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  • What Mike Reilly Signing Means for the Minnesota Wild



    Who Is Mike Reilly?

    So you've seen his accomplishments and his accolades. But just in case you're not a Golden Gophers fan- What does Mike Reilly bring to the Wild?

    From Nate Wells of Wild Xtra:

    Based on the scouting reports, he sounds like the kind of defenseman that Chuck Fletcher loves- A smart player and good skater who can move the puck out of trouble and up the ice. While defense isn't the hallmark his strength, his increased strength has enabled him to shore up that part of his game.

    What Does This Mean for the Wild?

    As for how he'll be used, it would not surprise me if he were used similarly to the way Dumba was used this season- starting out with sheltered minutes and gradually working his way into a bigger role, including on the power play. If his skills at quarterbacking the power play translate to the NHL, this could be the beginning of the end of Ryan Suter on the top power play unit.

    We talked about this at length last week, but the general sentiment among Hockey Wilderness writers is that it would be wise to hang onto Spurgeon, who was in many ways the Wild's best defenseman last season. As we saw with the plague of mumps that worked it's way down the Wild's blueline last season, it's pretty much never a bad idea to have too many good defensemen. Spurgeon remaining with the Wild would also enable the Wild to ease youngsters Dumba and Reilly into a larger NHL role, with no risk of losing him after next season, as he'll only be a Restricted Free Agent, meaning the Wild will still control his rights.

    But a Spurgeon trade is a topic that can wait for another day (unless the Wild trade him at the draft tonight. Signing Mike Reilly without giving up any assets was an absolute coup for Fletcher, and Wild fans should be very excited to see what he can do next season.

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