Montreal reporter L.A. Lariviere passes along word that the Minnesota Wild will let winger Guillaume Latendresse become an unrestricted free agent this summer. That news comes from Latendresse’s agent Pat Brisson.
That doesn’t guarantee he won’t be back in Minnesota, though. It might be a bit like how the Calgary Flames handled Blake Comeau; perhaps it’s a matter of saving money. (Latendresse registered a $2.5 million cap hit last season, after all.)
Though he doesn’t have quite the same ceiling, Latendresse’s path has some parallels to another guy hitting free agency: Peter Mueller. Both are a couple years removed from breakthrough seasons (Latendresse scored 25 goals and 37 points in 55 points with the Wild after being traded from the Montreal Canadiens in 2009-10). Each guy’s career took a huge hit because of concussion woes, yet their age – Latendresse is just 25 – makes them tantalizing reclamation projects.
Again, I’d guess that Mueller’s upside is a little higher, but both should provide some of the most interesting stories of this free agent summer. How many general managers are willing to weigh the risk of taking on a guy with a significant concussion history with the potential bargains that can come from getting a potential contributor for what’s likely to be a very cheap price?
Most directly: does he make any sense for your team?