RESEASON OUTLOOK: Good bordering on rosy. They had added Dubnyk in net halfway through the previous season and he had solidified the team, they rallied and were a tough out in the playoffs. A full season of Dubnyk in net and the Wild looked forward to a deep run in the playoffs.
FINAL RECORD: 38-33-11 87 points. 8th in West. Elininated first round by the Stars.
HIGH POINT OF THE YEAR: A decent stretch drive accompanied by an utter collapse by the Avalanche during the final weeks got them into the playoffs in spite of having a poor year by the standards they had set.
LOW POINT OF THE YEAR: Losing Parise for the postseason just prior to their series with the Stars more or less sealed their fate. Firing Yeo who fired the team up the previous season and pushing them into the postseason was another low. Watching him in an interview the day before being fired, seeing the look in his eyes which stated that he had no Earthly idea what on Earth to try next was painful.
WHAT WENT RIGHT: Mikko Koivu (19-37-56) bounced back nicely to lead the team in scoring and prove he is not done. Parise scored 25 goals to lead the team. Ryan Suter (8-43-51) was the QB of the team from the back end playing nearly 30 minutes a night. Niederreiter (20 goals) and Coyle (21 goals) proved they are here to stay. Erik Haula established himself as a middle six forward. Matthew Dumba showed his promise to be an offensive d-man.
WHAT WENT WRONG: Start with Dubnyk who was not as bad as two seasons before when he bounced around 4 organizations, but he did not resemble the goalie who carried them the year before. He looked average and like he had lost all confidence. Vanek (18 goals) and Pominville (11-25-36) were both healthy scratches by new coach John torchetti to wake them up with at best mixed results. Lots of money for little production from the two of them. Jason zucker (13-10-23) took a step back. Overall the entire offense along with the goaltending took a step backwards.
MVP: Giving it to Suter who alone had a brilliant season among the Wild players.
FREE AGENTS: lots of old vets.
Jarret Stoll, David Jones, Chris Porter and Ryan Carter are all likely gone to allow young kids ice time.
Justin Fontaine is an UFA and young enough to try to keep. He looks like at least a good 4th liner and possibly a bit more.
PROSPECTS FOR 2016-17: Mike Reilly was signed as a college free agent after the Jackets failed to sign him, he played in Minnesota with mixed results but big things are hoped for as a future shutdown blueliner. Gustav Olofsson will be looking to stick with the big club on defense as well, a big rugged shut down guy with an attitude. Top prospect Alex Tuch was was a first rounder two years ago left college and signed with the Wild, an explosive scoring winger will likely start the year in Iowa but will be an early call up if the offense falters. Lots of middling prospects such as forwards Bertschy, Kurtis Gabriel and Tyler Graovac all will fight for playing time with the exodus of the bottom tier veteran forwards who are moving on.
OFFSEASON QUESTIONS: Is it possible to find a trade partner for either Pominville or Vanek to free up cap space? If not, can the kids step into the roles of the middling vets who are moving on? Which Dubnyk is the real one? Can they figure a way to add a front line center?