Welcome to the final edition of who the Minnesota Wild should sign. With the free agency signing period just under a week old, it is time to reveal the best six players the Minnesota Wild should sign during the offseason.
Making big news before July 1st, the Arizona Coyotes acquired Phil Kessel, prospect Dane Birks, and a 2021 4th round pick for Alex Galchenyuk and prospect Pierre-Olivier Joseph. This is after Penguins GM Jim Rutherford had essentially already traded Phil Kessel to the Wild, but Kessel nixed the move. It is well known that Kessel and Coyotes Head Coach Rick Tocchet have a chemistry that’s hardly been seen with Phil and a member of his coaching staff. It is interesting to see that he approved this trade after declining the Minnesota move, with his central concern being “Who’s going to get me the puck?” I would have said Alex Galchenyuk would be the perfect setup/1-2 punch, but he is going the other way. Clayton Keller has potential, but I doubt Kessel has the desire or the patience to develop young talent. We would typically see the young Jake Guentzel playing with Crosby rather than Malkin or Phil. I’m certain the entire NHL will keep tabs on how Phil is doing in the desert throughout the season.
The NHL lost one of the best goaltenders since players not named Patrick Roy, Martin Brodeur, or Dominik Hasek were occupying the net. Roberto Luongo announced his retirement in Luongo fashion, stating:
His retirement has implications on both coastlines of North America. The most immediate being the Florida Panthers not having a goaltender, which is convenient because there is a Russian netminder they call Bob who wouldn’t mind calling Sunrise, Florida home, and the Panthers have suddenly found the need for a new goalie. The more long-term implication is on the Vancouver Canucks, whose relationship with the goalie was tenuous at best, culminating in Bobby Lue saying:
Because of his early retirement, Roberto Luongo will cost his former team just north of $3 million per season for the next 3 seasons, which puts the Canucks in a bit of a bind. They were making serious splashes around the draft, nailing prospects and getting J.T. Miller, but after the Canucks signed Tyler Myers to a $6million/year for five years, people were less confident in the direction the team could be headed. Myers is now paid just under top defensive pairing money, despite the fact he’s viewed as a 2nd or 3rd pair player. It would be likely the Canucks would be paying for the size and not necessarily the playing ability.