Are offensive players allowed to be this close the opposing goalie?
While Zach Parise is the only forward anyone is drooling over, there happens to be some other guys about there looking for work. What happens if Parise just happens to sign elsewhere? Should the Wild just pack up the season and call 'er good? Or should they maybe take a look at other players who are available?
Continuing our look through the potential free agents available on July 1st, it is easy to see this isn't the richest free agent class in recent memory. Still, there may be some help to be had, depending on what happens with the Wild's own free agents, and how confident Chuck Fletcher is in the health of the players already on the roster.
Are there players the Wild should be looking at? Join JS and I as we take a peek.
Current Cap Hit:1.25 million
JS: I like this guy. Pretty underrated. Sure, his numbers are inflated from playing with John Tavares, but he's still a pretty valuable playmaker on the powerplay. That's just the thing though, unless we knew for sure PMB wouldn't be coming back, the Wild don't need Parenteau, especially not at the increased price his contract will be worth on the FA market. As much as I like the guy, I have to pass.
Bryan: A good, solid top six type forward, but ripe for failure. I like the kid, and maybe he's more than a aberration, but the Wild have plenty of history with midgrade forwards who benefit from the line mates they have and the system they play in. I wouldn't mind all that much if the Wild inked the kid, but I think his price is going to be more than is fair, and the Wild don't need that right now.
Verdict: 2 years, but no more than $2.5 million per, and only if Guillaume Latendresse is out.
Current Cap Hit: $6.7 million
JS: He is one of the most intriguing players in the league. He has a pretty rotten reputation that many think is overblown. He can undeniably score, but seems to disappear a little too often. His numbers have dropped off considerably in the last two years, but that could be due to the radical change of philosophy in Washington that isn't really suited to Semin's talents. If the Wild were to sign Semin, would he be bothered by the fact that there are no other Russians on the team? Would the pressure of being the go-to guy for goals (sorry Heater) be too much? There are a lot of question marks surrounding Semin, but really, I wouldn't be averse to a 1 or 2 year gamble if the Parise thing doesn't pan out. He would provide a boost to the Wild's offense and there's a chance he'll need to settle for less money after the two rather low-scoring seasons he just had.
VERDICT: If Parise's not on board, gamble on a 1-2 year deal worth no more than 5 million per year.
Bryan: Semin is going to get absolutely paid after Parise signs and teams that missed out are left holding the bag. I really don't see Semin as Chuck Fletcher material, and I'm not sure how he fits with what Fletcher is trying to build. The guy is not going to take a pay cut, and he already make s $6.7 million per year. I just don't see this as a real possibility, so... why waste the effort?
Current Cap Hit: $4.25 million
JS: Chances are he'll re-sign with the Kings, but if he doesn't, well... I don't think it would make much sense to sign him if the Wild keep Latendresse. If Latendresse walks, it's a different story, but I still wouldn't see him with the Wild. He had a dreadful regular season, yet as a Stanley Cup champion, he's very likely to make more than he's worth.
Bryan: Penner is going to benefit from what I like to call the "Joel Ward effect." He was a hero in the playoffs, and thus will be coveted by teams looking to add leadership and grit to their potential playoff run. The problem is, those GMs are likely fooling themselves, and Penner does nothing for 82 games at a time. Once upon a time, Wild fans would have killed for this guy. I don't see it. Let the Kings have him.
Current Cap Hit: $4.55 million
JS: I honestly don't think he'll be switching teams unless Phoenix doesn't want to re-sign him. Even so, I don't like Doan much at all. He's sneakily dirty and given his age, I'd be surprised if he were even an option for the Wild.
Bryan: I like Shane Doan, I just don't see where he fits on the Wild. They have plenty of left wingers ready to play, and several others waiting in the, uh... wings. I personally hope Doan re-signs with Phoenix, and if he does sign with the Wild, will welcome him with open arms. All that said, his price is not going to be cheap, he isn't an upgrade from what is already here, and there is no where to put him.
Current Cap Hit: $3.25 million
Bryan: This is not the Predator you are looking for. Again, not the Chuck Fletcher type, not an upgrade from what is already here, not worth the hassle.
Verdict: Absolutely pass.
Anyone on the list you're after Wilderness? Anyone we missed you want to discuss?