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Wild GM says Granlund or Coyle could center second line

Jul 7, 2013, 2:19 PM EST

Mikael Granlund Getty Images

Now that Matt Cullen has taken his game to Nashville, the Minnesota Wild could’ve been in the market for a second line center. Instead, they’re looking at doing things internally.

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher tells Michael Russo of the Star Tribune that either Mikael Granlund or Charlie Coyle could fill that spot next season.

“We’ll see if they’re ready for it,” Fletcher said. “Granlund’s a talented, young player and we feel he’ll be a good NHL player in time. Whether that happens right away or not will be up to him. Charlie Coyle’s a player that proved to all of us that he can play in the NHL last year.”

Granlund had his ups and downs with the Wild last season bouncing between the AHL and NHL. Coyle, meanwhile, played right wing on the top line with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu.

Both players are natural centers and guys the organization is very high on. They both also made their NHL debuts this past season. Youth may be served in St. Paul.

  1. mp1131211 - Jul 7, 2013 at 4:15 PM

    That’s an easy choice: Coyle. Granlund maybe in 2 years.

  2. homegrowntalentmn - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:13 PM

    2 yrs 7 mill for cullen.. big mistake not signing him.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      Cullen could easily fall off the wagon and he has shown his play at times is inconsistent. Last year was possibly his best season ever, I doubt he repeats.

      realistically the Wild are not winning the cup next year anyhow, might as well have the young guns get time.

      More than anything I don’t think Fletcher wanted Cullen for anything more than one year and Cullen was looking for a three year deal, landed on two.

  3. jrmehle - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:17 PM

    I like both Coyle and Granlund more as wingers. Coyle is great along the boards. If Granlund can figure out how to skate and not get pushed around all the time, he could be a great 2nd line center.

  4. withseidelinn - Jul 7, 2013 at 5:51 PM

    Coyle should definitely be slotted into the second unit. Love his playing style, has some great developing scoring touch and also adds grit and great board play to his game. Granlund needs to develop better to the North American game (toughen up a bit). He will eventually be a great player though.

  5. rebekah319 - Jul 7, 2013 at 9:21 PM

    I am very thankful for a full training camp in 2 months to see how this all plays out. Granlund needs to work on his skating for the rest of the Summer and actually get used to playing on a smaller surface. His skills will always be there just need him to get comfortable with himself first. Coyle has great board battles and size and if he can feel comfortable playing center and taking more of responsiblity that would be great!

  6. lallin66fan - Jul 8, 2013 at 9:11 AM

    Don’t understand why Granlund has to be a center? I always thought he played better as a winger.

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