One day after handling the Avalanche again, and with six days until they get a chance to re-take the ice in a live game, the Wild turned to matters of business Sunday morning, locking up one of their long-term pieces until the 2021 season by signing Jonas Brodin to an extension.
Brodin is now secured under contract for longer than any other Wild player save Zach Parise or Ryan Suter, which gives a fairly solid indication of where Brodin sits in the minds of those who currently run the franchise. Widely regarded as one of the best skating defensemen in the NHL, the Swede broke into the league as its youngest blueliner two years ago, and has progressed steadily through two playoff seasons chipping in 10 goals and 21 assists with a plus-8 rating in 126 career games. He has one assist and is already a plus-5 this season.
The big question now is who comes next? While Brodin is clearly a key piece of the puzzle, the same can be said for Mikael Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Marco Scandella and Erik Haula, all of whom are restricted free agents at the end of the season. Christian Folin will likely fall into that category as well, assuming he plays to his potential this year, while Matt Dumba, Jared Spurgeon and Jason Zucker will need extensions by the end of next season.
In short, get ready for a plethora of these types of announcements. Of course this could also mean a temporary moratorium on signing big-name free agents in July. For the Wild, big-name signings may mean keeping hold of their own for a while.