Over the course of the next month, Konopkaesque will review each player who suited up for the Wild this season, with a few exceptions. 1) They had to play at least ten games during the season and/or playoffs (sorry, Brett Bulmer, Carson McMillan and John Curry) and 2) they had to finish the season as part of the organization, which ironically excludes the man for whom this blog is named, among others.
So, without further blathering, here’s today’s subject:
Jonathan Blum, D, Age 25
Remaining contract (per capgeek): RFA in 2014
What Did He Do? Blum wasn’t much more than a warm body, but he did have some very useful games with the Wild when their defense corps was hit by some injuries in January and during the stretch run. Perhaps his best moments came against Detroit on March 23rd. In a nationally televised game, Blum played a season high (not counting the throwaway game against St. Louis at the end of the season) 14:26. In that game he had a season high in shots, and though he was officially credited with two hits, he was a physical force.
Still, Blum didn’t do much to merit more than the playing time he received, which is the very reason he was given up by the Nashville Predators in the first place.
What to Expect if You’re Expecting: Blum is an interesting one. He’s a restricted free agent, and it is not inconceivable that he could be given a qualifying offer. That being said, the Wild have six active defensemen already signed for next season (Suter, Brodin, Scandella, Ballard, Spurgeon and Folin), Clayton Stoner seems likely to be re-signed, and who knows what will happen with Nate Prosser. Matt Dumba is ready for two-way duty between the NHL and AHL at least next season, so Blum could be squeezed out. His future may very well be determined by the organization’s belief in the readiness of both Folin and Dumba, but I wouldn’t be shocked if he is still in the fold.
Trade Prospects?: Certainly possible. Blum has a lot of attributes that might intrigue other teams. He’s mobile and has some offensive game (though he didn’t show much of that with the Wild). He’s also a right-handed shot, and has one label that, at 25 years of age, still means something: he’s a former first-round pick. The return wouldn’t necessarily be huge, but it’s possible.
Season Highlight: The aforementioned Detroit game in full. Notice how many times his name is mentioned by Doc Emrick and Pierre McGuire.