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.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

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Wild doesn't tender contract to draft pick Daniel Gunnarsson

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: June 1, 2014 - 11:33 AM

The Wild has opted not to tender a contract offer to 2012 fifth-round pick Daniel Gunnarsson. The team informed the defenseman's camp of the decision before today's deadline to sign 2012 non-collegiate draft picks.

Gunnarsson signed to play the next two years in Farjestads in Sweden, and even though the Wild could have signed Gunnarsson and assigned him there rather than Iowa, the team would have had to spend two years of signing bonus on a player that planned to play in another league. Obviously, the Wild would want him to develop here under its control rather than another team.

I have written that Gunnarsson could re-enter the draft if unsigned. He actually will become a free agent because he slid through two drafts undrafted before the Wild selected him a few years ago. The Wild will continue to monitor him and could always come back to him at a later date if he remains unsigned by an NHL team.

Personally, I also don't feel signing Gunnarsson was nearly as pressing as it would have been a few years ago when the Wild severely lacked defensemen. It has signed minute-muncher Ryan Suter, has seen Jared Spurgeon and Marco Scandella continue to emerge, has a 20-year-old future stud in Jonas Brodin, has Matt Dumba and Gustav Olofsson turning pro next season and won the Christian Folin college free-agent sweepstakes.

Enjoy your Sunday.

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