Sunday, July 30, 2017

Niederreiter Right For Wild

The Minnesota Wild also saved themselves a trip to the arbitrator's table this week, as the August 3rd hearing for Nino Niederreiter will not be needed.  The Wild and the speedy forward have come to terms on a 5-year, $26.25 million deal, which will extend through the 2022 regular season.

The 24-year old Swiss player has really found a good home in Minnesota, establishing himself and gaining steam year over year for the last few years.  The 2017 season saw him hit career highs in goals and points, 25 and 57 in all 82 games played, good enough to make him 72nd overall in hockey pool scoring, 50th among all forwards.

How high can the trend line possibly go up for Niederreiter?  43 points in 2016... 37 points in 2015... yes, we're going a bit backwards, but I trust you get the point.  When the pool projections come out, could he still possibly continue upwards or will his production start to even out?

According to DobberHockey, Niederreiter spent a lot of time with Charlie Coyle and Eric Staal, two players still with the club and in key positions to still produce.  Another full season with these two and all three could be doing some good things.

Forwards Cap Defense Cap Goalies Cap
Zach Parise 7.538 Ryan Suter 7.538 Devan Dubnyk 4.333
Mikko Koivu 6.750 Jared Spurgeon 5.188 Alex Stalock 0.650
Nino Niederreiter 5.250 Jonas Brodin 4.167
Tyler Ennis 4.600 Matt Dumba 2.550
Eric Staal 3.500 Kyle Quincey 1.250
Charlie Coyle 3.200 Mike Reilly 0.725
Jason Zucker 2.000 Ryan Murphy 0.700
Chris Stewart 1.150
Luke Kunin 0.925
Joel Eriksson Ek 0.894
Justin Kloos 0.793
Christoph Bertschy 0.776
Landon Ferraro 0.700
Cal O'Reilly 0.700

The Wild still have to make a deal with Mikael Granlund and Marcus Foligno yet this off-season and they are quickly running out of cap space to do it.  This current projected 23-man roster only leaves $6.6 million left spend on top.  It's been suggested that Granlund could be looking for $6 million per season, while Foligno could still come in cheaply, but will it be cheap enough?

The Wild have done some curious things in this off-season, but things that have potential to pay off, mainly on the blueline.  It's really going to hinge on what Granlund gets paid, to see what kind of final lineup the Wild can put together, but they could still be an interesting team to watch this season.  They still have a good goalie to pin their hopes on, the defense isn't quite the same, but not far off and a personnel change up front, here and there, might inject a little more speed to their game and that couldn't be too bad, right?

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