Seeing that there is some optimism floating around today (maybe the weekend too), I jumped to a few sites to see whom the Wild have yet to sign and noticed that the only player that does not have a contract was Veilleux. It would seem the Wild are one of the few teams that are nearly set if a season were to start close to the first of the month as speculated.
The NHLPA site lists 20 guys or so signed, which leaves a few spots left for some AHLers. Which brings me to my point, which players do you realisticly see getting a chance to play in a partial season? I can think of five or so that would really be the only legit contenders for the final spots in a shortened season.
Koivu-might play in a few games but I don't think he'll play the entire 30 plus games this year.
Reitz-not much to say other then the Wild will have 2 other d-men vying for the coveted #7th d-men.
Foy-no chance at any games
Cavanaugh-slim, I do remember some talk last season about a potential callup but
Who else is left? Will the Wild just sign someone else to fill the remaining spots? What of the talk of a possible minimum for a cap? Currently the Wild are just below 30 million without Veileux and the open rosters spots. Here's a chance to pick up another solid player with some time under there belt! Signing someone doesn't seem likely to me but you never know.
I didn't include guys like O'Sullivan, Thelen, Irmen, because I don't see them getting signed as a plausible scenario. Maybe O'Sullivan but not to jump ship for his OHL team, just to avoid any future UFA problems with him.
Here's to hopin' this God awful labor strife crap comes to an end this week.
From the looks of it there will be some spots open for guys to play. With the possibility of a very short camp, decisions will have to be made on limited exposure. I'd like to see some guys in Houston get a fair shake, but I also think with such a small schedule, we might see management actually throw a little money around and sign some NHL caliber players. All it would take is a very good "stretch" and we could be looking at a high seed and possibly an "easy" road to the cup. Especially with the style we play and other teams maybe needing extra time to gel offensively, I wouldn't be surprised if we took a shot.
On the other hand, if they chose to let things take their course, as they have been, your list of Wallin through Law seems pretty accurate. Wallin especially should get every chance to produce at this level...it seems his game translates well to this team. Veilleux too, but more as a 3rd to 4th line guy. As far as defense is concerned, I really liked Michalek steadiness last year and seems to have the inside track. Giroux might fit in as well but will have a lot to prove to JL in our defense-heavy system. He is a veteren though and should do fine if he works hard. The one guy I do see making a play to make the roster is Mikko. His production this year has surprised me and if his comes to camp with a nice well rounded game, I could see management making a push for him to stick. Plus we all know how we like to keep our larger investments close.
All this could be moot, but I hope not. *fingers crossed*