The Wild were a pretty silent player in Sunday's NHL draft. They didn't have a 1st round pick due to the hit & miss trade that resulted in Jason Pominville coming here, getting a concussion and then missing part of the 1st round playoff series. Yuck.
That didn't stop the Wild from trading fan favorite Cal Clutterbuck to the New York Islanders for something called Nino Niederreiter, who was the 5th overall pick in the 2010 draft. Clutterbuck was always a fan favorite here because he skated around and checked people, other than that and his mustache growing ability he was limited. The fact that he wasn't that skilled didn't bother people. This past season Clutterbuck wasn't as crazy as he used to be (maybe it was the really bad commercials he started filming), so when he didn't play as hard, didn't provide scoring, he didn't offer much. Clutterbuck had became a Cluster…… you get it.
Here is El Nino's bio His 2010/2011 year in the NHL was……. well, interesting….. He played 55 games and had ONE point.
I'm not going to pretend like I know anything about the Wild players chosen. I'm not a big fan of watching junior hockey games from Canada on the internet. Here is the rundown of what the Wild drafted. Not exactly household names but maybe they will eventually be.
The Twins lost….to the Royals…..again. The Twins used to dominate the hopeless Royals but now the not quite as bad Royals, are leading the season series 7-3. Now the Yankees roll into town.
By the time you read this (likely) NBA Free Agency 2013 will have tipped off. Andrei Kirilenko has opted out of his deal so he can be chased by any team. Chase Budinger is an unrestricted free agent so he can be "Chase"d by all teams. Nikola Pekovic is a restricted free-agent meaning the Wolves can match any offer he receives.
There has been a lot written about this trio and other moves that the Wolves could/should make. It's basically all for certain that Kirilenko is gone. The Wolves could still resign him but he'll be looking at 3-4 years and about a total around $7 to $8 million a year. I love AK but no way with his injury history, should any team pay him that.
Budinger would be welcomed back and at a fair price. He is a solid athlete who can shoot and we were cheated from witnessing everything that he brings to the table after he was injured last season and struggled to regain his explosion. Flip was meeting up with him right away tonight out in California. We'll see. Budinger is one of those sneaky players that you see on other times as a good piece to the puzzle and hopefully we get him back.
And then there's Pek.
Pek is a folk hero to Wolves fans. He's a big intimidating force that walks around with a massive tattoo of skulls on one arm, while there is a big bear tattoo on his forearm. He's also skilled as far as centers in the NBA go.
He's worth about $9-$11 million a year but there is fear that ONE team will make Pek a huge offer of $12 million or more and then the Wolves will have to decide on whether they should match or not. Paying too much for Pek will create a real problem for the Wolves down the line. I think Pek likes it here and hopefully he accepts a realistic offer. If a team offers him $14 mil or more, he's gone for sure, but if the Wolves offer him $10 mil and another team offers him $11.5 mil, maybe he'll take our offer while leaving money on the table.
It only takes one team to mess this up.