There were plenty of points in the Wild's history when it might have been a bigger dilemma trying to find 11 players it wanted to keep than trying to pare down a list of players it wanted to protect in an expansion draft to only 11 players.

So in a sense, the hand-wringing the organization surely experienced before revealing the list of players it will leave exposed to Las Vegas in Wednesday's expansion draft — as well as the 11 that are off-limits — is a testament to good organizational depth and balance.

A team that has made the playoffs five seasons in a row and set a franchise record for most regular-season points last year probably should have a hard time making that decision.

Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville had to be protected because of their contracts, but the reality is even if they didn't have to be, the Wild was going to be in a position to lose an important player.

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