Wild Need to Add Grit

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

With the loss of McCormick and Stoner, the Wild need to add a player to protect the Wild's high-end, skilled players. Perusing the Wild's current roster, there's lot of high-end, skilled players on the roster. Being a skilled, puck possession team is great, but the Wild lack needed toughness.

Good Afternoon Wilderness! Today I am going to talk briefly about the Wild's roster. Obviously, the Wild scored big-time when they signed former Minnesota Golden Gopher Thomas Vanek during the 2014 free agent signing period.

That being said, the Minnesota Wild lack toughness with the departure of Cody McCormick and Clayton Stoner.  McCormick was a player that the Wild  wanted to resign, but he resigned with the Buffalo Sabres. With the loss of McCormick and Stoner, the Wild need to add a player to protect the Wild's high-end, skilled players.

Perusing the Wild's current roster, there's lot of high-end, skilled players on the roster.  Being a skilled, puck possession team is great, but the Wild lack needed toughness. As you saw last season, teams are going to take runs at the Wild's skilled players. There needs to be a deterrent, to protect the Wild's skilled players.

Wild need an insurance policy

The Minnesota Wild do have "some" toughness, but have no designated fighters. Matt Cooke is an agitator and not a designated pugilist. The Wild agitator hasn't been assessed a major for fighting since the 2010-11 season.

Wild forward Kyle Brodziak is tough, but isn't a known for dropping the gloves. According to the website hockey fights, Brodziak has been in six NHL fights in five seasons. 

Oft injured Wild defense Keith Ballard is also known to drop the gloves, and was in three NHL fights last season. However, Ballard has had trouble staying in the Wild's lineup.

Former Golden Gopher defenseman Stu Bickel is a known pugilist, but is a horrible defensive liability. I would be shocked if he's actually on the Wild's opening day roster. You can color me surprised if he makes it.

The Wild need to add a player with toughness that can score 10-15 goals, kill penalties and protect his fellow teammate's backside. For obvious reasons, the Wild need to proceed carefully, they don't want to waste a roster spot on a one-dimensional goon. Then need an insurance policy.

 Per Michael Russo, here's the updated depth chart.

Forwards

Left wing                         Center                          Right wing

Zach Parise ($7.5+M)       Mikael Granlund (900K)  Jason Pominville (5.6M)

Thomas Vanek ($6.5M)   Mikko Koivu (6.75M)     Charlie Coyle (900K)

Matt Cooke (2.5M)            Erik Haula (900K)           Nino Niederreiter (RFA)

Jason Zucker (RFA)          Kyle Brodziak (2.83 M)    Justin Fontaine (RFA)

Cody Almond (550K)

Vying for spots: Zucker, Almond, Stephane Veilleux (587,500), Brett Sutter ($600K), Michael Keranen (792,500), Joel Rechlicz (600K), Brett Bulmer (780K), Kurtis Gabriel (667K), Tyler Graovac (747,500), Zack Phillips ($863,333), Brady Brassart ($836,667), Raphael Bussieres ($759,167), Zack Mitchell (615K), Curt Gogol ($551,667).

Defensemen

Left Defense                     Right Defense

Ryan Suter (7.5+M)          Jared Spurgeon (2.66M)

Marco Scandella (1.025M) Jonas Brodin (1.4+M)

Keith Ballard (1.5M)          Christian Folin (925K)

Jon Blum (RFA)

Vying for spots: Folin, Blum, Stu Bickel ($600K), Matt Dumba (894,167), Gustav Olofsson (795K), Guillaime Gelinas, Colton Jobke.

According to Michael Russo, the Wild are interested in St. Louis Blues unrestricted free agent forward Steve Ott. Yeah, that Steve Ott. Looking at Ott's numbers, he scored (9g-14a-23pts) in 82 games last year. According to Hockey Fights, Ott was also in four fight's last season. 

In closing, I would like to pose a question to Wild fans, who would you like to see fill the tough guy role for the Minnesota Wild?

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Hockey Wilderness

You must be a member of Hockey Wilderness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hockey Wilderness. You should read them.

Join Hockey Wilderness

You must be a member of Hockey Wilderness to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Hockey Wilderness. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker