Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Minnesota Wild.
Last season was a great one as far as Wild fans should be concerned. The team returned to the playoffs after a four-year absence. Their offseason acquisitions (Zach Parise and Ryan Suter) had big seasons as Parise led the team in scoring and Suter was a Norris Trophy-caliber player.
As far as Wild management is concerned, last season was the first step towards eventually bringing a Stanley Cup to Minnesota. They’ve got a host of young players with sky-high potential and a taste for what the postseason is like. Can they make another step forward this season or was last year a fortunate turn of events because of a shortened schedule?
For a team that made the postseason, the Wild had a bit of an overhaul this summer. Out went Devin Setoguchi (traded to Winnipeg) and Cal Clutterbuck was sent to the Islanders for young hopeful Nino Niederreiter.
In free agency, forwards Matt Cullen (Nashville) and Pierre-Marc Bouchard (Islanders) headed elsewhere while Matt Cooke, Keith Ballard, and Jonathon Blum jumped on board. The Cooke signing created some anxiety with Wild fans and columnists as they parted ways with the popular Clutterbuck to bring a guy with a bad reputation on board.
Free agency isn’t where the sparks for this team will come from as they’ve got young guys like Charlie Coyle, Mikael Granlund, Jason Zucker, and rookie phenom Jonas Brodin to help carry them forward. At least, that’s what coach Mike Yeo hopes for.