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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Fletcher continues to work the phones; Wild depth chart

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: June 28, 2013 - 5:27 PM
Sunday’s 2 p.m. CT NHL draft is at the Prudential Center in Newark. It’ll be televised on NBC Sports Network from 2-7 p.m. and on NHL Network after 7 to conclusion.
 
The Wild currently has eight picks – a second, two thirds, a fourth, fifth, sixth and two sevenths.
 
It will actively try to move into the first round, probably on the draft table. I’ll have more on how that can happen in the paper Saturday and Sunday.
 
As I’ve been reporting, the Wild is actively shopping Cal Clutterbuck. More on that in Saturday’s newspaper, including what I am hearing the asking price is. The Wild is also trying to trade Tom Gilbert if for no other reason than so it doesn’t have to buy him out.
 
Fletcher has a lot of balls in the air, as he’s been saying, and several deals have several variables because so many teams around the league are trying to be active as well.
 
The Wild re-signed defenseman Steve Kampfer today to a one-year, two-way deal. He’ll provide depth from AHL Iowa.
 
Remember, the Wild currently has roughly $3.6 million in salary cap space, which includes the roughly $795,000 Buffalo is picking up for Jason Pominville. In reality, the space is about $1 million less because every team needs to leave room for injury callups and the ability to make in-season trades.
 
This is why Clutterbuck is available. This is why Gilbert may very well be bought out.
 
In other Wild news, defenseman Matt Dumba, the Wild’s 2012 first-round pick, was invited to Canada’s world junior championships development camp. He was one of the final cuts the past two years.
 
Saturday morning, USA Hockey is expected to name Pittsburgh Penguins coach Dan Bylsma as its 2014 men’s hockey Olympics coach. Nashville’s David Poile was named GM today. Pittsburgh’s Ray Shero was named associate GM and Anaheim advisor Brian Burke, the 2010 architect, is director of player personnel.
 
Wild players Zach Parise and Ryan Suter are shoo-ins to make the team, while Pominville has a shot. Jonas Brodin has already been invited to Sweden’s camp. Mikko Koivu should captain Finland, while Niklas Backstrom and Mikael Granlund have shots.
 
Again, a lot more in Saturday’s newspaper on the Wild and stuff going on. Also in there is a look at Nathan MacKinnon and Seth Jones, who should go 1-2 in Sunday’s draft.
 
First-round order: 1. Colorado; 2. Florida; 3. Tampa Bay; 4. Nashville; 5. Carolina; 6. Calgary; 7. Edmonton; 8. Buffalo; 9. New Jersey; 10. Dallas; 11. Philadelphia; 12. Phoenix; 13. Winnipeg; 14. Columbus; 15. N.Y. Islanders; 16. Buffalo (from the Wild in Jason Pominville deal); 17. Ottawa; 18. Detroit; 19. Columbus (from N.Y. Rangers in Rick Nash deal); 20. San Jose; 21. Toronto; 22. Calgary (from St. Louis in Jay Bouwmeester deal); 23. Washington; 24. Vancouver; 25. Montreal; 26. Anaheim; 27. Columbus (from Los Angeles in Jeff Carter deal); 28. Calgary (from Pittsburgh in Jarome Iginla deal); 29. Dallas (from Boston in Jaromir Jagr deal); 30. Chicago.
 
Wild picks: First round: None (traded to Buffalo in Pominville deal). Second round: 46th overall; Third round: 70 (from New Jersey in Marek Zidlicky deal) and 81 (from San Jose in James Sheppard deal); Fourth round: 107; Fifth round: 137; Sixth round: 167; Seventh round: 197 and 200 (from N.Y. Rangers in Casey Wellman deal).
 
Here’s a look at the Wild’s depth chart in my opinion. It’ll be interesting to see how it looks Monday and past July 5.
 
Forwards
 
Left wing                         Center                          Right wing
 
Zach Parise ($7.5+M)       Mikko Koivu (6.75M)   **Jason Pominville (4.505M)
 
*Jason Zucker ($833,333) *Charlie Coyle (975K)   Devin Setoguchi 3M
 
Cal Clutterbuck (RFA)     Kyle Brodziak (2.83+M) Dany Heatley (7.5M)
 
Mike Rupp (1.5M)           Zenon Konopka (925K) Torrey Mitchell (1.9M)
 
Extra: Jake Dowell (700K)
 
Unrestricted free agents: Matt Cullen and Pierre-Marc Bouchard.
Some vying for spots: *Mikael Granlund, Justin Fontaine, Stephane Veilleux
* Two-way contract; can be sent to the minors without waivers.
**Buffalo picking up roughly $795,000
 
Defensemen
 
Left Defense                     Right Defense
 
Ryan Suter (7.5+M)          Jonas Brodin (1.4+M)
 
Marco Scandella (1.025M) Jared Spurgeon (RFA)
 
Clayton Stoner (1.05M)   Tom Gilbert (4M)
 
Extras: Nate Prosser (825,000) and Justin Falk (RFA)
Vying for spots: Matt Dumba
Unrestricted free agent: Brett Clark
 
Goalies
 
Niklas Backstrom (3.42M)
 
Josh Harding (1.9M)
 
Vying for spot: Darcy Kuemper
 
Buyout charge
 
Mark Parrish ($927,778)
 
Total cap hit roughly: $61,087,502
Buffalo cap hit on Pominville: $795,000
Wild’s cap ceiling next year is roughly: $63.9M
Available space roughly: $3,607,498 before potentially re-signing Cullen, Clutterbuck and Spurgeon
 
 
 

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