The offseason means the end of Minnesota Wild games, but the work is never done. With Exit Interviews, Hockey Wilderness assumes the GM's chair and sits down with each player to review their season, highlighting what we liked from them over the year and pointing out what can be improved to take the next step. We talk with Chris Porter.
Hey Chris, come on in, sit down. It has... uh... been a year, eh? You played in 61 games for nearly 500 minutes at 5v5. It was a rough 500 minutes for you, as you posted a CF% of 41.69. It would be nice to think you allowed low-quality chances, but you're GF% is even worse at 38%. In a world in which your'e a defensive forward, you quite frankly don't play great defense. There is a bright side to your even-strength play, though- your penalty differential is +16; you did a great job of avoiding taking penalties while drawing a fair number.
We all know that you aren't just a 5v5 player though; you're a penalty killer! You played 70 minutes on the kill this season, and to be honest, you are very effective. You allowed a team-best 77.63 Shot-attempts against per 60 on the kill, and you were near the best when you look at shots on net per 60 as well. This translates to you having been on the ice for only 6 goals against on the kill, good for a team-second-best 5.12 goals-against-per 60.
This is a big offseason for you- you are an unrestricted free agent. You could go anywhere in the league... if they offer you a contract. You've said that you want to return and "be part of the solution."
The question of you returning seems to be more on whether we offer you a job again. Frankly, I'm not sure whether we have one. Tyler Graovac looks like he's close to being ready for the NHL, Alex Tuch will be challenging for a spot, as will Jordan Schroeder and Zac Dalpe. There may be space for you, but it will likely be as an extra forward that may be in the press box regularly. Will that be enough for you?
Frankly, your value to the franchise is as a penalty killer. Even in games; if you play, we'll likely want to sit you unless someone is in the box. To make matters worse, we don't have much cap space to work with; if you're going to be part of the solution it's going to need to be near the league minimum.
Ultimately, I'm not sure the cap hit is going to be worth it. Your 500 5v5 minutes are very replaceable, and your 70 PK minutes, while valuable, are not enough to warrant another contract against the cap. We wish you all the best, but we just don't have the cap space to sign you back, unless something goes wrong with one of our youngsters. In which case- we'd love to have you, assuming you're open to a limited role.