The NHL free-agent market has opened. Former Wild center Martin Hanzal heads to Dallas on a three-year deal worth a whopping $14.25 million and Christian Folin heads to L.A., which I've written for two years liked Folin, on a one-year deal worth $850,000. The Wild would not have been able to get him that cheap with his arbitration rights.
PER SOURCES. Matt Cullen and the Wild indeed continue to talk today, so there's a chance he forgoes retirement or a chance of three-peating to return to Minnesota for a 20th NHL season.
I do believe the Wild did get back in on Chris Kunitz, but I'm not sure an offer was officially made. He signed a one-year, bonus-laden $2 million deal with Tampa Bay. One-year deals for a +35-year-old can have bonuses.
The Wild just signed veteran defenseman Kyle Quincey to a one-year, $1.25 million deal. The plan is for him to be paired on the third unit with Gustav Olofsson or Mikey Reilly, whom sources say is close to a two-year deal.
Quincey, 31, is joining his sixth NHL team. The mobile blue-liner has scored 36 goals and 119 points in 568 games with Detroit, Los Angeles, Colorado, New Jersey and Columbus.
“I’m definitely fired up,” Quincey said. “They have a very good team, so I’m excited for next season and the success we should have. I’m a veteran presence in the room that’s going to bring some leadership. I’ll bring steady play on the back end, nothing flashy, but definitely competitive and make it hard on the other team on a nightly basis.”
He's pals with Chris Stewart.
The Wild has also signed ight-shot defenseman Ryan Murphy, left wing Kyle Rau, center/right wing Landon Ferraro, center Cal O’Reilly, goalie Niklas Svedberg and defenseman Alex Grant to two-way contracts.
These moves are meant to replenish the depth lost in the past couple weeks.
Murphy, 24, was just traded from the Carolina Hurricanes to the Calgary Flames, who bought Murphy out. He signed a one-year deal with the Wild and I'd think has a chance to make the team unless another right-shot D is on the horizon.
Taken 12th overall in the 2011 draft by Carolina, Murphy was an offensive wizard for Kitchener of the Ontario Hockey League. NHL scouts still talk about his second season when he led all OHL defensemen with 26 goals and finished second to Windsor’s Ryan Ellis with 79 points in 63 games. He hasn’t lived up to that as a pro yet (six goals, 37 points in 151 games for Carolina) and has shown some warts defensively.
He signed a one-year deal worth $700,000 when in the NHL with $350,000 in the minors.
Ferraro, 25, is the son of former NHL goal scorer Ray Ferraro, who’s one of the NHL’s most respected TV analysts. Ferraro, whom sources say the Wild tried to claim off waivers a few years ago before picking up Jarret Stoll, twice hit the 24- and 27-goal marks for AHL Grand Rapids. He has scored six goals and 11 points in 75 NHL games, five goals and five assists coming with Boston while playing on the fourth line in 58 games two years ago.
"I’m getting to the age now where I need to make it, or it’s kind of now or never," Ferraro said. "It seems like a really good spot, a good opportunity for me."
Last season with the Chicago Wolves, Ferraro scored seven goals and 15 points in 22 games. But his season was cut short with a torn ACL. He has been fully cleared. He’s fast, can play wing and center and is a terrific penalty killer.
"Coming off the injury that I had and all the rehab that I’ve done, it’s pretty safe to say I’m motivated going into this year and really excited to get moving," Ferraro said. "There’s opportunity for me in Minnesota. But in saying that, at that point, it’ll be 10 months since my last game. The biggest thing for me is just making sure I get myself as ready as possible. Exhibition is almost more important now than it ever has been for me. I need to get my feet back under me quick, and not just make it through exhibition, but show the Wild that I put the work in and I’m ready to be back in the NHL and fight for a spot."
Ferraro signed a two-year deal worth $700,000 annually when up in the NHL and $375,000 in the minors with a $425,000 annual guarantee.
Rau, 24, the former Eden Prairie star and Minnesota Mr. Hockey, scored 67 goals and 164 points in 160 games during a four-year University of Minnesota career that included four regular-season conference championships and two runs to the NCAA Frozen Four. He was a two-time captain and two-time All-Big Ten selection. In 33 games with the Florida Panthers, Rau scored two goals and an assist. His older brother, Chad, was once a Wild farmhand and scored two goals in nine games with the big club.
His deal pays him $700,000 in the NHL, $200,000 in the minors.
O’Reilly, 30, is the older brother of Buffalo Sabres center Ryan O’Reilly. Cal O’Reilly spent the past two seasons with the Sabres’ organization. He has spent most his career journeying around the minors and has scored 16 goals and 49 points in 144 NHL games with Nashville, Phoenix, Pittsburgh and Buffalo.
He signed a two-year deal worth $700,000 annually when up in the NHL and $375,000 in the minors with a $425,000 annual guarantee, I believe.
Svedberg, 27, a Swede who spent the past two years playing in the Kontinental Hockey League, will compete with Alex Stalock for the Wild backup job. In 2012-13 with Providence, Svedberg went 37-8-2 with a 2.17 goals-against average and .925 save percentage. He won 25 games the following year with Providence. In the NHL, he went 8-5-1 with a 2.31 goals-against average and .920 save percentage in 19 games with the Boston Bruins.
In the past two years playing for Salavat Yulaev Ufa, Svedberg went 43-36-16 with a .907 save percentage. Two years ago, he went 29-19-3 with a 2.37 goals-against average and .916 save percentage.
He also signed a one-year deal worth 700K with 350K in the minors.
Grant, 28, is a right shot defenseman originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2005. He has scored two goals in seven NHL games with Anaheim and Arizona and spent last season with AHL Providence, scoring 17 goals and 49 points in 70 games.
He signed for one year at $700,000 in the NHL, $300,000 in the minors.