Update: Matt Cooke cleared waivers and will be issed his unconditional release from the Wild. He will become a free agent July 1. For how this affects the Wild salary-wise and cap-wise for Cooke, see previous blog or the below link of today's story.
Here is today's story on the Matt Cooke waiver/buyout situation, what's going on with Devan Dubnyk and Mike Reilly.
I have confirmed there has been almost no conversation on Dubnyk since that original Chuck Fletcher-Mike Liut meeting in Buffalo. The two sides are stuck right now in terms of term and salary, and I confirmed what I wrote on one of yesterday's blogs (see here): Fletcher and Dubnyk will meet face to face next week in Las Vegas and Fletcher will meet with Liut next week in Ft. Lauderdale.
As for Mikael Granlund, 23, the restricted free agent who remains unsigned. I talked to his agent, Todd Diamond, yesterday and he continues to try to negotiate a short-term deal with Fletcher. The sides have spoken a couple times in the past few weeks, Diamond said.
Barring an offer sheet or a trade around the draft, the Wild would retain his rights past July 1 if unsigned. He has no arbitration rights.
"We’ve been talking on and off since training camp basically," Diamond said. "I wouldn’t say we’re way off. It’s like a marathon. The last half mile is the most difficult. I would surmise that’s where we are."
Last September, Fletcher negotiated long-term deals for Jonas Brodin and Charlie Coyle to avoid restricted free agency and eventually a long-term deal for Marco Scandella.
Fletcher and Granlund's camp always were talking short-term bridge deals. That benefits Granlund because if he has a home-run season in the next few years, he could then hit a home-run contract. It benefits the Wild because if Granlund's production doesn't increase as expected or he has injuries, it doesn't get trapped in a Pierre-Marc Bouchard type contract.
Granlund broke his wrist in December and underwent wrist surgery. His production decreased last season. He scored eight goals in 68 games -- the same amount of goals he scored in 2013-14 in 63 games -- and had 39 points -- two fewer points in five fewer games.
In the playoffs, Granlund, who scored a big overtime goal to beat Colorado in Game 3 in 2014, had two goals and four assists this past postseason.
Diamond said, "We remain focused on a shorter-term deal. It's pretty clear Mikael has a large, important position on the team. His skating took another level, his faceoffs took another level and he's focusing his summer work on contributing more in the goal scoring department and not being just John Stockton (a passer) out there."
Granlund said at the start of last season he wanted to shoot more and score more. That never happened. He took 104 shots in 63 games in 2013-14 and 99 shots in 68 games last season.
So will it happen this time?
"I've never met anybody that works as hard as he does and is as focused as he is," Diamond said. "Every summer he's had goals and met them, and this is his chance to get better. He’s never disappointed."
Asked if he thinks a deal is close, Diamond said, "A deal’s always a phone call away. It’s hard to say."
Center Erik Haula and defenseman Christian Folin are also restricted.
I'll be on KFAN at 10:15 a.m. and again the third podcast with Jim Souhan is here.