The Case For Keeping Kyle Brodziak


After a well-documented and abrupt end to the season for the Minnesota Wild, the team must now shift its focus to the offseason. The arrival of the offseason brings with it the need to make alterations to a roster that is loaded with core pieces but short on role players. One such role player who has an expiring contract and is slated to become a free agent on July 1st is veteran center Kyle Brodziak.

As easy as it has been to pile on Kyle Brodziak and his lack of offensive anything over the past two to three years, it can’t be denied that he does actually serve a purpose in many scenarios. Regardless of his lack of speed or a scoring touch, Brodziak makes up for it with defensive responsibility and excellent penalty killing, a category which the Minnesota Wild were tops in the NHL this year.

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Since his arrival to the club in 2009 from the Edmonton Oilers, the Wild have bounced Brodziak all over the lineup. Let’s remind ourselves that this guy once scored 22 goals on the first line while playing with the likes of Dany Heatley.

More recently though, Brodziak has primarily been a fourth line grinder averaging well under 15 minutes per game. He is an easy target to pile on at times, but Brodziak would be a valuable player to bring back if the Wild could get him on a one or two year deal.

With the Minnesota Wild’s first and second lines basically solidified for a few years to come, it would be wise to bring back a guy who has experience playing a consistent bottom-six role and one who is also capable of providing value in areas outside of scoring. At 30 years old, he is still young enough to the point that it wouldn’t be a huge risk and he can provide stability in areas the Wild are going to need it with a number of depth players potentially moving on to free agency.

Unfortunately for the Wild, Brodziak’s stock may be higher for other teams than it is here in Minnesota. There is speculation that the Wild will not be able to offer the same kind of money that other teams that covet Brodziak’s intangibles will be able to because of their need to resign Mikael Granlund and Devan Dubnyk, among others.

“Not really sure yet. First time I’ll ever be a UFA, so I don’t really know what to expect,” Brodziak said. “I haven’t had any conversations. Not really sure what they’re thinking yet, so I’m sure it’ll take some time for both sides to figure out what’s going to happen.”

If the Wild can sign Brodziak to a short term deal with a responsible dollar amount that doesn’t break the bank, I would say pull the trigger and lock him up. He’s familiar with Minnesota’s defensive structure and understands his role is to do the dirty work. For a team that is potentially losing a couple fourth line players, I believe Brodziak’s presence would be extremely valuable going into next season.