The Wild has confirmed it has re-signed forwards Tyler Graovac and Zac Dalpe. They could have become restricted free agents Friday. Still unsigned: Matt Dumba, Darcy Kuemper, Jordan Schroeder and Zach Palmquist.
The signings were first reported on Twitter by @capfriendly, whose web site www.capfriendly.com.
Graovac, whom I mentioned yesterday was close, has an inside track to make the team for a second year in a row because for the first time he requires waivers to get to Iowa. He signed a two-year, $1.25 million deal. When he's on the big club, he carries a $625,000 cap hit. The first year is two-way, the second year is one way.
Dalpe signed a one-year, $600,000 deal. Lucrative two-way, according to @capfriendly. He makes $275,000 in the minors, but he's guaranteed $350,000 for the season. That means, let's just say, he's never called up or only spent a smattering of the season in Minnesota, if his NHL and minor-league salaries don't total at least 350K, he gets a bonus check to make him whole.
Free agency starts at 11 a.m. Friday. My advance can be read here.
Wild's expected to go right after Kyle Okposo or David Backes. Detroit was in on Okposo, but I hear backed out to focus on Frans Nielsen. Milan Lucic should be headed to Edmonton. Andrew Ladd spent the night in NY and is expected to sign with the Islanders, Loui Eriksson is expected to go to Vancouver.
Going hard after Okposo and maybe signing Eric Staal to a short-term deal would be the end goal of the Wild's day.
As I've mentioned a bunch, the Wild plans to sign a goalie with NHL experience to act as the third goalie and start in Iowa. I'm fairly confident Alex Stalock has a great chance to be that guy.
Also, both Chris Porter and Ryan Carter really hope to return to the Wild. As of this moment, they are both unsigned and look to be heading to free agency.
As you can see on the depth chart below, the Wild has spots available on the fourth line and both are tremendous locker-room guys, quality checkers and penalty killers. My sense is that GM Chuck Fletcher would love to bring both back, but until he sees whom he's able to sign or acquire and count dollars to see what he has left, he's not able to circle back to either as of yet.
I know both feel like they've made a home here and could be signed to reasonable contracts, so we'll see where this goes.
WILD DEPTH CHART
As free agency is set to open Friday, here’s a look at how the Wild is shaping up to look next season. This will change constantly throughout the summer as the Wild adds and deletes players.
Obviously, lines change, roles change (maybe Charlie Coyle moves to right wing if the Wild adds a center and not a right wing, maybe Mikael Granlund back to center if the Wild can’t add a center), etc. I kept the third line intact only because they were the Wild’s most effective line from mid-February on.
But, any of those three could play in any role in the top-6 depending on acquisitions. Like I said, by Friday night, things could be shuffled around quite significantly.
In parentheses, each player’s cap hits. All rosters can be a maximum of 23 players. So we don’t know if the Wild would keep 14 forwards or eight defensemen, or like it often does, 13 and 7 and go with 22 players instead of wasting cap space (benefit of having Iowa so close).
Just an fyi: Two key roster hopefuls, Tyler Graovac and Christian Folin, would require waivers to get to Iowa, so they have definite inside tracks to make the team.
Left wing Center Right wing
Mikael Granlund ($3M) Mikko Koivu ($6.75M) Jason Zucker ($2M)
Zach Parise ($7.538+M) Charlie Coyle ($3.2M) ----------------------
Nino Niederreiter ($2.66M) Erik Haula ($1M) Jason Pominville ($5.6M)
------------------------- Tyler Graovac (625K) -----------------------
Vying for spots: Graovac, Jordan Schroeder (RFA), Zac Dalpe (600K), Alex Tuch (925K), Joel Eriksson Ek ($894,167), Christoph Bertschy ($775,833), Kurtis Gabriel ($666,667), Zack Mitchell (615K), Grayson Downing ($692,500).
Other minor leaguers: Sam Anas, Brady Brassart, Adam Gilmour, Marc Hagel, Pavel Jenys, Chase Lang, Mario Lucia.
Unsigned unrestricted free agents as of now: Ryan Carter, Chris Porter, Justin Fontaine, David Jones, Jarret Stoll.
Left Defense Right Defense
Ryan Suter ($7.538+M) Jared Spurgeon ($5.187M)
Marco Scandella ($4M) Jonas Brodin ($4.166+M)
Nate Prosser (625K) Matt Dumba (RFA)
Christian Folin (725K) -----------------------?
Vying for spots: Folin, Mike Reilly (925K), Gustav Olofsson (795K).
Other minor leaguers: Guillame Gelinas, Alexander Gudbranson, Dylan Labbe, Zach Palmquist (RFA), Nick Seeler, Hunter Warner.
Devan Dubnyk (4.33M)
Darcy Kuemper (RFA)
Minor-league goalies: Steve Michalek, Adam Vay.
*Wild’s expected to sign another goaltender for Iowa.
Total cap hit roughly: $61,456,091 ($73 million ceiling).
*Includes $1.5 million buyout cap hit for Thomas Vanek, $1 million buyout cap hit for Matt Cooke.
Available cap space: $ 11,543,909.
Remember, this cap space is deceiving because the Wild, like all teams, will want to keep a cushion for callups and flexibility to make in-season adjustments (i.e. trades, waiver additions).