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Minnesota signs Jake Dowell and yes, there’s a Suter connection

Jul 4, 2012, 9:26 AM EST

Jake Dowell Getty Images

Chances are you wouldn’t expect the news of the Minnesota Wild signing free agent forward Jake Dowell to a two-year deal to land on anyone’s radar. When you look a little deeper, there could be a bit more going on here.

Dowell is a former University of Wisconsin standout and was teammates for one season with none other than prized free agent Ryan Suter. Suter also came up through the hockey ranks with Dowell at the USNTDP, as Nathan Eide at Hockey Wilderness points out. The two players are also very good friends and share the same agent (Neil Sheehy).

Hmm…

To add to that, the Wild also already have former Badgers in Tom Gilbert and Dany Heatley. Shrewd signing by the Wild or just a total coincidence that they signed Ryan Suter’s best friend? With reports swirling that a decision from Suter (and Zach Parise) could be coming today, getting an edge any way you can never hurts.

Of course, if the Wild strike out on landing Suter they’ll be left hanging by signing a handful of third/fourth line players in Dowell, Torrey Mitchell, and Zenon Konopka.

  1. mnhockeyfan - Jul 4, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Same comments were made when they traded Shultz for Gilbert. This one is even more of a stretch, with Dowell on a two-way contract and a lot of competition for 3rd/4th line forward positions in the coming prospect and training camps.

  2. wingz101 - Jul 4, 2012 at 11:24 AM

    Right. Suter said, “sign my buddy or else”. This is a real stretch. Dowell is a fringe NHLer, the type of signing teams make to stock their farm teams with guys that can fill in for a game or two at the NHL level.

    I have no clue why it has taken this long, but I guess Suter must be a bit nervous about what to expect in Minnesota, a habitually mediocre team where fans may expect miracles and Detroit where being hailed as ‘Lidstrom’s’ replacement might be a real pain.

    I would think he takes Detroit where they have some established stars, an established coach, a reputation for treating players like kings and the fans generally leave the NHL players alone. However, I also thought that he would never leave Nashville and the comfort of playing with Weber, Rinne and a defense first outfit that basically makes defensemen look very good.

    We’ll see. Wherever he goes, a lot will be expected. Let’s hope he doesn’t turn into the next Phaneuf or Bowmeester: guys who looked like they could be superstars, but are just very good second tier defensemen.

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