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Wild return Almond from Swiss league: one year, $550K

Jul 8, 2014, 4:43 PM EST

CodyAlmond Getty Images

After two years away, Cody Almond is back with the Minnesota Wild.

The Wild agreed to a one-year, $550,000 deal with Almond on Monday, per the Minnesota Star-Tribune.

Almond, Minnesota’s fifth-round pick at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, spent each of the last two seasons with Geneve Servette of the Swiss National League A, scoring 18 goals and 34 points in 44 games during the 2013-14 campaign.

Prior to going to Switzerland, the 24-year-old bounced back and forth between the NHL and AHL. His best stretch with the Wild came during ’11-12, when he appeared in 10 games and scored his first-ever big league goal.

At 6-foot-2, 217 pounds, Almond has the size to play at the NHL level and has shown good scoring ability throughout his junior and minor-league career, scoring 33 goals in his final season with WHL Kelowna and 15 goals in 65 games in his second AHL season with Houston.

Per the Trib’s Mike Russo, Almond has signed a one-way deal and has a “real good shot” of making the Wild roster next season.

  1. doubles22 - Jul 8, 2014 at 5:08 PM

    “Sometimes you feel like a nut. Sometimes you don’t…”

    • shamu1the1whale - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:35 PM

      LOL!! This guy’s last name is awesome! I think he’s the first person I’ve ever heard of with that last name.

  2. lordfletcher - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:14 PM

    “Per the Trib’s Mike Russo” — cough (Strib’s) cough—-

    seeing as Cody got a one way deal does this mean we are finally able to trade Brodziak?

    • guitarhunterdude - Jul 8, 2014 at 6:57 PM

      Hopefully not. Brodziak’s far, far better than Almond.

      • wutangwild - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:09 PM

        why is this getting so many thumbs down? Almond has only played a handful of games while Brodz has been a regular on the Wild for years. Yeah, Brodz gets flak for his stone hands and super-human ability to not convert breakaways but he is better than Almond

      • clarke16 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:45 PM

        Players like Brodziak are boat anchors…underachievers who bring down the whole vibe by their unfulfilled promise and unrealized expectations. Other players in the room look at him and wonder why they are busting their asses for 25% of what Brodziak makes–yet producing far more…

        He obviously needs to go and will go… There’s basically no chance Fletcher keeps him around unless literally nothing is offered for him in trade…

      • purpleguy - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        They need some size and grit on the 4th line, not to mention another physical D-man, and since Brodziak (like most centers) is the best trade chip to get the D-man they need, this strategy makes sense.

    • lordfletcher - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:28 PM

      The point of getting rid of Brodz is that it would involve other pieces and bringing in a defender, not that Almond is better than Brodz… Come on guys!

      If you want Fletcher to trade for a Dman before the season starts, name a better piece than Brodz +whatever than moving Zucker or something more promising.

      4th line centers can be traded for at anytime… what brodz does provide is depth at the center and not much more.

      • guitarhunterdude - Jul 9, 2014 at 9:13 AM

        The point is that Brodziak is a borderline third-liner. If we were to bring in a real fourth line center, like Ott, for example, it would only hurt the team.

        If we wanted to get a third-pair defenseman, we should have gone for Volchenkov. Maybe Tallinder would work, if he’s cheap. At any rate, Brodziak’s value is low enough right now that I think we’d only get a Prosser or Stoner type deadweight guy in return. I’d rather see what we can get from Blum, Ballard and Folin than bring in another useless guy.

  3. guitarhunterdude - Jul 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM

    He should be a nice grit guy to take Veilleux’s “13th forward” role. Should be a better player than Veillieux, too. I’m hoping he’s not a full-time guy, though; I’d like to see Bulmer alongside Brodziak and Cooke on the shutdown line next year.

    • strictlythedanks - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:06 PM

      Haula centering Cookes line was pretty damn effective.. Obviously Haula’s ceiling is much higher than a checking line but his speed and tenacity make him a beast on the forecheck with the cookie monster. I also like what I have seen in Bulmer, hes not afraid to throw around his weight yet still has some wheels. Its nice to have so much depth.

      • wutangwild - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:22 PM

        Holla seemed to fit in well with whoever he played with. Love his game. With Vanek in the top 6, i’d imagine the 3rd line will be Keranen/Zucker – Haula – Nino/Coyle. Then, our 4th line would be Brodz, Cookie and someone else. Really liking the way this season is shaping up. Now about that goalie situation….

      • guitarhunterdude - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:33 PM

        I’m with Wu Tang, here. I see Haula mainly centering the third scoring line, with Niederreiter (or, if Yeo is smart and finally puts Nino in the top six, Coyle) and whoever wins the camp battle for the LW spot. I think he’ll occasionally switch spots with Brodziak to take the shutdown role depending on who that line is shutting down (big guys against Brodziak, speedy ones against Haula).

        We have two very good bottom-six centers in Haula and Brodziak. Yes, Brodziak whiffed on an ungodly amount of grade-A chances last year, but just the fact that he was able to create those chances means he’s keeping the other team’s top players (who he’s usually matched up against) on defense. Brodziak’s never going to be a high-flying, scoring dynamo, but his offensive play is serviceable. Having two guys who can play in both offensive and defensive roles centering the bottom two lines is going to give Yeo a ton of flexibility with his line combinations, and I hope he realizes it.

      • clarke16 - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:50 PM

        You won’t see Cookie on the 4th line next year unless something very unexpected happens…

  4. blomfeld - Jul 8, 2014 at 8:19 PM

    SAY, HOW ARE THEM 198 MILLION ‘RUNNERS’ WORKING OUT FOR YA ? :)

    • wutangwild - Jul 8, 2014 at 9:25 PM

      At which point in this video did you jump off the sinking Canucks and onto the analogous lifeboat bandwagon that is the LA Kings?

    • chief361 - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      considering we’ve improved in both years that we’ve had them so far by making the playoffs the first year and then advancing a to round two in the second, i’d say we’re happy. how’s being the most annoying poster here working out for ya?

    • guitarhunterdude - Jul 8, 2014 at 10:51 PM

      Pretty well, actually. The Wild went from one of the league’s worst teams to the conference semifinals in two years, and things are looking better yet for next year. We wouldn’t even be talking about playoffs if it weren’t for Parise and Suter.

      No, the Wild aren’t as well set-up for both present and future success as the Blackhawks and Kings are. But, then again, nobody else is either.

      • lordfletcher - Jul 8, 2014 at 11:31 PM

        Blomtots has 4 thumbs up again in this thread… I see he has prohockeytalk up on his laptop, cell phone, tablet and mothers Gateway

        WINNER!

    • purpleguy - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      Blom no longer loves us now that we’re not in a playoff series with the Hawks. Sniff. . . . .

  5. joeyashwi - Jul 9, 2014 at 12:23 AM

    We are already a lot better by letting Stoner go. The only thing hurting the Wild now is the fact that our division is stacked!

    • strictlythedanks - Jul 9, 2014 at 2:52 AM

      Already was stacked! Its never a good thing to lose a fellow stoner, but for that kind of money the man can be replaced.

  6. purpleguy - Jul 9, 2014 at 11:28 AM

    Hey, a 22 comment Wild thread with references to centermen, and not one comment about moving Koivu to the 3rd line? What’s going on here?

    • wutangwild - Jul 9, 2014 at 1:03 PM

      STRIP THE C!!! HE’S NOT WORTHY!!!

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