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Pierre-Marc Bouchard signs with Minnesota Wild

At the end of last season, I put a poll on my MN Wild Freak blog, asking readers which free agent should be the top signing priority for the Minnesota Wild. Brian Rolston and Pierre-Marc Bouchard tied. Well, we all know what happened to Rolston...but the Wild did manage to sign PMB this weekend to a five-year, $20.4 million contract...funny that is the same amount of money Brian Rolston fetched from New Jersey (20 mil/4 yr). I find it interesting that the Minnesota Wild powers that be determined Bouchard was worthy of a multi-year deal worth 20 mill over Brian Rolston. Clearly, AGE was a big factor.

The Minnesota Wild has always signed guys looking at the future as opposed to just next season. PMB is a young guy and will be able to play at a top level for the duration of his contract and let's face it, Brian Rolston is a bit older and taking the bumps and the bruises of the NHL in three years is going to be tough for him.

With an eye into the future, the Minnesota Wild believes they will be competitive every season, not just next season. I respect that methodology, but at some point, we have to find the player combination that will get us past the first round of the playoffs.

My favorite part about the PMB signing - the verbal agreement that the team will not trade him for 2 years. It was a handshake deal, nothing in writing, but the team agreed to keep him as long as he agrees to step it up. I think it is a good sign that the player and the management team trust each other. Thoughts Minnesota Wild fans??