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  • Could Jason Gregoire Fit the Wild?


    The Wild have already picked up former Minnesota Duluth star Justin Fontaine on a free agent deal, and while most every player who was going to turn pro has already done so, there are still some bodies available for Fletcher to consider.

    One of them is a guy Minnesota hockey fans should be very familiar with. North Dakota junior Jason Gregoire recently withdrew from school, and intends to sign a pro contract once he's able to declare himself a free agent. It's a mess to explain, but we'll try to make some sense of it all.


    Gregoire is using the same loophole


    used to get away from the

    -- who drafted him -- to sign a free-agent deal with the

    . It's a rule that allows college players to become free agents if they go unsigned for 30 days after leaving school, provided that they are at least four years removed from their draft year.

    Gregoire is saying all the right things about the process, saying he is simply working to keep all available options open to him, and he is still considering inking a contract with the Islanders.

    That said, Gregoire has one or more of a few things on his mind here. I'll try to break down the possibilities for you.

    There aren't really a lot of other options. Gregoire and his agent aren't stupid. The loophole exists, and he's taking advantage of it. This is a smart business move, and the real motivation behind it is largely irrelevant.

    Of course, a player of Gregoire's ilk -- 25 goals in 39 games this season, 55 goals in his three years with the Fighting Sioux -- is seemingly a great fit for the scoring-starved Wild.

    Once his 30 days are up, don't be shocked if the Wild give this guy a call. Minnesota has some decent centers available for consideration on the NHL roster next season, but they're very low on wingers who can put the puck in the net.

    It's never easy to take someone's college game and try to translate it to the NHL, but Fontaine is a guy who has the skill set to help this team, and so is Gregoire. Lighthouse Hockey calls him a "nice prospect," and I can't disagree with that notion.

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