If you look at the potential forwards available this summer, there's only one name that would even make a ripple -- Minnesota's own Zach Parise. The Wild plans to go all-in, doing everything in its power to persuade the New Jersey star to come home and scoff at the scores of other teams that will come beating down his door. Similarly, the Wild plans to make a big run at potential Nashville Predators free agent Ryan Suter. If the Wild misses, it will need to figure out a way to add some pizzazz to its lineup -- likely via trade.
HOPE FROM THE PROSPECTS
They all won't make the roster out of camp next season, but the Wild desperately needs the speed, energy and potential offense and ability to get the puck going north that the kids can bring. Many believe Mikael Granlund can be a Calder Trophy contender, while Brett Bulmer, Jason Zucker, Charlie Coyle, Johan Larsson and Jonas Brodin all will have opportunities to make the roster. At the very least, the Wild needs the kids to be able to provide depth in case it runs into more top-six holes because of injury.
In three years with Chuck Fletcher as GM, the Wild has lost almost 1,100 man games to injury. It's a physical game. It's a game of chance. But the Wild can't again put itself in position to rely on Guillaume Latendresse and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. The Wild has to go into next season assuming Bouchard won't be healthy. The Wild desperately needs Mikko Koivu and Niklas Backstrom to stay healthy.