Why The Minnesota Wild Won’t Re-Sign Chris Stewart


Chris Stewart’s days with the Minnesota Wild are numbered, but it’s not for the reasons you may think.

On Sunday, Derek gave you a piece as to why Chris Stewart should stay with the Wild. He makes some great points, and even convinced me that it might be a good idea. Now, I’ll take a look in to why the Wild won’t re-sign him. Full disclosure: I’m all for Chris Stewart staying here, I just don’t think it’ll happen.

A Brief History of Chris Stewart:

Hailing from Scarborough, Ontario, the 27-year-old forward played his junior hockey with the Kingston Frotenacs of the Ontario Hockey League. Undrafted by the OHL, Stewart went on to prove OHL scouts wrong by posting 87 points (37G-50A) in the 2005-2006 season. Because of that, Stewart was selected in the first round, 18th overall by the Colorado Avalanche.

Stewart’s NHL career has undoubtedly been a roller coaster, as you can see in the table below. After a 64 point breakout season in 2009-2010, Stewart has only put up 2 seasons above 30 points, although one was during the lockout shortened 2012-2013 season.

It’s hard for me to deny that Chris Stewart is having a bit of a resurgence this season, especially with the Minnesota Wild. His 1.67 points /60 minutes ranks 10th on the team while he’s only averaging 15.87 minutes per game this season (that includes Buffalo.) It’s also hard for me to see a 2nd round pick disappear for a player that leaves as an unrestricted free agent. That said, I think there’s 2 major reasons the Wild won’t bring Chris Stewart back.

Organizational Depth:

The Wild’s deepest position from an organizational standpoint is Right Wing. Jason Pominville, Nino Niederreiter, Justin Fontaine, and Jordan Schroeder are natural right wingers. Charlie Coyle, now listed as a center and playing pivot due to lack of depth at that position, spent most of last season at right-wing. All of those players are signed until at least 2016.

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In terms of prospects at right-wing, Alex Tuch looks to be a real-deal power forward with a lot of potential and time to develop. Michael Keranen, the Finnish dynamo, has a team high 27 assists with the Iowa Wild but is on a one-year contract. Yet to make his NHL debut, I have a strong suspicion the Keranen stays in the Wild system a bit longer. Jared Knight, acquired in the same move that sent Zack Phillips to Boston, hasn’t really developed yet, but might fit better in the Wild’s system.


Stewart is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and will probably look to cash in on his career renaissance with the Minnesota Wild. Stewart will join Martin St. Louis, Daniel Briere, and playoff stud Justin Williams as one of the more notable free-agents on the right-wing.

The Wild’s off-season moves will be completely dictated by re-signing Devan Dubnyk. After that, the Wild has Christian Folin, Mikael Granlund, and Erik Haula to re-sign with the NHL Club. Jon Blum, Knight, and Keranen highlight the list of AHL Wild players who will be seeking a new contract.

At the end of all that, there just might not be any money to send towards Chris Stewart, who is just finishing up a 2-year, 8.2 million dollar contract. Again, I really like Stewart, and I think he’s brought a lot to this team, but the Wild simply can’t afford him.

So, You’ve read my piece and Derek’s piece.Now, tell us what you think using the survey below. Thanks for reading!

Next: Minnesota Wild Need To Re-Sign Chris Stewart

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