Word started to trickle out earlier today that things were heating up on the Marco Scandella extension front and boy did it ever happen quickly.
The Wild has signed the breaking-out defenseman to a five-year, $20 million extension one day after his second overtime winner in the past 12 days. This buys out three of his unrestricted free-agent years. Escalating salaies throughout.
"Marco has shown tremendous improvement in his career and is one of the best young, two-way defensemen in the NHL," said GM Chuck Fletcher. "He is a hard-working, energetic player who is just scratching the surface of his potential in the NHL."
Scandella, whom I'm doing a big feature on for Wednesday's paper incidentally, really came into his own last season as mostly Jared Spurgeon's partner. The 6-foot-2, 217-pound 24-year-old, drafted in the second round in 2008, had a career-high 17 points and was plus-10.
This season, he has scored five goals (all go-ahead goals), three of which were winning goals. Five of his 12 career goals are winning goals. That's the fourth-highest percentage of goals being game-winning goals (.417) since 2011.
He has also turned into a rock solid defender or as coach Mike Yeo said last week a "heck of an NHL defenseman."