Good afternoon from balmy Minny.
The Wild had a couple depth, two-way signings today, inking center Warren Peters to a two-year deal and defenseman Drew Bagnall to a one-year deal. They were signed for Houston and are injury callup candidates.
From the press release:
Peters, 27 (7/10/82), split time during the 2009-10 season between the NHL’s Dallas Stars and the Texas Stars in the American Hockey League (AHL). The 6-foot, 201-pound native of Saskatoon, Sask., tallied one goal and two penalty minutes (PIM) in 11 games with Dallas and recorded a career-high 34 points (20-14=34) and 52 PIM in 61 games with Texas. Peters was also an alternate captain with the Texas Stars and helped the team reach the Calder Cup Finals, totaling eight points (4-4=8) and 56 PIM in 23 playoff contests. Peters previously played in the NHL in 2008-09, tallying one goal and 12 PIM in 16 games with Calgary. He has totaled (74-59=133) and 405 PIM in 354 games over five seasons in the AHL.
Bagnall, 26 (10/26/83), captained the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL in 2009-10, tying a career high with 12 points (1-11=12) and adding 113 (PIM) in 58 games. The 6-foot-3, 220-pound native of Oakbank, Mtb., added three assists and 21 PIM in 16 playoff games last season. Bagnall, who has totaled 30 points (3-27=30) and 378 PIM in 191 games during three seasons in the AHL, was originally selected by Dallas in the sixth round (No. 195 overall) of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Bagnall played collegiately at St. Lawrence University and totaled 72 points (19-53=72) and 235 PIM over four seasons.
-- Martin Havlat will change to his career-long number of 24 next season after Derek Boogaard's departure; Greg Zanon will change to No. 5 (Kim Johnsson); Cam Barker will change from No. 45 to 25 (Eric Belanger); Matt Cullen will likely get No. 11 and Eric Nystrom No. 23. Not sure yet on Brad Staubitz.
-- Andrew Ebbett just signed a one-year deal with Phoenix. He contributed to the Wild after his waiver pickup last November and was actually producing impressively up until that butt-end to the jaw from ... Phoenix's Ed Jovanovski, his now-teammate. Dinner on JovoCop.
-- Matt Lombardi signed for the exact three-year, $3.5 million deal in Nashville today that Cullen got in Minnesota. That's a bargain (by market standards) after coming down significantly from his original asking price and term. I don't know if he just couldn't get what he wanted or just wanted to go to Nashville, but nevertheless, great signing by the Preds.
-- Ran into former Wild defenseman Willie Mitchell and his wife last night here in Minneapolis, and Mitchell, who completed a four-year deal with his hometown Vancouver Canucks, is recovering well from a concussion that cost him much of this past season. He was hit from behind by Evgeni Malkin. Mitchell definitely has plans to hook on with a team later this summer, but he'll be patient to continue his recovery.
Heck, maybe the Wild comes after him later in the summer. I still maintain the Wild needs another NHL defenseman. Clayton Stoner can be a good NHLer, but again, he's young and prone to injury. To rely on him being healthy all year, or really the other five defensemen to be healthy all year, is a risk. I'd think the Wild need another defenseman with NHL experience on the roster. Again, I know Nate Prosser and Marco Scandella deserve a shot at a roster spot, but one injury to any of these guys and you're relying on a lot of inexperience to come through.
Plus, the Wild has the mobile guys, the offensive guys. I think another gritty guy back there would do them well.