Day one of the 2014 free agency period has not yet ended, but the Wild have already signed two players. The big splash was landing Thomas Vanek, but the Wild also signed 27-year-old winger Brett Sutter, the Star Tribune’s Michael Russo reports.
Sutter, the son of Kings’ coach Darryl Sutter, has signed a two-way deal that will likely see Sutter start the season in Iowa. He has spent most of his career in the minors, captaining the Charlotte Checkers last season. He’s is a veteran of 54 NHL games spread over six seasons with the Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes, tallying two goals and six assists over that span.
With two signings in the books, the Pioneer Press’ Chad Graff is speculating that the team isn’t done yet. A replacement for departing fourth liner Cody McCormick and defenseman Clayton Stoner may be in the works.
Now that I'm caught up on Vanek, #MNWild likely not done yet. Still may sign a fourth liner to replace McCormick and D to replace Stoner.
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) July 1, 2014
McCormick and Matt Moulson have both gone full circle and signed contracts with the Buffalo Sabres after being traded to the Wild from the Sabres at the trade deadline.
Stoner departs the team for Anaheim, who have given Stoner a four-year, $13 million contract. (Oof.) That’s far more than the Wild were ever going to be able to offer him.
The team will need to replace the grit they’ve lost with the departure of McCormick and Stoner. A number of free agents remain including some lesser known players like Geoff Walker who might be a low risk fourth line replacement, as well as a host of better known names like Michael Del Zotto, Saku Koivu, Daniel Winnik, Michal Handzus, Ray Whitney, David Legwand, Matt Niskanen (who the Wild are not going after), Brendan Morrow, Steve Ott, Derek Roy, Mike Ribiero, and many others.