Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Qualifying offers tendered; Wild-Latendresse talks continue

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: June 25, 2012 - 4:35 PM


The Wild tendered a bunch of qualifying offers today, while as previously reportedly, the Wild did not extend offers to Nick Johnson and Guillaume Latendresse. Both could become unrestricted free agents July 1 (Sunday), although the Wild continues to try to sign Latendresse to a one-year, bonus-laden contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.

Asked the delay on Saturday, GM Chuck Fletcher said, "There's other significant issues that people may be dealing with, so we'll get to it when we get to it." The inference was that agent Pat Brisson has lots of clients, including a pretty decent player who is a year from free agency that the Penguins are trying to negotiate an extension with -- Sidney Crosby.

Brisson and Fletcher planned to speak again today.

The Wild is working on an extension for Justin Falk, but it's not done yet, so he was officially given a qualifying offer to retain his rights. Chad Rau agreed to terms on a two-year deal last week. Others to have qualifying offers tendered are Chay Genoway, David McIntyre, Nick Palmieri, Jarod Palmer and Carson McMillan.

Anybody QO'ed will become restricted free agents. Kris Fredheim was also let go and will become a free agent.

The Wild also QOed Cody Almond and Dennis Endras to keep their rights. Almond will play in Switzerland next year, Endras in Germany.

As I reported Saturday night, Stephane Veilleux has been signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Wild, so the team should soon announce that.

As for the other unrestricted free agents, the Wild has met with the agent for Matt Kassian and is interested in re-signing him on a two-way deal, although he desires a one-way.

The team will let Mike Lundin, Kurtis Foster, Erik Christensen (KHL-bound), Jeff Taffe and Jeff Penner test free agency. Aeros captain Jon DiSalvatore has options in Europe. Warren Peters and Jed Ortmeyer can also become free agents Sunday.

Remember, free agency begins Sunday. Here is my Insider on the Zach Parise-Ryan Suter hysteria, but if you're expecting a conclusion Sunday, I wouldn't. I have been led to believe from people that would know that Suter will definitely not be making his decision Sunday, and it wouldn't shock me if Parise is the same way.

I'd think they would both want to weigh their options (this is assuming New Jersey doesn't re-sign Parise first; Suter is definitely testing free agency, I'm told).


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