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 goaltender Dennis Endras.
Number – 44; Height – 6-0; Weight – 167; Hometown – Immenstadt, Germany; 2011-12 Salary – $660,000. Qualifying Offer – $726,000.
Strengths: He is a quick and mentally tough goaltender with an unusual style. He covers angles well and has great reflexes. He is very good in shootouts.
Weaknesses: Size always seems to be negative for every goaltender, so why not include Endras’ slim frame. He has the skill set to be good, but hasn’t been able to translate it over an entire season.
Outlook: He was a sought-after free agent prospect after the 2010 World Championship. In the first game of that tournament, he single-handedly defeated the United States. He went on to win the tournament’s MVP and Best Goaltender Awards, along with All-Star Team honors. He posted good stats for the Aeros before he was sent to HIFK Helsinki in Finland’s Elite League on loan. His future with the Wild and the NHL may hinge on the Wild’s decision on its backup goaltender. He could be a quality goaltender definitely worth the contract. But if there isn’t room him, the contract can better served going elsewhere.