Who’s left? Observations on the 32 remaining players in camp

The Wild made some roster-trimming moves today.  Nothing that was amazingly earth-shattering, but there are some nuggets involved that are mildly enlightening, both in terms of the players that are gone as well as those who are still around.

First, the hard facts: The Wild sent Brett Bulmer, Tyler Graovac and Guillaume Gelinas to Iowa, waived Justin Falk, Jonathan Blum and Joel Rechlicz, and sent goaltender Brandon Whitney back to juniors in Victoriaville in the QMJHL.

No surprises among the three players outrighted to Iowa. Gelinas fits the mold of a pure AHL defender. He’s mobile and scored a ton in the QMJHL (albeit in an overage year), but he’s smallish to tiny for a defenseman, and probably doesn’t have everything you need to compete at the top level. In terms of a comparable in Wild history, think Maxime Noreau, which is…not good. Continue reading

Wild in for Biznasty?

As the season approaches, a quick glance at the bottom six forward pool for the Wild shows a distinct lack of true toughness and grit. Sure, they have players like Kyle Brodziak, Nino Niederreiter (if and when his contract gets signed) and Matt Cooke, but while all of these players hit, they really aren’t the type of muscle who will deter an opponent from going after someone like Mikael Granlund, Zach Parise, or Minnesota’s new, moderately expensive toy, Thomas Vanek. Beyond that, the fourth-line muscle could be filled out with players like Brett Bulmer, Cody Almond and Brett Sutter, but none of those players are a guarantee to even make the team out of training camp, let alone anchor an energy line. Continue reading

Should we be worried about Darcy Kuemper?

Now that Justin Fontaine has signed on with the Wild for another two years, only two pieces remain to bring back into the fold for the Wild, assuming no other free agent signings or trades happen this summer; two scenarios that seem unlikely at this point.

If you read¬†Michael Russo’s column in the Star Tribune this morning, you may know that those two pieces are forward Nino Niederreiter and goalie Darcy Kuemper, and while negotiations with the former seem to be promising, talks with the latter haven’t been nearly as encouraging to date.

Actually, that isn’t even a fair assessment, as negotiations with Kuemper’s agent have been fairly non-existent, which is at best strange, and at worst cause for concern. Continue reading

Development Camp Scrimmage #2: Notes and Thoughts

Had a chance to check out the second scrimmage between the creatively named “Team White” and “Team Green”* at development camp last night. Here’s a few thoughts on the 5-3 victory for team Green: Continue reading