Noon Number for 9-6-2013: 6

Matt Cullen and Devin Setoguchi are outta here. Will the Wild miss them? - Jonathan Daniel

A look at the Minnesota Wild's turnover.

Out of the players the Minnesota Wild had playing in their last playoff game, 6 of them no longer play for the Wild. This list consists of Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Cullen, Tom Gilbert, Justin Falk, and Devin Setoguchi. That's not earth-shattering, but it is a fair bit of turnover. Are the Wild missing anything?

When you look at Justin Falk, Cal Clutterbuck, and Pierre-Marc Bouchard, the answer is "Probably not". Falk was in the revolving door at the bottom of the defense, and no one liked it when the third pairing came out last year. Cal Clutterbuck can be a useful player, but had seen his offense go into the tank last year, and he appeared to be less effective when he was on the ice in general, certainly not the force he had been in seasons prior. With a guy like Torrey Mitchell, and Matt Cooke on deck to sign, he was expendable. Pierre-Marc Bouchard is a skilled player, for sure, but his offensive game is exactly what the Wild are trying to move away from- they want their players to get the puck to the net as often as possible, and Bouchard wasn't a guy who did that a lot.

Tom Gilbert and Devin Setoguchi appear to be bigger losses. Tom Gilbert wasn't great, but the defense was thin, and his only replacement in the top-4 are a bunch of question marks like Ballard, Scandella, or Dumba. Gilbert's the kind of puck-moving defensemen Chuck Fletcher always wants more of, and he very likely was screwed by Dany Heatley's injury. Devin Setoguchi, like Gilbert, was inconsistent. But when he was on? Wow. He helped carry our offense through March, scoring 17 points in 17 games from February 26th through the end of March. However, the other 30 games counted, and he scored only 10 points in those games. Unless he's going to be good Setoguchi all year, he's ultimately expendable.

Matt Cullen is the Wild's biggest loss by far. While he, like Setoguchi, did over half of his damage in late February/March, Cullen was the only guy who was effective in the second line center role this year. The Wild hasn't totally filled that void yet, intending to audition Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, and Erik Haula in the role at the start of training camp. His cap hit was too much for him to make, and the Wild are probably a better team than they would have been had they re-signed Cullen, but it would be nice to go into the season knowing the Wild had a solid, proven option to center one of their top two lines.

What do you think, Wilderness? Did the Wild lose all that much in the offseason?

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