After an extended break, the Gone Wild Weekly Mailbag returns! With only one question this week, we discuss one’s concern with the Jared Spurgeon Contract.
In the middle of training camp, Jares Spurgeon signed a seven-year $53 Million contract extension soon after the Minnesota Wild hired Bill Geurin. Unlike the old guard, Geurin took a massive interest in getting Jared Spurgeon under contract as soon as possible, so the cloud of uncertainty wouldn’t follow him throughout the season. It also was pragmatic to get him a contract before the market price continued to rise, the biggest criticism of Paul Fenton’s handling of Spurgeon’s contract negotiation.
When Spurgeon put pen to paper, I can’t recall any criticism of the deal. Jared Spurgeon is a keystone in the locker room, a potential future captain, and a model for what hard work is required to be successful in the NHL, something Bruce Boudreau feels some could still learn.
So to answer if his contract has made him unmoveable: No, absolutely not. Jared Spurgeon is still twenty-nine. If the Wild decide to dive in the tank, the Vultures will descend onto the Wild to pick apart the defense. The Wild are in the top third of the NHL when it comes to their defensemen, and with where the skillset of the everyday NHL defenseman is shifting too, there will be teams stumbling over one another to acquire players like Jared Spurgeon, Matthew Dumba, or Jonas Brodin. If the Wild want to move Jared Spurgeon in the first four years of the contract, it’ll be Jared’s choice. If the Wild were to attempt to move Spurgeon and they received his approval, I imagine it would be something similar to the Oklahoma City Thunder ultimately trading Russell Westbrook. Westbrook is a franchise icon for the Thunder, carrying the team through dark times, but once GM Sam Presti decided it was time to rebuild, he helped Westbrook find a destination that would give him a great shot at a championship, out of mutual respect. Jared Spurgeon isn’t the generational talent that Russell Westbrook is, but I feel he has similar importance to his franchise as Westbrook had. A leader, an energizer, and a mentor.
Looking at the specific skill set of Jared Spurgeon, right-handed puck-moving defensemen are usually paid at a premium in the NHL. Spurgeon’s lack of size is becoming less and less important as the game continues to get faster and more agile. If the Minnesota Wild decides to move on from Jared Spurgeon, it’s a signifier that the team is going into a rebuild. I don’t foresee that happening, this team is too good to tank, but not good enough to be taken as favorites to win the Cup. Scoring is scarce, but management and leadership might look to next year as Kiril Kaprizov all but confirmed his commitment to the Wild next season.
Next Gone Wild Mailbag will be Friday! Feel free to tweet your questions in!