Friday, August 06, 2010

Madden Signs in Minnesota

The Minnesota Wild have finally jumped into the free agent waters or at least into the deeper end of the pool with the signing of unrestricted free agent forward John Madden. Madden was a depth centre for the Cup-winning Blackhawks in 2010 and will now bring a little of that experience to the Wild after signing a 1-year deal with a total cap hit of $1.25 million, some of which are performance bonuses.

Madden has always been known more as a defensive forward for the New Jersey Devils, before his brief (but very rewarding) stop in Chicago. His scoring numbers do reflect that with only 23 points (10 goals and 13 assists) in 79 games for the Blackhawks in 2010, which had him ranked 242nd among all forwards, just outside of the good scoring zone for my hockey pool anyways.  Looking at the depth chart of forwards for the Wild, I don't think Madden will get too much time outside of playing the 3rd or 4th line role, so don't expect his points to be too high in 2011.

Mikko KoivuMarek ZidlickyNiklas Backstrom
Andrew BrunetteCam BarkerJosh Harding
Martin HavlatBrent Burns
Matt CullenNick Schultz
Antti MiettinenGreg Zanon
Guillaume Latendresse
Kyle Brodziak
John Madden
Cal Clutterbuck
Eric Nystrom
Chuck Kobasew
Brad Staubitz
James Sheppard
Pierre-Marc Bouchard

Salary CapThe Wild cap figures are actually quite impressive, in terms of how high they have gone this year. The Wild have 21 players on their current team table and a buyout of almost $1 million on the books and they currently sit at an annual cap figure of $56.1 million. They have a couple of blueline spots to fill before the start of the season, but that could be done on the cheap, bringing them just over $57 million, when its all said and done.

The goal in Minnesota in 2010 is going to be achieving chemistry, especially in their top guns. Between Mikko Koivu and Martin Havlat, they desperately need to find some offensive touch together or else it could be a long season for the Wild. With 71 and 54 points between them, respectively, in 2010, they have a long way to go with that. Nevertheless, management has done a good job preparing some insurance defensively, if their offense struggles. The addition of Madden today is a great sign of that.

No comments: