Guillaume Latendresse rejected a one-year offer from the Wild and informed the team he will become a free agent Sunday.
"It's not that I didn't want to go back. It's not that the contract was not good," the oft-injured winger said. "I would have loved to go back to Minnesota, but sometimes you have to make decisions for your family and for your future."
Latendresse wants to sign with a team closer to Montreal, where his 4-year-old son, Hayden, lives with his mother.
Latendresse, 25, played only 27 of 162 games over the past two years, taking in $5 million in salary. Because he missed 66 games last season after a concussion, the Wild did not tender him another $2.5 million contract. Instead, it tried to negotiate a one-year deal with performance bonuses -- permissible for players who spent 100 days or more on injured reserve in the final year of a contract.
Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher confirmed Latendresse advised the team of his decision Wednesday.
Latendresse is hoping to land with a team in the northeast -- perhaps his hometown Canadiens, who traded him to the Wild in 2009.
• The Wild re-signed left winger Matt Kassian to a two-year, one-way contract.
• The Wild have expressed strong interest in University of Wisconsin free-agent defenseman Justin Schultz, who declined to sign with Anaheim, which drafted him in 2008.