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 left wing Guillaume Latendresse.
Number – 48; Height – 6-2; Weight – 230; Hometown – Ste-Catherine, Quebec; 2011-12 Salary – $2,600,000. Qualifying Offer – $2,600,000.
Statistics – 16 games played, five goals, four assists, plus-six rating and 20 penalty minutes (Minnesota Wild).
Strengths: He is big, physical and a force around the net. He is an elite scoring forward. He makes everyone around him better with his ability to make opposing goaltenders uncomfortable.
Weaknesses: Health and consistency are his biggest downfalls. He is a very streaky scorer that will get goals in bunches and will go through lengthy droughts. Also, he missed significant time over the last two seasons with various injuries, including a concussion that forced him to miss 66 games last season.
Outlook: That is a lot of money to qualify a player that has played just 25 games over the last two seasons. The Wild has the cap space to do it, but it can’t just give it away. Latendresse is key part of the Wild’s offense. If he returns to the Wild, it will most likely be at a lower salary contract. However, with the expectation of having several low-salary entry level contracts on the NHL roster, it is probably worth the risk to keep him.