After making waves with contract offers to Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Minnesota Wild inked a pair of less ballyhooed free agents — former Senators center Zenon Konopka and ex-Sharks winger Torrey Mitchell.
Mitchell, 27, has spent his entire five-year career with the Sharks. After a solid 2010-11 campaign (9G-14A-23PTS, plus-10), the University of Vermont product regressed last season, scoring just 19 points with a minus-six rating while his average ice time dipped below 13 per game.
Konopka, 31, is a unique player — a quality fighter that racks up penalty minutes (he led the NHL in 2009-10 and 2010-11.) He’s also a skilled faceoff man that routinely finishes amongst the league’s best in winning percentage.
Konopka proved to be a vital contributor for the Senators in their opening-round playoff loss to the Rangers, scoring two points in six games while getting over 11 minutes per game — a huge bump from the 7:51 he averaged during the regular season.
Tim Gleason has likely played his last NHL game. The 32-year-old defenseman has informed the Carolina Hurricanes that he no longer wishes to continue his professional tryout.
“Tim informed us today he wasn’t going to continue to pursue his tryout,” said GM Ron Francis, per the club’s website. “He looked and felt good physically, but didn’t feel up to the grind of the NHL mentally.”
“We got outcompeted in the second period, badly,” Mark Letestu told the team’s website. “Whether it was little puck battles or even just executing on systems. It played right into their game. When you get behind a team like this that’s so dominant in the circle it’s tough to generate chances to come back. We didn’t deserve to win this one at all.”
As if things weren’t bad enough, the Oilers also lost Nail Yakupovto injury after a linesman (yes, a linesman) fell on top of him.
After the game, head coach Todd McLellan didn’t hold back:
"That's a really disappointing effort from our hockey club… We weren't a very determined team." McLellan on the #Oilers defeat