I received a few questions about the Minnesota Wild through Twitter, Facebook and email. I will answer those questions in this article.
If you have a question about the Wild, submit it on Twitter to my handle (@MNSportsWriter), on Facebook or email it to me through the contact link in my profile.
What should we expect from Mikael Granlund this season?
He is a dynamic puckhandler and playmaker, but a Wayne Gretzky or even Mikko Koivu type of impact is a bit too much.
He has battled injury and illness for the last couple seasons and has not played more than 45 games in a season.
Also, he needs to get acclimated to the more physical style game in North America (the players are bigger and faster and the ice sheet is smaller).
What role do you see Mathew Dumba playing this season?
He will probably play 25-30 minutes each game in all situations, from power play to penalty kill to the clutch final minutes of the game for his Red Deer Rebels junior team.
Do you think there will be a lockout?
As a hockey fan, I hope not.
As a journalist, I hope not.
Gut reaction, yes.
The current CBA expires in just over two weeks. That is not a lot of time, but also deals tend to get done at the last minute.
Just think about the two guys leading each; NHL commissioner Gary Bettman (two NHL work stoppages) and NHLPA executive director Donald Fehr (six or so Major League Baseball work stoppages).
Based on both of their histories, don’t hold your breath that the season will start on time.
Who would a lockout help the most?
The amateur leagues – most notably the Canadian junior teams – and American Hockey League (AHL) would benefit the most.
The AHL will get the best players in the world with minor league eligibility (those on two-way contracts).
The Canadian junior teams would get to keep their top players that have junior eligibility remaining, including the top 2012 draft picks.
The American amateur teams (United States Hockey League and NCAA teams) will receive its benefit just from the threat of a lockout. Players that have signed their entry-level contract (ELC) are not eligible for the NCAA. For example, a college player can sign his ELC. But if there is a lockout, they are playing in the AHL. That player can also choose not to sign and have the stability of knowing exactly where he will play in college.