Chances are you wouldn’t expect the news of the Minnesota Wild signing free agent forward Jake Dowell to a two-year deal to land on anyone’s radar. When you look a little deeper, there could be a bit more going on here.
Dowell is a former University of Wisconsin standout and was teammates for one season with none other than prized free agent Ryan Suter. Suter also came up through the hockey ranks with Dowell at the USNTDP, as Nathan Eide at Hockey Wilderness points out. The two players are also very good friends and share the same agent (Neil Sheehy).
To add to that, the Wild also already have former Badgers in Tom Gilbert and Dany Heatley. Shrewd signing by the Wild or just a total coincidence that they signed Ryan Suter’s best friend? With reports swirling that a decision from Suter (and Zach Parise) could be coming today, getting an edge any way you can never hurts.
Of course, if the Wild strike out on landing Suter they’ll be left hanging by signing a handful of third/fourth line players in Dowell, Torrey Mitchell, and Zenon Konopka.