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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Wild qualify five, let Broda, Ferriero go

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild off-season news Updated: July 2, 2013 - 3:10 PM

The Justin Falk to the Rangers was indeed Falk for a 2014 sixth-round pick only. The Wild didn't tender Benn Ferriero a qualifying offer today to retain his rights.

The Rangers, in order to add Falk, needed to trade an expiring contract in order to stay under the maximum 50. For similar reasons, the Wild will not make Ferriero one of its 50. The Wild also let Joel Broda, a 2008 Washington draft pick, go.

Both Broda and Ferriero will become free agents Friday at 11 a.m. CT.

The Wild qualified Jared Spurgeon, Kyle Medvec, Tyler Cuma, Justin Fontaine and Carson McMillan.

This means their rights have been retained. They still have to officially be re-signed.

Spurgeon is obviously the pressing one and GM Chuck Fletcher said Sunday night progress has been made, but they're not there yet. That's the way Spurgeon's folks characterize it as well.

The one piece of business still left to do is making a decision on Tom Gilbert. If the Wild plans to buy him out by Thursday's 4 p.m. deadline and make him a free agent, the way I understand it is he must be placed on unconditional waivers Wednesday.

If the Wild buys out Gilbert, it would pay him $1 million in each of the next two seasons but free up $4 million of cap space next season.

Free agency again begins Friday. In a new NHL wrinkle under this collective bargaining agreements, teams can begin talking to free agents tonight at 11 p.m. CT.

Again, the Wild was always letting Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brett Clark go. Matt Cullen is the big one, but right now, there just isn't the money created and as of this morning, no further communication between the sides because of it.

The clock is ticking there.

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