For Guillaume Latendresse, there’s the positive…and the reality.
The positive is that, after missing 135 games to injury over the last two season (including a severe concussion), he’s declared himself fully fit.
“It’s like I never had any concussion,” Latendresse told the Minnesota Star-Tribune. “I feel 100 percent. I’m doing training like before. I have nothing. I can’t even remember when my last headache was.”
The reality is that, after watching him miss so many games, Minnesota likely won’t offer Latendresse a qualifying offer of $2.5 million. That’s something the impending RFA has come to accept.
“I know I won’t get a qualifying offer,” he explained. “I’m 100 percent sure about that. It’s pretty obvious with my last two years.
“If [Minnesota] wants me back, I’ll be happy there. I like the city, I like the organization there, I like the coaching staff. So I’d find a way to make it work.”
What exactly does the future hold for Latendresse in Minnesota?
Here’s a quick rundown from the Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo:
The Wild will likely do one of two things: Cut Latendresse loose, which would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent July 1; or sign him to a one-year contract that includes games played and performance bonuses.
There are only three cases where NHLers can receive performance bonuses: 1) entry-level deals; 2) a one-year deal for a player 35 or older; 3) a player who spent 100-plus days on injured reserve in the final year of his previous contract.
Latendresse meets that final threshold.
It will be interesting to see what kind of interest Latendresse garners on the open market. The 6-foot-2, 240-pound power forward is a tantalizing mix of size and skill — he scored 25 goals in his first 55 games with the Wild — and told Russo he can be a “25-, 30-goal scorer” in the NHL.
He’s also spent extensive time working with Ted Carrick, the Georgia-based chiropractic neurologist that famously worked with Sidney Crosby during his concussion rehab.
“The first time I went there, I saw a huge change,” Latendresse said. “I felt a real click that I haven’t felt since five, six years ago. My energy level is higher.
“My body just feels 100 percent.”