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Wednesday (Wild offseason wish list) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Wild coaching Updated: May 14, 2014 - 11:05 AM

 

How quickly we turn the page, right? A little sleep. A little thinking about the future. A little realization that the window for Wild success should be open for at least a few years.

 

And suddenly it's time to think about the future.

Here, then, are our offseason priorities if we are running the Wild:

1) Solve the goaltending issue. This is the biggest conundrum, by far, and it's the thing that could keep the Wild from taking a meaningful step next season. Niklas Backstrom is under contract for two more seasons. Josh Harding is under contract for one more year. Darcy Kuemper will command a one-way deal. Ilya Bryzgalov likes it here, but is it really wise to bring him back considering you will be paying three other goalies? So if we're the Wild, here's what we do: Assuming Kuemper is healthy, you go into next season riding him as your No. 1 goalie. You let Bryz go. You hope/believe that between Backstrom and Harding you can cobble together enough of a backup plan to get you through to the trading deadline. At that point, if you have at least two healthy goalies and one of them (preferably Kuemper) is playing well enough you trust him as a playoff starter, you stand pat. If not, you make a trade deadline move to get the best rental goalie available. The theory is that Kuemper/Harding/Backstrom could very well be good enough to get you through the majority of the season, while not adding another goalie until later gives you the flexibility to make other roster moves this offseason. It's a bit of a risk, but we can't imagine a team carrying four goalies under contract for a full season. The only way this changes is if there is roster movement with Harding or Backstrom, which seems unlikely but possible we suppose. Adding the top rental goalie at the deadline gives you a legit chance to make a playoff push without committing you to a full season of salary. Plus handing the keys to Kuemper to start the year lets you find out exactly what you have there.

2) Sign a big, bruising defenseman. As well as Clayton Stoner and Marco Scandella played for much of the playoffs, the Wild is still a little small on the blueline. Having one more rugged blueliner in the top six who can can puck battles and clear the front of the net would be huge, particularly in another playoff run.

3) Decide if Thomas Vanek is really worth the contract he will command. That's the name constantly bandied about when it comes to adding one more forward -- and a pure goal-scorer at that. It makes sense from a lot of angles, but ... let's also consider Vanek is 30 years old. You already have forwards Zach Parise, Jason Pominville and Mikko Koivu tied up in expensive long-term deals (not to mention Ryan Suter, but that's a different bucket since he's a D-man). Parise, Pominville and Koivu will all be 30 or older by the time next season starts. If you sign Vanek for four or five years, does it clog up the roster and make it tough to eventually lock up guys like Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Erik Haula? Again, a conundrum. This team could use a pure goal scorer, but at what cost?

4) Sign Mike Yeo to a new multi-year deal. He's earned it.

Your thoughts, please, in the comments.

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Cleveland - WP: C. Allen 4 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: G. Holland 3
Baltimore - LP: W. Chen 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 5
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 2 FINAL
Cleveland - LP: C. Carrasco 0
Seattle - LP: J. Paxton 4 FINAL
Toronto - WP: J. Happ 14
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Bassitt 2 FINAL
Detroit - LP: K. Lobstein 0
Pittsburgh - WP: F. Liriano 1 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Houston 3 Top 8th Inning
Texas 4
St. Louis 7 Bottom 7th Inning
Chicago Cubs 0
Arizona 5 Top 7th Inning
Minnesota 1
LA Angels 1 Bottom 1st Inning
Oakland 0
San Francisco 1 Bottom 1st Inning
Los Angeles 0
Colorado 0 Bottom 1st Inning
San Diego 0
Chicago 17 3rd Qtr 12:05
NY Jets 13
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Buffalo 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Green Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Tennessee 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Carolina 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Detroit 9/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
Tampa Bay 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Miami 9/28/14 12:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 9/28/14 3:05 PM
San Diego
Atlanta 9/28/14 3:25 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 9/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
New Orleans 9/28/14 7:30 PM
Dallas
Ottawa 2 FINAL
NY Islanders 3
Ottawa 5:00 PM
NY Islanders
New Jersey 5 FINAL
NY Rangers 4
Detroit 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 1
Toronto 0 2nd Prd 20:00
Philadelphia 0
Washington 4 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Minnesota 0 3rd Prd 9:42
Winnipeg 2
St. Louis 2 3rd Prd
Dallas 1
Anaheim 1 2nd Prd 9:45
Colorado 1
Colorado 0 1st Prd 12:51
Anaheim 2
Los Angeles 0 1st Prd 13:00
Arizona 1
Arizona 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
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