Good Afternoon Wilderness! Burr! Wow, it feels like fall is here already in the north country. Well, maybe not, but summer is quickly disappearing. Checking the calender, the NHL hockey season is almost upon us. Today, I am going to talk briefly about the Minnesota Wild's goalie situation.
Last season, at the trade deadline, the Minnesota Wild picked up the former HBO's NHL 24/7 star Ilya Bryzgalov. In retrospect, picking up Bryzgalov, proved to be a very good move. Apparently, Bryz loved his time in Minnesota and wants to re-sign with the team. There's one major problem, there isn't any room on the Minnesota Wild roster for another goaltender.
Moreover, just because the Wild don't need another goalie right now, that doesn't mean that the Wild won't need another goalie later in the season. They might need a few more. During the 2013-14 season, the Wild had five goalies play two or more games due to injuries.
Yesterday, I made the comment, "I think there's a fine line. The Wild will be in trouble if Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom's health problems re-surface." It's also not a given, that Harding or Backstrom will make it through the season without missing time.
Michael Russo, Startribune.com - All this is interesting because durable veteran Ilya Bryzgalov, who went 7-1-3 down the stretch of the regular season to help the Wild make the playoffs (lone regulation loss was that meaningless finale vs. Nashville), wants to return to the Wild, his agent tells me.
"Ilya would very much like to return to the Wild and further the success the team had down the stretch last year," agent Ritch Winter said. "It was one of the most satisfying experiences he has had in his career.
"Ilya loved his teammates in Minnesota, loved the city and loved and appreciated the support he received from the coaching staff and Wild fans. He would love to be a part of helping this team to enjoy the success they had together last year.
"He has instructed me to do all I can to facilitate a return to the Twin Cities even if it requires him to compromise somewhat to accommodate the budget issues facing the team if that becomes a possibility."
The issue is roster room. Harding assures Fletcher he is ready to go. Same with Backstrom. Right now, Darcy Kuemper remains unsigned, but the Wild is working toward re-signing him.
As we found out on Wednesday, the Wild already have a 3-headed monster in net and really don't have any more room for another goaltender. Bryz, a UFA, appeared in 32 games last season and was (12-9-8, .909 SV% and .2.68 GAA). Bryz also had four shutouts, three with the Minnesota Wild. So, do the Minnesota Wild try to make room for the free agent goalie?