Thursday, September 11, 2014

El Nino Blows Back Into Minny

Training camps are getting ever-closer, now that we are nearing the middle of September and the Minnesota Wild tying up one of their last loose ends of the Summer, signing Nino Niederreiter to a new 3-year deal, reportedly worth $8 million.

The signing now leaves goaltender Darcy Kuemper as the last signing to come down for Minnesota, but that does sound like it could be a ways off, since the Wild are already going forward with two goalies in camp, despite the coaching staff saying that Kuemper has a shot at the number one job, if he shows.

Niederreiter, on the other hand, is now signed to his bridge deal after his entry-level deal expired in the Summer.  It was Niederreiter's first year with the Wild in 2014, where he played in 81 games, scoring 14 goals and 36 points.  It was the first real solid taste of the NHL in his career, as his cup of coffee with the New York Islanders didn't last quite as long as he may have wanted.

There is very little question that this kid has some offensive talent to go with his blistering skating speed, but with a team-first mentality in Minnesota, it might be hard for Niederreiter to spread his wings exactly, rather he'll have to capitalize on the chances that he is afforded for his numbers.

I have his projections improving somewhat, not too certain he'll break out this year.

Salary CapThe cap number for Niederreiter is quite reasonable and the Wild did well to keep it from going out of control.  Over the next three seasons, the young Swiss forward will have a cap hit of $2.667 million, which is more than manageable and definitely going to push the kid into some bigger numbers and longer-term, more lucrative deal.  The Wild now have six camp spots open on their projected roster and still have over $12 million in cap space.  Management of the Wild must be pleased with themselves after this Summer.

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