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  • Have the Wild Gained More Than They Lost In the Off-Season?


    Image courtesy of © Nick Wosika - USA TODAY Sports
    Mikki Tuohy

     

    Like every off-season, the Minnesota Wild have signed a few players and said goodbye to others this year. With the team’s buyout-induced salary cap issues, it isn’t a surprise that almost all of Minnesota’s trade deadline pickups have signed with other teams. But with half of the Swede Squad out of Minnesota again, did the Wild retain the right players?

    Ryan Reaves, Oskar Sundqvist, John Klingberg, and Gustav Nyquist have all signed with other teams. Matt Dumba hasn’t signed anywhere yet, but he will eventually sign with another team. Conversely, Wild chose to re-sign Brandon Duhaime and Calen Addison. (Everyone knew that the Wild would re-sign Filip Gustavsson, so he’s not part of this conversation.) The Wild also chose to re-sign trade deadline acquisition Marcus Johansson and trade for Pat Maroon. Outside of a few lower-level players, those are all of the moves that the Wild made. 

    Got all that straight? Let’s dive in.

    Ryan Reaves was the only player the Wild added outside of the trade deadline. While there were mixed reviews, Reaves turned on the charm and won fans over. Between his Gordie Howe hat trick and dressing up as Santa Claus with Elf Kirill Kaprizov in tow, Reaves brought fun to the locker room. Without him, the Wild lose a big body and a big voice in the locker room. 

    Bill Guerin knew that, so he traded for Pat Maroon. He’s got a big physical presence and a quirky personality. While Maroon and Reaves have different skill sets, it seems like Maroon can slot in for Reaves pretty well. Plus, Maroon came at a discount, while Reaves, 36, signed a three-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs – a budgetary win-win for Reaves and the Wild.

    Once the Wild were officially in the off-season, it was apparent that they could only afford to keep one player: Gustav Nyquist or Marcus Johansson. Guerin made his choice and didn’t second-guess himself, signing Johansson to a 2-year contract only a few days after the playoff series against the Dallas Stars ended disappointingly. Was that the right decision? 

    After some initial grumbles about bringing Johansson back when Minnesota traded him in the spring, it was quickly apparent that he could bring the speed Matt Boldy needed. The Wild paired Boldy with a few different players this season, but not many of them could keep up. Johansson showed that he’s got not only the speed but the skills to help Boldy’s game get to the next level.

    Nyquist stood out in the nine games he played with the Wild. He arrived in Minnesota injured and played less than 10 games, 3 in the regular season and 6 playoffs. However, in those games, he came away with 5 points in the regular season, 1 goal and 4 assists, and 5 points in the playoffs, all assists. Not bad for someone who the Columbus Blue Jackets traded while he was injured.

    When looking at the two players, they both showed up and showed out. Honestly, either would’ve been a good option, especially when a few Iowa Wild players have the speed to slot in next to Boldy. But ultimately, Guerin must’ve decided that finding a veteran who can push Boldy would help him the most. 

    John Klingberg was coming off of a tough year with the Anaheim Ducks. But Anaheim went 23-47-12 – everyone in Orange County had a tough year. But Minnesota gave him a chance at the end of a contract year to showcase his ability. And he did produce. In 17 regular season games, he came away with 9 points, 7 assists, and 2 goals. But as someone brought in to run the power play, he had shockingly few power-play points. 

    However, he only had 3 points during a power play during the regular season. There was some hope when Klingberg returned from injury to play in 4 playoff games. He had 4 points, 3 assists, and 1 goal during the first two. One of those points came from a power play. But in the last two playoff games, he was invisible. The top power play was without a dependable quarterback. Klingberg still has some good hockey in him. His ability to walk the blue line is a thing of beauty! But he priced himself out of Minnesota.

    That opened the door for Calen Addison. He hasn’t re-signed with the Wild yet, but he has a qualifying offer. That ended a season-long question about what Guerin was going to do with Addison. After some initial success, especially with the top power-play unit, Addison was effectively benched for the rest of the season. 

    Considering that they have similar skill sets, it seemed like the Wild were moving on from Addison when they brought in Klingberg at the deadline. The coaching staff had made it clear that Addison needs to work on his defensive game. Addison wisely chose to stay in Minnesota for the summer. That initiative might’ve been enough for the big brass to put their trust back in Addison.

    Just like with the Reaves-Maroon situation, there wasn’t another option. The Wild had to know they couldn’t fit him under the cap when they traded for him. But the biggest uncertainty was whether they would trade Addison. Ultimately, the rookie Addison is more valuable to the team than the veteran Klingberg. Thankfully, with the salary cap and an amazing prospect pool slowly brewing in Iowa, Addison can take time to fully step into his role. 

    That leaves Oskar Sundkvist and Brandon Duhaime. These two are an apples-to-oranges comparison. Sundkvist was a fun addition as a tough, physical player, even if he spent much of his time as an extra body in the press box. But Duhaime was drafted by Minnesota and played two seasons for the Iowa Wild before making the big club out of training camp in 2021. After two seasons in Minnesota, Duhaime has shown that he’s a hard worker and is still improving his game. It would be hard to willingly let go of a player who has risen through the ranks to become not only a good player but a fan favorite. 

    There is one thing that Guerin won’t be able to replicate with a new player. The Wild will lose out on an important voice of the team when Matt Dumba signs somewhere else. While fresh-out-of-college Brock Faber will most likely slot in nicely next to Dumba’s long-time partner Jonas Brodin, Dumba’s off-of-the-ice presence will be harder to fill. 

    Dumba’s been an essential voice in the push to make hockey for everyone. Not only has he been a voice for more diversity in the hockey world, but he’s also led initiatives to bring hockey to underprivileged communities and hockey players with special needs. The difficult part is that no one can do what Dumba did in the Minnesota hockey community. No matter what, he’ll hold a special place in the heart of hockey fans.

    When it comes down to it, the Wild have lost plenty of on-ice talent and off-ice personality. But they’ve gained a big veteran player with a gritty style, a veteran player with the skill to play beside a superstar, and younger players with a good floor and room to grow. And hats off to Bill Guerin, who could do it all on a budget. 

     

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    I am still in shock that Toronto signed Reaves to a 3yr deal. Wild came out net positive in that deal. Maroon has a little better skill set and is a bit quicker than Reaves but he’s no burner. 
     

    Letting Sundqvist walk was kind of a wash for me, I wasn’t very impressed after he was signed TBH. Duhaime is the definition of a lunch pail player, comes in works his ass off and does his job. Speed is an underrated skill for him, hope he can stay healthy this upcoming season. 
     

    Johansson proved a lot of folks wrong with his resurgence last season. Speed, passing, puck skills were all excellent. Definitely unlocked something in Boldy, was great to see their chemistry. Another guy we all hope can stay healthy over a full season. 

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    After two seasons in Minnesota, Duhaime has shown that he’s a hard worker and is still improving his game. It would be hard to willingly let go of a player who has risen through the ranks to become not only a good player but a fan favorite. 

    Duhaime is one of the leaders in hits per 60 minutes on the Wild. If he isn't #1, then Foligno is the only one above him, so keeping Duhaime is important for keeping the identity that the Wild want for their team.

    Johansson is the opposite of that grit identity, but he did deliver some promising moments for the Wild last season. I would have preferred Nyquist, who seems to have a higher skill level, but Johansson came at a price the Wild could afford over the worst 2 years of the buy-out cap hits.

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    1 hour ago, Imyourhuckleberry said:

    Johansson is the opposite of that grit identity, but he did deliver some promising moments for the Wild last season. I would have preferred Nyquist, who seems to have a higher skill level, but Johansson came at a price the Wild could afford over the worst 2 years of the buy-out cap hits.

    Something tells me that Nyquist and Johansson were given the same offer and whoever signed first got the position. Johansson jumped on it. Nyquist probably thought he was worth more. 

    On another thread, I wrote about our 2 arbitration guys and another interesting arbitration player. In summary, Jack McBain filed for arbitration after a strong rookie year. I think we may have sidestepped a player headache when we traded this guy. 

    Ty Dellendrea resigned with Dallas for $900k. His stat line is better and his size is similar to Duhaime's. Duhaime should come in around $800k.

    Jeremy Swayman and Ilya Samsonov have their hearings before Goose2. Both have about 88 games played, and an extra season as a starter. They had similar stats to Goose2, but for longer. Goose2 should come in a little under their rulings or signings. 

    As for the article here, I think there could be 2 interpretations: Are the Wild better than they were to begin last year, or are the Wild better than how they ended up last year? They are definitely worse than how they ended up. However their improvement will be from within, not from outside the organization. I don't think they're much different than how they started last season, though, they have that gritty guy that Shooter had to trade for in November. 

    When Addison was benched, and Klingberg was brought in, I suspect that Addison was supposed to learn from him. Klingberg had similar liabilities on defense and was a bit larger, but he was willing to at least get in the way and impede the opposition. That was something Addison was unwilling to do, even against middleweights. Klingberg initiated contact several times even if it merely just brought the opponent to a stop. I would disagree that Klingberg was invisible those last 2 games, I thought he was visible, but not in a good sense.

    I was hoping we'd be able to keep Sunny, I thought he was a willing heavy hitter in the games he played, and he did have some scoring success. He added something we didn't have in the system, so that might have been a nice piece to have even if it was a 13th forward (which was about the price he signed for in St. Louis). But, until we sign Duwey and Goose2, we really can't be signing other players. 

    It also wouldn't surprise me if we start the season with 20 players and try to bank some cap space for callups. That would mean Faber would start in Iowa, maybe until the 1st road trip. While that may not be optimal, this last season of flat cap is going to be brutal for many teams.

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    31 minutes ago, mnfaninnc said:

    Something tells me that Nyquist and Johansson were given the same offer and whoever signed first got the position. Johansson jumped on it. Nyquist probably thought he was worth more. 

    On another thread, I wrote about our 2 arbitration guys and another interesting arbitration player. In summary, Jack McBain filed for arbitration after a strong rookie year. I think we may have sidestepped a player headache when we traded this guy. 

    Ty Dellendrea resigned with Dallas for $900k. His stat line is better and his size is similar to Duhaime's. Duhaime should come in around $800k.

    Jeremy Swayman and Ilya Samsonov have their hearings before Goose2. Both have about 88 games played, and an extra season as a starter. They had similar stats to Goose2, but for longer. Goose2 should come in a little under their rulings or signings. 

    As for the article here, I think there could be 2 interpretations: Are the Wild better than they were to begin last year, or are the Wild better than how they ended up last year? They are definitely worse than how they ended up. However their improvement will be from within, not from outside the organization. I don't think they're much different than how they started last season, though, they have that gritty guy that Shooter had to trade for in November. 

    When Addison was benched, and Klingberg was brought in, I suspect that Addison was supposed to learn from him. Klingberg had similar liabilities on defense and was a bit larger, but he was willing to at least get in the way and impede the opposition. That was something Addison was unwilling to do, even against middleweights. Klingberg initiated contact several times even if it merely just brought the opponent to a stop. I would disagree that Klingberg was invisible those last 2 games, I thought he was visible, but not in a good sense.

    I was hoping we'd be able to keep Sunny, I thought he was a willing heavy hitter in the games he played, and he did have some scoring success. He added something we didn't have in the system, so that might have been a nice piece to have even if it was a 13th forward (which was about the price he signed for in St. Louis). But, until we sign Duwey and Goose2, we really can't be signing other players. 

    It also wouldn't surprise me if we start the season with 20 players and try to bank some cap space for callups. That would mean Faber would start in Iowa, maybe until the 1st road trip. While that may not be optimal, this last season of flat cap is going to be brutal for many teams.

    I agree that Klingberg was less than we had hoped. He really looked like a shell of what he had been. I don't think Faber starts in Iowa. I think they really want to get the d-corps set and producing. A lot will depend on who the extra forward is if they have one.

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    50 minutes ago, Up North Guy said:

    I agree that Klingberg was less than we had hoped. He really looked like a shell of what he had been. I don't think Faber starts in Iowa. I think they really want to get the d-corps set and producing. A lot will depend on who the extra forward is if they have one.

    I agree, I don’t see Faber starting down in Iowa. Unless Dumba somehow magically reappears I think the pairing of him and Brodin is pretty well set. 
     

    Faber was a stud as soon as he made the jump, highly regarded by several analysts also. Unless he has a serious regression this season I think he’s pretty well locked in. 

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    4 hours ago, mnfaninnc said:

    It also wouldn't surprise me if we start the season with 20 players and try to bank some cap space for callups. That would mean Faber would start in Iowa, maybe until the 1st road trip.

    Faber starting in Iowa would certainly surprise me. I won't put it outside the realm of possibility, specific to what is possible within the CBA rules, but it would shock me.

    I might put the chances of Alex Goligoski slotting in at a forward position slightly ahead of Faber playing in the AHL this season.

    I don't foresee Evason being excited about playing all 3 of Merrill, Goligoski, and Addison on defense when Faber is healthy.

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    16 hours ago, Imyourhuckleberry said:

    Faber starting in Iowa would certainly surprise me. I won't put it outside the realm of possibility, specific to what is possible within the CBA rules, but it would shock me.

    I might put the chances of Alex Goligoski slotting in at a forward position slightly ahead of Faber playing in the AHL this season.

    I don't foresee Evason being excited about playing all 3 of Merrill, Goligoski, and Addison on defense when Faber is healthy.

    Looking at the Wild schedule, I may have to amend the opinion, since we are home on the 12th and then on the road for 2 games in Canada, and then at home for about a week and 3 games. This would be the time to send down some people to build up a little cap space. 

    With the current CBA rules, the guys who get sent down will be waiver resilient, so guys like Rossi, Faber, Beckman are the guys who might be sent down just temporarily. As most of us already know, cap space is accumulative, and if we are so tight against the cap right now, creating a little room for injuries is important. 

    So, the week we play the Kings, Blue Jackets, and Oilers at home would be the time to accumulate some of this cap. Of course, if someone gets hurt in training camp or the 1st couple of games, that reverses any strategy to gain a little cap. 

    From the way Shooter was talking, though, it sounds like we are going to be completely up against the cap, so trying to gain some space would be important. Oddly, between games 2 & 3 in Canada, it looks like we have 3 days off. I wonder if you can send players down but not actually have them travel down, but they just stay with the team? And, there is always the chance that our cap is not quite as bad as Shooter described. Maybe that $800k in room that was filled with Magoon didn't include a bit of cushion each GM likes to leave themselves?

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    21 hours ago, M_Nels said:

    Faber was a stud as soon as he made the jump

    The fact that Faber saw time in playoffs proves the team has confidence in him.  He slides right into top 4 imo 

    memo to Rossi.  This is what it looks like to win your spot in the lineup.  Was Faber “put in the right situation” or “given enough opportunities”.  No.  He got a shift and looked like a nhl’r.   That’s what Rossi has to do.  Rossi will get his 20 games at beginning of season.  If he looks the same way he looked last year I believe he’s done in Wild sweater and BG starts shopping him for picks.  Judd predicted Rossi center’s Boldy and mojo (robo mojo).  I think this is the ‘chance’ he deserves and if he can’t keep up he’s gone.  

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    1 hour ago, mnfaninnc said:

    Looking at the Wild schedule, I may have to amend the opinion, since we are home on the 12th and then on the road for 2 games in Canada, and then at home for about a week and 3 games. This would be the time to send down some people to build up a little cap space. 

    With the current CBA rules, the guys who get sent down will be waiver resilient, so guys like Rossi, Faber, Beckman are the guys who might be sent down just temporarily. As most of us already know, cap space is accumulative, and if we are so tight against the cap right now, creating a little room for injuries is important. 

    So, the week we play the Kings, Blue Jackets, and Oilers at home would be the time to accumulate some of this cap. Of course, if someone gets hurt in training camp or the 1st couple of games, that reverses any strategy to gain a little cap. 

    From the way Shooter was talking, though, it sounds like we are going to be completely up against the cap, so trying to gain some space would be important. Oddly, between games 2 & 3 in Canada, it looks like we have 3 days off. I wonder if you can send players down but not actually have them travel down, but they just stay with the team? And, there is always the chance that our cap is not quite as bad as Shooter described. Maybe that $800k in room that was filled with Magoon didn't include a bit of cushion each GM likes to leave themselves?

    If memory serves me, I do believe that there is a certain grace period before a player has to report to the AHL team. I agree that BG is probably going to do the trade-off with Iowa frequently this year. Any of the young guys who are eligible will be candidates. There are still rumors that BG is not done setting the team and may make additions. That will require trades so it should be interesting to see who goes and who is added.

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    Biggest loss is Dumba on D. Biggest acquisition is the only one with Pat Maroon. Those two guys might equalize each other in terms of importance or value. 

    Other than that, there's not much to feel bad about in terms of guys who moved on. Hopefully the young Wild players will step up.

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    I bet Faber proves to be better than Dumba by the end of the season... although Dumba did end last season the strongest I have seen in years.  Jury is still out on Faber offensively.  I wouldn't doubt a guy with his poise on the blue line though.

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    10 hours ago, Pewterschmidt said:

    Judd predicted Rossi center’s Boldy and mojo (robo mojo).  I think this is the ‘chance’ he deserves and if he can’t keep up he’s gone.

    That doesn't sound too bad offensively, but given that Rossi and Johansson were two of the softest players on the roster, I'm not sure they'll put them together. In 39 regular season games(20 from Johansson and 19 for Rossi), they combined for 7 hits, and 6 of those were from Rossi.

    It wouldn't shock me to see Rossi with a couple of bigger guys like Foligno and Gaudreau. Foligno and Gaudreau could potentially be the PK2, with Rossi maybe rotating into PP2. Also would allow Gaudreau to win faceoffs from a wing position if Rossi isn't strong on them yet(he wasn't terrible last year, but a tad worse than Freddie). Or they Wild could just play Rossi at the wing position...

    Rossi might be able to set those guys up and open up their scoring beyond what they were able to show last season(aside from G-money's shootout heroics).

    That could allow them to keep the same top 2 lines they had near the end of last season, assuming a healthy roster.

    KK97-Hartman-Zuccarello

    Boldy-JEE-Johansson

    Hartman was above a 50 point pace again last year, per 82 games.

    Eriksson-Ek can cover for a lot of Johansson's deficiencies.

    Not sure if they'll put Dewar with Duhaime and Maroon. Duhaime has done some PK work and could play alongside Dewar there, but they could also pair Dewar with Eriksson-Ek to really shut things down late in games.

    Not saying this is the way it has to be, just providing an alternative to Judd's take.

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    No.  Not even close.

    They’re not gaining Faber as Dumba’s replacement.  He was there last year, and I think it’s fair to expect a little regression from Faber as he and league get further acclimated to each other. Also, Dumba got a lot of crap here over the last few years, but he was solid last year.  They’re really replacing him with someone like Merrill or Addison.  I’m not really a fan of either.  I think some will find they’ve been taking Dumba for granted.  Although I do agree it’s time to part ways.

     Nyqvist was our most skilled and consistent offensive contributor in the postseason.  They folded, as usual, and the series wasn’t particularly close.  But, it may have been even worse without Nyqvist being good in the first couple of games.

    I thought the Klingberg traded was awful.  Still do.  But, he had to have led our D core in point production during the playoffs.  I’m not concerned about losing him in any way, but I think it speaks to how mediocre our D core actually is.  Very good in their own zone, but there’s nobody there can do anything offensively, especially in the playoffs.

    Sundqvist was never going to be a star.  He was brought in for experience and leadership as a guy who has won Cups.  That is about the only area where we have a valid replacement in Maroon.

     

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    I agree Dumba is taken for granted. 

    Faber might be solid but he's not an identical replacement for Dumba physicality or offense. 

    I believe Evason's systems are less focused on defense jumping in as we've seen the offense from the back end 5v5 dip since losing Soucy. That year and a couple others the Wild got really nice production from the defense.

    Some of the Wild's losses are more of a technicality since majority were guys picked up at the deadline. 

    Overall, the loss of Dumba VS. the acquisition of Maroon is the first comparison if that's possible since they're totally different players but perhaps equally important. So maybe that's a wash.

    The other comparison might be the old vets lost to being UFAs Vs. the young prospects. Again, not an easy thing to contrast. Two totally different groups. One unproven at NHL level but maybe as good.

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    On 7/14/2023 at 4:14 PM, Imyourhuckleberry said:

    I might put the chances of Alex Goligoski slotting in at a forward position slightly ahead of Faber playing in the AHL this season.

    I had a similar thought as you except that I could see Addison being the one they push up to forward.  He has the stick and aggressive play style to play a wing position.

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    So far most of the player changes will be a wash.  The exception will be Dumba.  Other comments from Beast and Protec above mentioned taking Dumba for Granted.  I really agree with that statement.  Dumba does a ton of little things correctly.  He will definitely be missed.

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    On 7/14/2023 at 9:12 AM, Imyourhuckleberry said:

    I would have preferred Nyquist, who seems to have a higher skill level, but Johansson came at a price the Wild could afford over the worst 2 years of the buy-out cap hits.

    Idk. I mean Nyquist signed for just $1.1M more than Johansson. Obviously health is a concern with Gustav, but I agree that he would've been my preference also. 

    The guy actually showed up to the playoffs and produced points for us. Mojo disappeared along with Boldy when push came to shove. 2Gs is nice but I'd have rather kept Nyquist and his 5-assists (playing with worse linemates) if it was going to only be an extra $1M.

    I know the cap is tight but geeze, that sucks to see him go to Nashville for that cheap. He'd have been great middle-6 depth for us who possibly could've even been a Zook replacement if Mats and Kaprizov started getting too pass-happy. 

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    33 minutes ago, B1GKappa97 said:

    I'd have rather kept Nyquist and his 5-assists (playing with worse linemates) if it was going to only be an extra $1M.

    That was how I had been feeling as well. $3,185,000 is Nyquist's cap hit.

    Johansson at $2M happened early. Not sure that Guerin was comfortable waiting out the contract that would exceed $3M given the cap space situation for the Wild.

    I think Nyquist is worth that, and might have been a solid replacement for Zuccarello. The Wild are so up against the cap that losing nearly $1.2M in that exchange might not have worked completely.  We don't know where Gustavsson will land yet. I think Guerin knows Nyquist is more impactful as well, but he went with the veteran who was easier to retain.

    Guerin couldn't guarantee that Nyquist would return, or agree to a number that fit comfortably in the Wild's cap space, so he went with the sure thing.

    I was slightly disappointed when they signed Mojo because I was fairly certain that meant Nyquist was not returning. They kind of had to choose one or the other, assuming they were not going to trade away a veteran like Foligno, and they were going to bring back Gustavsson.

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    On 7/15/2023 at 4:37 PM, Will D. Ness said:

    I bet Faber proves to be better than Dumba by the end of the season... although Dumba did end last season the strongest I have seen in years.  Jury is still out on Faber offensively.  I wouldn't doubt a guy with his poise on the blue line though.

    Well, Dumba sure set the bar low on offense, only 14 points. I would have to believe that Faber could do that.

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    On 7/15/2023 at 10:43 PM, Imyourhuckleberry said:

    It wouldn't shock me to see Rossi with a couple of bigger guys like Foligno and Gaudreau. Foligno and Gaudreau could potentially be the PK2, with Rossi maybe rotating into PP2. Also would allow Gaudreau to win faceoffs from a wing position if Rossi isn't strong on them yet(he wasn't terrible last year, but a tad worse than Freddie).

    Just for reference, Gaudreau is 6' 184. That's not large, though I think Gaudreau plays a larger game than his listed size. Rossi is listed at about the same weight but 3" shorter. Rossi should be the stronger guy on the puck. 

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    On 7/16/2023 at 9:41 AM, Beast said:

    They’re not gaining Faber as Dumba’s replacement.  He was there last year, and I think it’s fair to expect a little regression from Faber as he and league get further acclimated to each other. Also, Dumba got a lot of crap here over the last few years, but he was solid last year.  They’re really replacing him with someone like Merrill or Addison.  I’m not really a fan of either.  I think some will find they’ve been taking Dumba for granted.  Although I do agree it’s time to part ways.

     Nyqvist was our most skilled and consistent offensive contributor in the postseason.  They folded, as usual, and the series wasn’t particularly close.  But, it may have been even worse without Nyqvist being good in the first couple of games.

    What Faber was able to show was how quick and skilled skating he was against NHL competition. He made several mistakes but was able to recover and regain control almost immediately. He will still have a learning curve, but I think it will not be much of a regression, I think he'll get better.

    Nyquist was pretty skilled offensively, and when we saw what he could do when healthy, it was pretty obvious that he was over our price tag to resign. I said it before, I believe he and Johansson were given the same extension offers and 1st one to sign got the position. Johansson jumped at it. Unfortunately, that's what we could afford. Is Johansson + Duhaime better than Nyquist? I think with our cap position it probably is, we needed to fill roster spots and I do like Duhaime's simple game.

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    3 minutes ago, mnfaninnc said:

    Just for reference, Gaudreau is 6' 184. That's not large, though I think Gaudreau plays a larger game than his listed size.

    I did notice that, but the combination of Gaudreau/Foligno seems a stronger combination than Kaprizov/Zuccarello or Boldy/Johansson.

    Johansson isn't physically small, but he's pretty soft on D and Rossi isn't likely to outhit any forwards that aren't Johansson. I'm not sure about putting Boldy out there as the only guy on the line who uses his body, but it might be the direction they go.

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    Well my hope that the Wild would sign Nosek is down the tubes. He signed 1M/1year with NJ where he'll be back with Haula to play center like they did in Vegas.

    NJ's GM has been reading my comments it seems like. Maybe Tommy F. is who I shoulda wanted instead of GMBG.

    :classic_biggrin:

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