Russo's Rants Logo


Russo's Rants

Michael Russo gives you complete coverage of the Minnesota Wild and the NHL

Wild 2017-18 Depth Chart


Here’s a look at how the Wild looks heading into the summertime. This will obviously change as the Wild adds and deletes players and re-signs restricted free agents.

The free-agent market opens Saturday. The Wild, barring a trade that I still think is coming, is in the market for a fourth-line left wing, a fourth-line center, a goalie to compete with Alex Stalock for the backup position and a right-shot, bottom pair defenseman.

They also need depth in Iowa with the recent trades of Alex Tuch, Jordan Schroeder and Tyler Graovac and loss of Erik Haula to expansion.

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 and I'll update throughout the offseason.


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)     
Joel Eriksson Ek (894+K)        Charlie Coyle ($3.2M)         Jason Pominville ($5.6M)
-------------------------                     ---------------------------         Chris Stewart ($1.15M)

Vying for spots: Eriksson Ek, Luke Kunin (925K), Pat Cannone (600K), Christoph Bertschy ($775,833), Pavel Jenys ($678,833), Kurtis Gabriel (RFA), Zack Mitchell (RFA), Mario Lucia ($792,500), Justin Kloos ($792,500), Sam Anas ($792,500), Dante Salituro (725K), Adam Gilmour ($717,500), Chase Lang ($686,667).

Unrestricted free agents: Martin Hanzal, Ryan White, Ryan Carter, Brady Brassart.


Left Defense                     Right Defense

Ryan Suter ($7.538+M)    Jared Spurgeon ($5.187M)
Marco Scandella ($4M)   Matt Dumba ($2.55M)
Gustav Olofsson (725K)   Jonas Brodin ($4.166+M)  
-------------------------    -------------------------------

Vying for spots: Mike Reilly (RFA), Nick Seeler ($717,500), Hunter Warner ($636,667), Carson Soucy (925K), Zach Palmquist (RFA), Gustav Bouramann (720K), Dylan Labbe ($692,500).

Unrestricted free agents: Nate Prosser, Christian Folin, Mike Weber, Victor Bartley, Alexander Gudbranson, Guillaume Gelinas.


Devan Dubnyk (4.33M)
Alex Stalock (650K)

Minor-league goalies: Steve Michalek (RFA), Adam Vay ($842,500).
Unrestricted free agent: Darcy Kuemper.

Total cap hit: $62,283,591 ($75 million ceiling).
*Includes $2.5 million buyout cap hit for Thomas Vanek.
Available cap space: $12,716,409.

**Available cap space will be eaten up by roster hopefuls making the team 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).

Wild re-signs Olofsson, cuts Folin

In order to retain their rights and officially make them restricted free agents, the Wild announced that it extended qualifying offers (it actually happened several days ago, but today's the deadline) to Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Mike Reilly, Kurtis Gabriel, Steve Michalek, Zack Mitchell and Zach Palmquist.

The Wild has re-signed defenseman Gustav Olofsson to a two-year, $1.45 million deal ($725,000 AAV, $675K Year 1, $775K Year 2). It's a one-way deal, meaning he'd have an inside track toward making next year's team.

The Wild did not tender qualifying offers to Christian Folin, Brady Brassart, Alex Gudbranson and Guillaume Gelinas.

The Wild would still like to sign Folin to a two-way contract, but at this point, one would think the big defenseman will test free agency when the market opens Saturday to see if he can get a one-way contract.

Folin would have been uninterested in his QO because it's a two-way that pays him something like $35,000 in the minors.

And the Wild was uninterested in giving him a QO because he would have likely filed for arbitration and gotten a one-way. The Winnipeg Jets just signed Ben Chiarot, a possible Folin comparable, to a two-year deal worth $1.4 million annually.

If Folin got an award in that vicinity, that just wouldn't have been doable for the Wild.

If Folin decides not to sign a two-way with the Wild, his departure leaves a void on the right side.

The Wild could pursue a third-pair right D or bring back Nate Prosser, an unrestricted free agent whom I think would be interested in returning.

I'll have a lot more in tomorrow's paper, but the Wild has called a number of agents today regarding potential fourth-line left wings, centers and backup goalies.

Some, interesting names that either means the Wild's just doing its due diligence or, as I have been saying, still may trade a defenseman like Marco Scandella.

I still think the Wild wants to move a contract to create flexibility to re-sign Niederreiter and Granlund and sign a couple free agents.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Twins at Boston

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Sioux City at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Boston

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Minnesota United FC at New York City FC

    6:30 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Sioux City at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    6:30 pm

  • Gary at Saints

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    7:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Lynx at Phoenix

    9 pm on FSN PLUS, 106.1-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Twins at Kansas City

    1:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Gary at Saints

    7:05 pm on 106.1-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    7:35 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Twins at Kansas City

    1:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Gary at Saints

    5:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    4 pm

  • Saints at Sioux City

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

  • Twins at L.A. Angels

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Canterbury Park live racing

    12:45 pm

  • Twins at L.A. Angels

    1:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Columbus at Minnesota United FC

    6 pm on Ch. 29, 1500-AM

  • Saints at Sioux City

    7:05 pm on 1220-AM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Philadelphia


    2:40 PM

  • Colorado

    San Francisco

    2:45 PM

  • Tampa Bay


    6:05 PM

  • Chicago Cubs


    6:05 PM

  • Baltimore


    6:07 PM

  • Minnesota


    6:10 PM


  • Milwaukee


    6:10 PM

  • Texas


    6:10 PM

  • Kansas City


    6:10 PM

  • NY Mets


    6:10 PM

  • NY Yankees

    Chicago White Sox

    7:10 PM

  • Oakland


    7:10 PM

  • St. Louis


    8:40 PM

  • LA Dodgers

    LA Angels

    9:07 PM

  • Atlanta

    San Diego

    9:10 PM

No NFL games today

No NBA games today

No NHL games today

No MLS games today