- Cody Almond - He could start the season in Minnesota the way he finished it, but I suspect he'll start the season in Houston
- Colton Gillies - Did he prove enough in the AHL to earn his way back into the NHL in his third pro year? I don't know that he has.
- Carson McMillan - He'll be in Houston.
- Jarod Palmer - Another off-season college signing for the Wild. It's a 2-way deal, so I would expect him to start in Houston.
- JM Daoust - Signed this week to a well-deserved one year, 2-way NHL deal. Can't argue with that one bit. Great to have him back and hear nice things about him from folks who know.
- Chad Rau - Rau had a great rookie season and Mike Russo tweeted Friday that sources indicate an NHL deal for Rau is in the works. Expect him back.(Signed for 2 years)
- Petr Kalus - He's proven to have matured and has contributed at both levels. In Mill's most recent talk with O'Donnell, he said Kalus will be back.
- Danny Irmen - It doesn't appear that this regime sees him contributing in Minnesota much, so do they allow him to use up one of the 50 NHL contracts allowed to NHL teams, or do they let him give free agency a shot? I really don't know.
- Matt Kassian - Constantine named Matt as probably the most improved player over his time here, having gone from just a guy who fights and protects to a bonafide hockey player. If the organization concurs and maybe even sees him as an heir apparent to Boogaard, he'll be back. Plus, he's a just a damn good guy and you need his personality in the room.
- Morten Madsen - Nope. He'll be with Modo in Sweden again this year, from what I hear. BTW, he's tearing it up in Europe. The change was great for him.
This group is hard to get a read on, because in the recent past, the Wild have not tended to re-sign free agents. So even if some of them would be a quality re-signing and shouldn't be measurably more expensive than last year, who knows if they a) want to be back b) are wanted back c) will be a good fit with the new coach d) name your factor. I'm not even going to bother wagering a guess.
- Andy Hilbert - Sure he only played 33 games, but he had 25 points in those games. He's more of a playmaker, but 50+ points if he'd played a full season would have been a significant difference this year. He's got several years of NHL experience, which could be valuable to the Wild if they need a veteran call-up. Would like him back, I think, but he'd make more money in Europe.
- Jon DiSalvatore - He's a consistent scorer and one of those career AHL players who can make a difference and does make more than the average AHLer but won't completely break the bank. He has moved around a lot though in his career, only 2 years in the same organization. Is that his doing? Assuming it's not a personality thing if he was worthy of being the captain here.
- Duncan Milroy - Funny story: I went to my hockey game the other night and the other girls and I were changing after the game. One of the girls is talking about how someone kept passing the puck to her and it would go between her feet and she didn't know what to do about it. She says, "I was a total Milroy out there!" I stop what I doing: "A Milroy?" "Yeah, you know, like the Aeros player. Just out there not knowing what the hell I'm doing." Hahahaha. Wow. So, I think that kinda tells you whether Milroy will be back.
- Nathan Smith - He was fine and got a cuppa with Minnesota, but I'm guessing the organization moves on.
- CORRECTION: Robbie Earl - He had the most time of anyone up with Minnesota and was pretty effective up there. I would expect them to retain him and maybe give a chance to win a spot with the big club. (Originally had him as a RFA, but he's a UFA. They're looking for speed in MN, but being a UFA, that changes my thought. I'm now doubting we'll see him back.)
- Peter Zingoni - Two years in a row now of less than 50 games played. Guessing he'd come cheap at least, and certainly on an AHL contract, but I kinda doubt he'll be back.
- Brandon Buck - He certainly showed he could play when he was up in Houston, and was an All Star in the ECHL. In Joe O'Donnell's check-in with Jim Mill, he talked like Buck is either already signed to an AHL deal or will be soon. Book him.
Will get after the Defense sometime soon.