Though not in the playoffs, it’s been a nice week for the Minnesota Wild. Yesterday, the Wild announced a two year contract extension with defenseman Clayton Stoner. Stoner racked up 5 points in 51 games for the Wild last season, and played well when he was healthy. The durability, unfortunately, has been the biggest problem for Stoner in his career so far. This locks in another member of the Wild Defense Core, which currently includes:
For those that think Ryan Sutter is Minnesota bound, the openings in the defense are being filled pretty rapidly, not that one wouldn’t open up for Sutter, but the Wild sure aren’t leaving many holes to fill.
The Wild also announced the addition of an ECHL affiliate in the newly created (or recreated for those of you that remember the original) Orlando Solar Bears. Now, this doesn’t really mean a ton for the Wild in terms of the main roster. The Wild have had several ECHL affiliates over the years, with the most recent before the Solar Bears being the Bakersfield Condors, and none of them have housed many main prospects or produced serviceable NHL players for the Wild. What it will do is provide the Houston Aeros with some help should the entire Wild roster get hurt again next year (Please no- fingers crossed). In any case, it is always nice to have depth to draw from, and the Solar Bears will definitely help to provide that.
The Quebec Major Junior League’s President’s Cup was one this week by the Saint John Sea Dogs. For those not following along, two of the Wild’s prized prospects, Zack Phillips (28th overall 2011- pick acquired from San Jose) and Charlie Coyle (28th overall 2010 by San Jose- acquired from San Jose in trade for Brent Burns), are on the top line for the Sea Dogs. Coyle was named the QMJHL Playoffs MVP registering 34 points (15G, 19A) and has been in beast mode since joining the Sea Dogs mid season. This is the team’s 2nd consecutive President’s Cup, and the team will now turn its attention to defending its Memorial Cup that they also won last year. Both of these guys are playing great hockey, and both will be in the Wild organization next season in either Minnesota or Houston. It will be a huge shock to me if Coyle is not on the Wild roster at the start of next season.
Lastly, with the New Jersey Devils advancing to the Eastern Conference Finals, the Wild acquire the Devil’s 3rd round pick in 2013, which was conditional in the Marek Zidlicky trade. Well worth it, Thanks Lou.
Thanks to everyone for reading, sorry for the inconsistent updates, I’ve been moving. It’s been stressful.
Hope everyone is enjoying the playoffs. They have not yielded many dull moments and our not lacking for storylines.
Have a good weekend everybody.
On twitter @Wild_Halo