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Continued: Wild Insider: Roster changes provide opportunity for younger players

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 6, 2013 - 11:21 PM

The Wild has more than $20 million of cap space next summer, plus the cap’s expected to increase. That’s before a Pominville extension that is likely on the horizon.

Unless he’s going to dip into his prospect pool, Fletcher doesn’t have a ton of trading options. Some speculate Heatley and his $7.5 million cap hit are on the block, but Heatley has an annual provision in his contract where he supplies a list of 10 teams to which he won’t accept a trade.

One player the Wild may be interested in is former Gophers star Thomas Vanek. The Buffalo Sabres are shopping him because he is one year from unrestricted free agency. But the Wild can’t currently take on next season’s $7.14 million cap hit. Plus, after already trading Buffalo four assets for Pominville in April, the Wild may as well wait and try to sign Vanek as a free agent next summer.

The Wild likely has the inside shot anyway. He lives here, went to the U and was linemates and buddies in Buffalo with Pominville. Vanek isn’t worrying about his future, his agent, Steve Bartlett, said.

“Despite the rumors that Thomas may be traded, at this point, he’s just taking it day to day,” Bartlett said. “If he’s back with the Sabres, fine, and a year from now he’ll get to decide his ultimate destination.”

Michael Russo • mrusso@startribune.com



 

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  • THE NEW AND THE OLD

    General Manager Chuck Fletcher was busy in the past week reshaping the Wild roster for 2013-14:

    Additions

    Keith Ballard, D, 30, from Vancouver

    Matt Cooke, F, 34, from Pittsburgh

    Nino Niederreiter, F, 20, from N.Y. Islanders

    Subtractions

    Pierre-Marc Bouchard, F, 29, to N.Y. Islanders

    Cal Clutterbuck, F, 25, to N.Y. Islanders

    Matt Cullen, F, 36, to Nashville

    Justin Falk, D, 24, to N.Y. Rangers

    Tom Gilbert, D, 30, free agent

    Devin Setoguchi, F, 26, to Winnipeg

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