I think this is the wrong Konopka. Though, if she can sing, bring her with. Especially if she can sing Oh Canada.
Finishing our stroll through the available free agent forwards, we take a look at another group of mid-level guys, meant more for mid to bottom six play than top line minutes. The guys listed below have a wide range of talents, from punching faces in to scoring to checking line duties. As we talked about earlier, these aren't the make or break guys, but they certainly can make your team look silly if they don't do their jobs properly.
Let's take a final look at the free agent forwards. Join us.
Current Cap Hit: $950K
Daniel Winnik: Meh. Never really liked him. He would be cheaper than Mitchell, but he wouldn't be better.
Bryan: Another Sharks grinder on the market? Do they have anyone left over? Winnik has always played well against the Wild, and his name comes up a bit in Wild circles. I'm not sure he's the best available, but he is certainly and option.
Verdict: I'd pass, but 1 year, $1 million wouldn't kill me.
Current Cap Hit: $917K
JS: No. No no no no no. No. Just no.
Bryan: JS seems adamant here. I've never been overly impressed with Kostopoulos. Plus, he stick of Alberta.
Current Cap Hit: $750K
JS: He's Minnesotan, so sign him NOW. Or, you know, don't, because the Wild don't need another 4th liner.
Bryan: He's clearly the greatest player of all time. Sign him now. Just do it. $3 mil per for 30 years. Or, he's just an average guy, and might be a solid bottom six guy. I'm not sure they need him, but if they do, keep it on the cheap.
Verdict: One year, no more than $850K
Current Cap Hit: $700K
JS: He's the one the Wild should have went for 2 years ago, not Brad Staubitz. Now, the Wild have Kassian, so no more need for Konopka.
VERDICT: Two years too late.
Bryan: The guy is tough as nails, and is a faceoff beast. If the Wild can handle dealing with the massive PIMs, Konopka would make an outstanding addition on the fourth line. I don't see any reason to avoid him.
Verdict: 1 year, $850K
Current Cap Hit: $2 million
JS: I know a lot of people will be looking at him, seeing as he's suddenly available. There's no doubt that he has oodles of talent. There's also no doubt that his injury history will sharply drop the price tag. Should the Wild gamble on him? Well, the Wild already have some soft melons on the team, so would adding another be wise? Seeing as it's unlikely he would get over 1.5 million and it's unlikely he'll get a long term contract, I don't see much of a problem in taking a gamble while the young guns grow in the AHL.
If Parise decides to sign in Minnesota, there's no need for Mueller, but would Mueller even be available by then? Will he even be available on July 1st? Maybe the Avs are doing the same thing with Mueller as the Wild are with Latendresse. If he does make it to the market, would Mueller's Minnesota-ness make the Wild a favored option for a short deal? Anyway, I know the Wild wouldn't really need him, but maybe he gets a bounce back season? Maybe he helps the Wild push for a playoff spot at a low price? He could play anywhere on the Wild's top 9 and we know damn well SOMEONE will get injured, so if his melon holds, he could actually be a 1st liner (on the Wild).
VERDICT: If Parise's out (and Mueller still available), 1 year, similar deal to Latendresse's.
Bryan: I would be really nervous to add yet another player with a history of concussions. Nothing against the guy, it just doesn't make sense to keep adding players like Mueller. Though, it would be a great thing for us here, because we could make Ferris Mueller jokes. Anybody? Mueller?
All salary information is from Cap Geek.
What say you Wilderness? Any of these players appeal to you?