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 left wing Matt Kassian.
Number – 28; Height – 6-4; Weight – 232; Hometown – Edmonton, Alberta; 2011-12 Salary – $512,500.
Statistics: 24 games played, two goals, minus-two rating and 55 penalty minutes (Minnesota Wild); 26 games played, two goals, two assists, plus-two rating and 34 penalty minutes (Houston Aeros).
Strength: His strength is strength. He is big, strong and physical. He makes contributions to the team by igniting a spark through fighting and taking the body.
Weakness: He is not a great skater or scorer. He is nothing more than a fourth line tough guy and should not play more than a handful of shifts for about eight minutes of ice time.
Outlook: He sparked the Wild in multiple ways last season. First, he led the Wild to victory over the Edmonton Oilers on Dec. 29 with a couple fist-pumping bouts with their agitator. Then, he led a last second come back that got the Wild a point with a shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Mar. 1 with his first two career NHL goals. However, the latter may never happen again. They are the only two goals of his young career. The Wild have little toughness on its roster and really need to re-sign the big left wing. He is not an everyday player, but provides something every time he is in the lineup.