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Continued: Trade winds bring 'El Nino' to Wild

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 1, 2013 - 6:44 AM

“I didn’t have a strong year [in 2011-12], I didn’t get the chance I was hoping for, and then I didn’t get invited to camp, but I knew I had to work as hard as I can,” Niederreiter said. “I never really heard anything from the team, so I was just a little bit of disappointed about that. I wanted to see if they still wanted me.

“Now I got a new opportunity, and I’m very excited about it.”

Fletcher said there are “no red flags” and that he will be given a “clean slate” in Minnesota.

With Niederreiter’s potential bonuses, his cap hit is technically $2.795 million. The Wild, before other trades, re-signing Jared Spurgeon and potentially buying out Tom Gilbert, is only $3.6 million under the cap.

Cap-wise, the Wild clearly has more work to do, and Fletcher continues to say he has “balls in the air” and wants to improve while staying cap compliant.

But teams can exceed the cap by 7.5 percent for performance bonuses. Fletcher says the bulk of Niederreiter’s bonuses are for “winning a major award or being an elite leader, and if that happens, it’ll be one of the best checks we have to write for next season.”

With Niederreiter, Granlund, Coyle and Jason Zucker, the Wild will have four young forwards on two-way contracts vying for spots next season.

“Nothing will be promised to any of them, and hopefully it provides a healthy competition in our training camp,” Fletcher said.


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