The Minnesota Wild have 14 restricted 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 restricted free agent defenseman Jeff Penner.
Number – 17; Height – 5-10; Weight – 183; Hometown –Steinbach, Manitoba; 2011-12 Salary – $525,000. Qualifying Offer – $577,500.
Statistics: 30 games played, three goals, nine assists, minus-seven rating and 18 penalty minutes (Houston Aeros).
Strengths: He is a good skating, offensive defenseman. He has a hard shot with a quick release. He gets shots to the net and moves the puck well.
Weaknesses: He is a smaller defenseman that can be pushed around in the defensive zone. He is not a top tier defenseman and does not look like anything more than a depth defenseman.
Outlook: The Wild acquired him in a trade deadline deal in 2011 and re-signed him as a restricted free agent last summer. Fletcher really likes mobile defensemen that can move puck. Penner is one of those guys, but he had limited playing time with the Aeros last season. He is certainly a guy the Wild could pass on giving a qualifying offer. Especially with the number of players starting their entry level contracts next season.