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Wild GM Fletcher: “Clearly we’re going to have to try and add some more NHL talent”

May 31, 2012, 3:10 PM EDT

Chuck Fletcher AP

According to ESPN, this promises to be an active offseason for the Minnesota Wild.

That’s what GM Chuck Fletcher indicated on Wednesday as he vowed to fix his organization’s lack of depth, something that played a role in Minnesota plummeting from first in the league to out of the playoffs last season.

Fletcher called the fall “incredibly tough and disappointing.”

“Clearly we’re going to have to try and add some more NHL talent,” Fletcher said. “Now whether it’s through free agency or through trades we’ll look at both.

“We do have a lot of cap space and a strong desire to get better.”

The Wild project to have over $30 million available for next season with no real significant UFAs or RFAs to negotiate with (maybe Nick Johnson and Guillaume Latendresse…I guess.)

It’s expected highly touted draftees Mikael Granlund, Brett Bulmer, Jonas Brodin and Zack Phillips will all have a shot at making the opening night roster, though Fletcher told ESPN “obviously not all of those players will play in the NHL.”

As such, Fletcher will have to add “NHL talent” — especially in light of how reliant Minnesota was on AHL Houston last season.

The Wild dressed a franchise-high 47 players in 2011-12, due in large part to a rash of injuries.

Of Note: Minnesota will pick seventh overall at the Entry Draft, the highest it’s selected since taking Benoit Pouliot fourth overall in 2005.

  1. ThatGuy - May 31, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    The AHL depth will will be much better if they need callups next year as they will be adding 7 players(4 first rounders) that were selected in the top 2 rounds of 2010 and 2011(Granlund, Coyle, Zucker, Bulmer, Larsson, Brodin and Phillips). Granlund will be penciled in for top 6 duty, and the rest of the forwards will fight it out for a roster spot.

    Nice influx of young talent.

  2. greatminnesotasportsmind - May 31, 2012 at 4:16 PM

    It’s too bad they can’t go after Nash. Offer the 7th overall pick and some other kickers. Only thing is, Columbus won’t trade with the Wild. Presumably they will be division rivals after next year.

    I bet they call Pittsburgh about Jordan Staal.

    • florida76 - May 31, 2012 at 6:37 PM

      In addition to the seventh overall pick, what else would Minnesota offer Pittsburgh?

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 31, 2012 at 8:14 PM

        Prospects, which they have many of. My question to you is, how can they keep Staal, Malkin, and Crosby. Staal is gonna be moved.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - May 31, 2012 at 8:28 PM

      Staal isn’t going to get you as much as you think. His best year was this year and only had 25 goals and 25 assists. Mike Cammelleri put up high point totals than that and was traded for a 1st and swapped 2nd’s. Those picks weren’t as high as #7.

      • geezgtfo - May 31, 2012 at 10:47 PM

        hes gunna be worth a very good amount man. a proven NHLer who is one of the best 2way players in the game. Hes definately better then the 3rd line of the Pengs that hes been on.

  3. nvandy42 - May 31, 2012 at 6:12 PM

    The Wild are going to sell out for Parise. Will they get him? I’m crossin my fingers. However next year with the influx of young talent I think we’ll see a few rookie wingers on the big team to start the season. Obviously Granlund will be there but if I had to pick one other it would be Coyle. Zucker is also a good possibility. I’m sure we’ll have Brodin there as well.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 1, 2012 at 11:39 AM

      You also forgot Bulmer who played the first 9 games here last year before being returned to his junior team.

  4. jimw81 - May 31, 2012 at 9:58 PM

    Wild should hang a white flag outside of their arena and see if any real nhl players sign with the Wild.

    • lordfletcher - Jun 1, 2012 at 12:55 AM

      I am sure the only thumb up, was your own…

      CLOWN. Nice attempt at humor.

      HAHAHHA, seriously, read this garbage again

      “Wild should hang a white flag outside of their arena and see if any real nhl players sign with the Wild.”

      AHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHHA

  5. lordfletcher - Jun 1, 2012 at 1:01 AM

    You forgot to mention the best possible prospect of the all, C. Coyle. I really do fear that Granlunds game will seriously hinder on the smaller rinks / North American brand of hockey. I hope I am wrong, I know he will be a great asset to this team, but not the savior some are trying to turn him into. Coyle has great size and skill, could end up being a great NHLer, and could be a bust, who knows.

    This summer is all depending on if the Wild / Fletcher are able to find a trade partner in the draft, trading down from #7 with Washington for their #11 & #15, or maybe Buffalo for both of their picks. I don’t think Yzerman would part with both of his 1st rounders but who knows… If Grigorenko / Dumba fall to Minny at #7, they could get a good package of picks in a trade…. There are plenty of good defensive prospects the Wild would be happy to get anywhere between 7-12, Rielly / Maatta / Trouba / Reinhart / Ceci …..

    and the most important of them all, is the possibility of getting Parise or Suter.

    Who knows what will happen, but this is an exciting summer for any Wild fan. Could be a make or break turn around on a rebuild.

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