You play Wild GM: Trades, free agency, buyouts, depth chart info
So, just do the math. Not only does the Wild not have a No. 1 goalie yet, it hasn’t re-signed restricted free agents Cal Clutterbuck, Jared Spurgeon and maybe Justin Falk.
So the reality is Fletcher will have to create some cap flexibility. Not everybody can come back. There will be trades, potential buyouts, etc.
(Remember, you can surpass the salary-cap ceiling by 10 percent during the offseason as long as you get cap compliant by opening night).
As I reported in today’s newspaper, Dany Heatley can’t be bought out because he is as of now deemed an “injured player.” He is doing well in his rehab and expected to be ready by training camp. Amazing bad luck for the Wild. A guy that never gets hurt (80+ games six of the previous seven years) gets hurt on the night it makes the Jason Pominville trade against his former team, San Jose, after an infraction from his former teammate, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, AFTER the final buzzer.
(Ironically, I’m hearing the man he was traded for – San Jose’s Martin Havlat – also has offseason abdominal surgery and thus can’t be bought out).
Pierre-Marc Bouchard will become a free agent July 5. Matt Cullen could very well, too, unless there are trades to create space in the next few weeks. And as we have all learned over the years, the closer the player gets to free agency, the more likely he is to test it.
Frankly, and this is Fletcher’s M.O. anyway, I’d think there will be some trades leading into the June 30 draft in Newark.