This is the first of what will hopefully be many “Gone Wild”, our weekly mailbag here at Gone Puck Wild. We got four questions, so let’s get down to business.
Mikko Koivu will be playing in his final year of his contract this season and is coming off a torn ACL. He’ll be 37 years old during the 2020-2021 season and for a team that will probably be looking to get younger it’s hard to imagine Captain Koivu being back with the Wild. Although, it’s not out of the question, but let’s say he’ll be gone.
It’s probably not the hottest of takes, but I think the captain for the Wild in the 2020-2021 season will be defenseman, Ryan Suter. Suter will be 35 years old when the 2020-2021 season rolls around and I think he’ll still be playing at a high level.
This is a great question and yes I think Chuck Fletcher would have handled last year better. During the Wild’s run of six straight playoff appearances they always seemed to have many ups and downs throughout the regular season. Paul Fenton hadn’t been around that and he had no ’emotional’ ties to any of the players he traded away. I think if Fletcher had been in the driver seat he would have rode it out with the roster he had and seen where it went. I also don’t think Fletcher would have honed in on a player like Kevin Fiala, like Fenton reportedly did in the Mikael Granlund trade.
Ryan Donato. It was impressive to see the impact he made for the Wild after they acquired him from the Boston Bruins for Charlie Coyle. In his first game with the Wild he registered two assists and the Wild snapped a five-game losing streak by defeating the New York Rangers. Donato registered one point or more during his first five games with the Wild and the team won all five games. In 22 games with the Wild, Donato finished with 16 points. He scored four goals, recorded 12 assists and had 64 shots on goal. If the Wild are going to get back to the postseason they’ll need Donato to have a breakout season and I think he’ll deliver.
Since trading Victor Rask is mission impossible right now, I’ll take that off the table since my name is not Ethan Hunt.
My first move would be giving Jared Spurgeon an extension or trying to trade him. Locking up Spurgeon, one of the most underrated defenseman in the league will probably be at the top of the list for the next general manager. However, Spurgeon is also the most attractive asset the Wild have at their disposal. By trading him they could acquire more assets and accelerate the ‘rebuild’.