ($775,833), Kurtis Gabriel (715K), Zack Mitchell (660K), Mario Lucia ($792,500), Sam Anas ($792,500), Justin Kloos ($792,500), Pavel Jenys ($678,833), Dante Salituro (725K), Adam Gilmour ($717,500), Chase Lang ($686,667).
Left Defense Right Defense
Ryan Suter ($7.538+M) Jared Spurgeon ($5.187M)
Jonas Brodin ($4.166+M) Matt Dumba ($2.55M)
Gustav Olofsson (725K) Kyle Quincey ($1.25M)
Mike Reilly (725K) -------------------------------
Vying for spots: Olofsson, Reilly, Ryan Murphy (700K), Alex Grant (700K), Nick Seeler ($717,500), Hunter Warner ($636,667), Carson Soucy (925K), Zach Palmquist (726K), Gustav Bouramann (720K), Dylan Labbe ($692,500).
Devan Dubnyk (4.33M)
Alex Stalock (650K)
Vying for spots: Stalock, Niklas Svedberg (700K), Steve Michalek (715K), Adam Vay ($842,500).
Total cap hit: $59,258,591 ($75 million ceiling).
*Includes $2.5 million buyout cap hit for Thomas Vanek.
Available cap space: $15,741,409.
**Available cap space will be eaten up by roster hopefuls making the team, re-signings and outside signings.
***The Wild, like all teams, will save some cap space for callups and flexibility to make in-season adjustments (i.e. trades, waiver additions).
That's it for me. Talk to you in a few weeks. I don't have it in me to take a Twitter break, so I'll probably be on there at this link.