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Continued: Wild GM Fletcher looking ahead

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: May 17, 2014 - 1:19 AM

“You better have an eye on three to five years down the road,” Fletcher said. “Cap space is not malleable. Once you use it, it’s gone. We have to make sure we preserve enough of it to keep the kids we want to keep, and I think that’ll have a major impact in what we do this summer.”

Looking ahead

What’s that mean? For instance, many fans hope the Wild will try to sign former Gophers star Thomas Vanek, who is in the Eastern Conference Finals with Montreal, on July 1. But many Wild youngsters need to be re-signed in the next two years, and some look as if they’ll develop into top-six forwards.

“A lot of young players stepped up and showed they can handle the big stage,” Fletcher said.

The Wild also has to decide if it wants to re-sign any of its unrestricted free agents, including Matt Moulson, Clayton Stoner, Cody McCormick, Nate Prosser, Dany Heatley and Bryzgalov.

“I explained to all of them, we’ll get back to them after our organizational meetings,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher is excited about the culture created and future of the Wild.

In his five years, “We’ve been able to bring in certain types of players. Talent’s very important, but we put an emphasis on character. We have a group of players that play hard. Our best players, our highest-paid players have a top-end work ethic. They want to win. They are not selfish, and that set the tone for our group.”

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