The Minnesota Wild have 11 unrestricted free agents.
Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher and head coach Mike Yeo have a decision to make on all the free agents.
The Wild currently have 31 players under contract for next season; each team is allowed a maximum of 50.
With the 19 remaining contracts, at least one will be used on drafted players that have expiring rights this summer. Also, there is cap space to try and lure a big name free agent or two to Minnesota.
Here is unrestricted free agent defenseman Kurtis Foster.
Number – 20; Height – 6-5; Weight – 225; Hometown – Carp, Onatario; 2011-12 Salary – $1,800,000.
Statistics: 14 games played, plus-one rating and four penalty minutes (Minnesota Wild); 28 games played, three goals, nine assists, minus-nine rating and 23 penalty minutes (New Jersey Devils); nine games played, one goal, one assist, minus-five rating and eight penalty minutes (Anaheim Ducks).
Strength: He is a big defenseman with a big shot. His shot is his best asset. He is most effective on the point on the power play.
Weakness: He is not a great skater and does not play with enough physicality. The broken femur suffered in 2008 and subsequent complications in surgery may be a factor in his lack of speed. Despite being bigger than most forwards in the league, he does not use it to intimidate the opponent.
Outlook: The Wild acquired him in a trade with the Devils in late February. It was the second time he had been traded last season; the Devils picked him up from the Ducks in early December. The Wild acquired him to help with the power play and provide offense from the blue line. He did not record a point for the Wild and was a healthy scratch on numerous occasions down the stretch. I would be very surprised if he is re-signed.