Happy June 1 everybody.
Just a few brief Wild updates:
1. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and assistant GM Brent Flahr, who were in Exuma the past week on a retreat with owner Craig Leipold and others, have arrived in Buffalo for the scouting combine.
Besides the fact that Fletcher, Flahr and the rest of the scouting staff will meet with scores of draft-eligible players, this is also an opportunity for Fletcher to begin talking to fellow GM's about trades and also agents about contracts.
Fletcher will sit down for the first time this week with agent Mike Liut, the former NHL goalie, to begin Devan Dubnyk contract talks. Don't be alarmed that the sides haven't spoken yet. Liut was vacationing in Mexico, and when he returned, Fletcher left for the Bahamas on Wednesday. They were supposed to speak for the first time this past Tuesday, but they decided to push it back so they can meet in person in Buffalo.
As you know by now, both sides have talked positively about how there was a mutual fit in the second half. Now it's just a matter of finding a mutual agreement on term and price.
That could be easier said than done, but it's clear both sides want to make it work and strike a deal preferably before the draft so there's no threat of Dubnyk entering the free-agent interview period prior to July 1. That would give Liut the opportunity to see what else is out there by meeting with teams during the week of the draft in South Florida.
I also believe Fletcher will sit down with the agent for potential restricted free agent Mikael Granlund this week.
2. Today is the deadline to sign 2013 draft picks or they can re-enter the draft. The Wild decided not to sign Alexandre Belanger, a Cape Breton goalie who was taken in the seventh round two years ago. The only other unsigned draft picks from 2013 are Carson Soucy, Avery Peterson and Nolan De Jong. All three are returning to college, and thus the Wild retains their rights.
Gustav Olofsson, Kurtis Gabriel and Dylan Labbe from the 2013 draft were previously signed.
3. If you keep your own excel files on such things, I don't believe I previously reported the entry-level contract prices of some players signed in the past few months:
Zach Palmquist was a one-year deal worth $692,500. Brody Hoffman was a one-year deal worth $925,000. Grayson Downing was a two-year deal worth $692,500 a year. Pavel Jenys was a three-year deal worth $655,000, $680,000 and $730,000. Labbe was a three-year deal worth $667,500 the first two years and $742,500.
Those prices are obviously only when they're in the NHL (pro-rated by day).
4. Barring a trade, the Wild will select 20th in the first round at the June 26 draft in Sunrise, Fla. On June 27, barring trades, the Wild has a second-round pick, a fourth-round pick, a sixth-round pick and two seventh-round picks.
The Wild traded its third-rounder for Dubnyk and its fifth-rounder along with Justin Falk to Columbus for Jordan Leopold.
5. Lastly, please keep Dakota Case and his entire family in your thoughts and prayers. The 24-year-old is fighting for his life in ICU at an Omaha, Nebraska, hospital with heart failure and pneumonia. It sounds like he is in rough shape, but his family is at his side.
Dakota is one of the most passionate Wild fans I've ever come across on Twitter. If you want to send Dakota a message, his Twitter account is dakota_case.