"Yes hello? Oh Mr. Leopold! Nice to talk to you.....you want me to take absolute control of the Minnesota Wild and prep the roster for next season? And I can just assume other people will say yes to what I propose? Awesome. Can I do a rebui - oh, yeah, no I get it. 'Win now'. Yes sir. I'll see what I can do. Yes it is #OurIce. Mmmhmmm. You too."
Lay of the Land:
2018-2019 Salary Cap – it is expected to be somewhere between $78 - $82 million, up from $75 million for 2017-2018. I’ll use $80 million as my number.
No Move Clauses – Koivu, Parise, and Suter
Modified No Trade Clauses – Staal and Spurgeon
UFAs – Matt Cullen, Kurtis Gabriel, Kyle Rau, Daniel Winnik, and Niklas Svedberg
RFAs – Zucker, Dumba, Nick Seeler, and Ryan Murphy
Tyler Ennis. You’re a good man Ennis, I hope you can find employment at a more reasonable cap hit (I hear Buffalo is nice this time of year). We remove a $4.6 million cap it in 2018/19 in exchange for ~ $2.2 million in 2018/19 and ~$1.2 million in 2019/20.
Thomas Vanek. His buyout comes off the cap!
With the cap going up, I am inflating some contract values because a lot of teams will have some breathing room and may be interested in pulling in some of these players.
Matt Dumba. This is the contract I agonized the most over, as have others. I settled on the same number as Ryman17 ($5.5 million), but gave it a 6th year. He’ll be 29 when his contract is up and he can still get another pay day. I'd be willing to kick it up to $6 million if I had to to secure that term.
Zucker. My concern with Jason Zucker is the term. He is a player heavily dependent on his speed for him to be effective. I went with 4 years at $5 million dollars reflecting the home town discount because we know Carly isn’t letting him leave Minnesota.
Kyle Rau. I like Rau as a utility depth player, and his #oneofus status doesn’t hurt. 2 years $850,000 for him to be the extra forward.
Daniel Winnik. I liked what Winnik brought to the table this year and would happily have him back in a 4th line role, he can anchor a line at center or help on the wing. With a 1 year contract at $1,250,000, he gets a fair pay check and we are not locked in to a veteran depth player.
Nick Seeler. Here is where I really see the Wild capturing some value. Signing Seeler at $1.5 million is over paying him for next year, but locking him in for multiple years will be a bargain going forward. I could go for 3 or 4 years, but I'm in a giving mood, so.... four for you Nick Seeler! You go Nick Seeler!
Staal Extension. I'll take a wait and see approach. His value will never be higher than right now, so why buy high unless you have to?
Cullen. My money is on him retiring this year; I don't think he loved his role under Boudreau and whether he wants to admit it or not, he looked tired at times last year.
Other Iowa Guys. Ummmm....Brent? Brent Flahr? That's your job, right? Awesome.
Trade with Montreal:
We saw the writing on the wall for Big Omlette. Montreal was interested in him last year, potentially in a deal for Pacioretty. However, I want to go a different route and snake a player who has always tantalized me: Alex Galchenyuk. In exchange, I would send Coyle, Gustav Olofsson, the Wild’s 2018 3rd round pick (we would still have Vegas’ and Buffalo’s) and our 2019 second rounder. I don't like giving up picks, either, but I was told to win now, and managed to get a player who is young and still has high upside. Just....keep him away from the bright light of Montreal.
Final cap situation:
With an $80 million cap, the Wild would have a cap hit of $77,776, 924 leaving $2,233,076 in cap space.
Opening Night Line Up:
With a deep top 9, let's balance the lines and try to roll them a little more evenly
Zucker - Staal - Granlund. This line is all about scoring babayyyyy.
Greenway - Koivu - Nino. A big shutdown line that can control play? Yes please.
Parise - Erikkson Ek - Galchenyuk. Swap JEEK and Galchenyuk at Center, idc, just give me this depth scoring.
Foligno - Winnik - Kunin. A deece 4th line, though I'd like to see Kunin with opportunities to play up the lineup.
Next Man up: Kyle Rau. Anas or Sokolov could also get chances due to injury.
Prettttty much the same.
Suter - Spurgeon. If it ain't broke, don't fix it.
Brodin - Dumba. Unleash the Dumba.
Seeler - Prosser. I am contractually obligated to keep Prosser on this roster.
Next man up: Soucy.
Doesn't it make more sense to call them "goalers" instead of "goalies"? I dunno, maybe Jeff Marek is just getting in my head on this one.
Stalock. He's from South St. Paul FSN, get it right. Or...at least I think he is.
Flaws in my plan:
I am not in love with this fourth line or our third pair right D. Also, I do not like locking in some more players into long term deals when I have doubts about this team's ability to make it over the hump, but I gotta do what the boss says. What say you HW?
All cap information and calculation courtesy of Cap Friendly.