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Report: Wild let Guillaume Latendresse walk

Jun 27, 2012, 11:03 PM EDT

latendresseap AP

Montreal reporter L.A. Lariviere passes along word that the Minnesota Wild will let winger Guillaume Latendresse become an unrestricted free agent this summer. That news comes from Latendresse’s agent Pat Brisson.

That doesn’t guarantee he won’t be back in Minnesota, though. It might be a bit like how the Calgary Flames handled Blake Comeau; perhaps it’s a matter of saving money. (Latendresse registered a $2.5 million cap hit last season, after all.)

Though he doesn’t have quite the same ceiling, Latendresse’s path has some parallels to another guy hitting free agency: Peter Mueller. Both are a couple years removed from breakthrough seasons (Latendresse scored 25 goals and 37 points in 55 points with the Wild after being traded from the Montreal Canadiens in 2009-10). Each guy’s career took a huge hit because of concussion woes, yet their age – Latendresse is just 25 – makes them tantalizing reclamation projects.

Again, I’d guess that Mueller’s upside is a little higher, but both should provide some of the most interesting stories of this free agent summer. How many general managers are willing to weigh the risk of taking on a guy with a significant concussion history with the potential bargains that can come from getting a potential contributor for what’s likely to be a very cheap price?

Most directly: does he make any sense for your team?

  1. caniacx4 - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:11 PM

    Should come to Canes to reunite with coach mueller

  2. lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:21 PM

    That really is a bummer. I liked LaTenderness, and he looked like a key part of the Wild for a while there. Hopefully his concussion issues end and he has a successful career with another team. Take care, Lats.

    • claysbar - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:52 PM

      Don’t get too bummed, may not have wanted to pay what a qualifying offer would have been, 2.6 mill for one year. Maybe let him become UFA and then offer a 1 year incentive based contract at like 1 or 1.5 mill.

      • James O'Brien - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:08 AM

        Indeed, this is a possibility as well. Could be like the Flames with Blake Comeau. In fact, I’ll add that note into the post.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:58 PM

      Latenderness? Seriously? Concussions aren’t a joking matter. Yeah he may have had his head bashed in and didn’t play. He probably could have came back last year in March. But by then the Wild were out and had nothing to play for. Brain injuries are no laughing matter. There is a reason why sports in general are making a big deal about them.

      I hope he does come back, but even if he does leave, I won’t be the typical Minnesota sports fan that feels the need to boo every ex-Minnesota player when he comes back in town.

      • ThatGuy - Jun 28, 2012 at 9:40 AM

        LaTenderness predates the concussions and even his groin injury. It was first used in his first year with the Wild.

      • lostpuppysyndrome - Jun 28, 2012 at 10:51 AM

        Yeah, I didn’t mean that in reference to his history with concussions. It just works with his name. As I said earlier, I like him and wish him nothing but the best.

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 30, 2012 at 12:08 AM

        oh yeah the same year he scored 25 goals for the Wild. got ya.

  3. jrmehle - Jun 27, 2012 at 11:51 PM

    Nothing is preventing Chuck Fletcher signing Latendresse on or after July 1st. Of course other teams will offer him money, but is he going to be a top 6 forward on those teams?

  4. treydogg97 - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    Not exactly sure what Latendresse thinks he’s worth post-two-seasons-with-concussion-issues. My guess the Wild offered around 1 mill and he wanted something close to his 2.5 mill tender. Ridiculous, price you’re healthy and get back to us, have fun watching #3 take your 3rd line spot.

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:12 AM

      As ridiculousness as that might be, and I agree somewhat with you, but all it takes is one desperate GM to offer 2 years at 2.5 million a season. Someone will.

  5. treydogg97 - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:02 AM

    *prove

  6. lordfletcher - Jun 28, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    Latendresse has said he wants to be with the Wild, now the question is does Fletcher want him? I am guessing there is just a difference in money to be solved here…. Someone will out bid Fletcher come Sunday, this will be interesting.

    Sad to hear the news. I was really hoping we would get this done today. I still think we should have qualified him from the get go, was worth the 2.5 but not a great deal for the club. It’s not like we can find anyone to replace him for that dollar if he is healthy.
    :(

  7. nvandy42 - Jun 28, 2012 at 2:15 AM

    Just clearing the path for the power forward of the future for the Wild. Charlie Coyle will start the season with the Wild now for sure if he wasn’t going to do so already….

  8. williplett - Jun 28, 2012 at 3:15 AM

    Lats had a 55 game stretch during the 09-10 season where was an above average NHL player. It was sandwiched between being a disappointment with the Habs and an injury casualty with the Wild. He didn’t want to sign an incentive laden short term deal to prove he can play a full and productive season with the Wild-which he has never done, by the way-and that is his call. For the first time in team history the Wild has multiple highly rated prospects and the supposed desire to pick up prime FA’s. I wish him well, but I have no faith he will make the them jealous by becoming a superstar elsewhere. He’s had six years in the NHL thus far and has never scored 30 goals or more than 40 points in a season.

  9. jernster21 - Jun 28, 2012 at 3:54 AM

    I’d take this guy over Mueller. This dude seemed to tear up the Avs whenever they played, when healthy. Even before Mueller’s concussion issues, he was slow and never strong on the puck…only thing he has is his shot, and he could barely stick handle this season….posing a problem for shooting the puck. Tired of the feel good/come back stories; it’s a business, put up points or GTFO because I wouldn’t mind a concussion if I was still getting paid millions of dollars to do nothing with a headache.

  10. purpleguy - Jun 28, 2012 at 11:59 AM

    Now the path is clear for Coyle. If the stars align, pigs fly and hell freezes over and Parise is somehow signed by the Wild, no one will care about Lats.

  11. kopy - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:29 PM

    Latendresse tweeted not too long ago:

    “thanks to all the wild fans, the organization, the coacing staff and the player. i’m moving forward on a new chapter in my career. that decision was made because i have a son of 4 year old in montreal and i think he need me. we will see what the market has to offer”

    All grammar errors are [sic]. Anyway, I would like to see him back cheaper as a Wild fan, but this doesn’t sound like a player who’s sticking around, unless it’s posturing for more money.

    • nvandy42 - Jun 28, 2012 at 1:51 PM

      I liked Guil, but the Wild are better off giving more ice time to our younger prospects to gain experience. Mainly Charlie Coyle, who I think is gonna end up being a top 6 forward for us by the end of the year.

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