Alex Goligoski's NHL address has changed, but the veteran defenseman won't need to make an offseason move.
The Grand Rapids native spends his summers in Minnesota, and Goligoski gets to stick around for the season after signing a one-year, $5 million contract with the Wild once free agency opened for business.
"My cell phone is just going crazy," Goligoski said Wednesday afternoon inside the team's headquarters in St. Paul while wearing a No. 47 Wild jersey. "A lot of friends and family reaching out. My family is thrilled, and I'm sure they're going to try to get to a lot of games. It's pretty cool."
This is Goligoski's fourth stop in the NHL, after stints with Pittsburgh, Dallas and most recently Arizona.
Last season, he had three goals and 19 assists in 56 games with the Coyotes while finishing out a five-year contract. During that time, the Wild went 15-4-1 against Arizona – including 7-1 in 2021.
"I've played against the Wild a lot in my career, and last year they gave it to us pretty good," said Goligoski, who turns 36 on Friday. "I really liked their team last year. I watched the whole series against Vegas. I thought the whole time they were gonna win that series, and I thought they probably should have. Just really impressive, so I think it's going to be a great fit."
A savvy, durable defender who can play both sides, Goligoski is also known for eating up minutes. He averaged 23 minutes in ice time last season with the Coyotes while leading the team in blocked shots with 108.
Overall, Goligoski has racked up 83 goals and 346 assists in 924 games after playing three seasons with the Gophers. He leads active Minnesota-born NHL defensemen in scoring and ranks fourth all time.
"He's a good teammate. I know that firsthand," said General Manager Bill Guerin, who played with Goligoski when they both won a Stanley Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009. "He just keeps getting better, and I just love the way he plays."
Guerin anticipates Goligoski filling out the top pairing alongside captain Jared Spurgeon, who reached out to Goligoski to welcome him to a team that continues to evolve its roster.
"It seems like they had that same team for so long, that same core, and there's not many of those guys still here," Goligoski said. "There's a lot of new guys, and they're playing a fast, aggressive style of play that I really enjoyed watching and I can't wait to be a part of."
Frederick Gaudreau was a center and wing last season with the Penguins, and Guerin also believes Gaudreau can handle multiple positions for the Wild after the team signed the forward to a two-year, $2.4 million deal.
The 28-year-old doesn't have a preference on where he plays; Gaudreau actually started to line up at wing after breaking in as a center when he was with Nashville's minor league club.
His coach at the time? Current Wild bench boss Dean Evason.
"He's been huge for me," Gaudreau said. "I know he's always had a lot of trust in me and on my side. I really enjoyed playing with him. So it's really fun have the privilege to play for him again."
Gaudreau also crossed paths with Kevin Fiala while the two were with the Nashville organization.
"They're so talented," said Gaudreau, referring to Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov. "You add them [to] all the other guys there I really feel it's a team that can go really far, that can for sure put their focus on winning a Stanley Cup in the future. That's why I'm so excited to be here."
On the move
Ryan Suter found a new team in free agency, signing a four-year, $14.6 million contract with Dallas.
The defenseman is still owed approximately $6.7 million by the Wild after the team bought out the final four seasons of his 13-year, $98 million deal earlier this month.
Another fixture from last season's blue line, Ian Cole, joined Carolina on a one-year, $2.9 million contract, and veteran forward Nick Bonino is now with San Jose on a two-year deal. Brad Hunt ended up with Vancouver after signing for one year at $800,000.