March 3, 2024

Wild get Maroon to add grit, championship pedigree to the roster

After the NHL Draft, free agency and other offseason moves, is examining where each team stands in preparation for the 2023-24 regular season, which begins in October. 10. Today, the Minnesota Wild:

Season 2022-23: 46-25-11, third in Central Division; lost in Western Conference First Round

Key arrival

Pat MaroonA: Acquired in a trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 2 for a seventh-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft. The 35-year-old is expected to add physicality, leadership and Stanley Cup pedigree. He won the Cup with Tampa Bay in 2020 and 2021 and with the St. Louis Blues in 2019. Maroon had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in 80 regular-season games with the Lightning last season and led the NHL in penalty minutes (150). He had one assist in six Stanley Cup playoff games.

Video: Pat Maroon joins the show

Key events

John Klingberg,d: He signed a one-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1. He had 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists) in 67 regular-season games for the Wild Ducks and Anaheim last season, including nine points (two goals, seven assists) in 17 games after being acquired in a March 3 trade with the Ducks. Klingberg had three goals in four games (an assist) in four games. … Ryan ReavesA: He signed a three-year contract with the Maple Leafs on July 1. He had 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 73 regular-season games for the Wild and New York Rangers, all of his points coming with Minnesota after being acquired in a trade on Nov. 23. He did not have a point in six playoff games. … Sam CruachA: He signed a one-year contract with the Dallas Stars on July 1. He had 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 65 regular season games and two points (one goal, one assist) in five playoff games. … Gustav NyquistA: He signed a two-year contract with the Nashville Predators on July 1. He had 27 points (11 goals, 16 assists) in 51 regular season games for the Wild and Columbus Blue Jackets including five points (one goal, four assists) in three games after being acquired in a trade with the Blue Jackets on February 28. He had five assists in six games played. … Oscar SundqvistA: He signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Blues on July 12. He had 28 points (10 goals, 18 assists) in 67 games for the Wild and Detroit Red Wings last season, including seven points (three goals, four assists) in 15 games after being acquired in a trade with the Red Wings on March 3. Sundqvist had one goal in a one-off game.

On the cusp

Brock Faber,d: The 20-year-old played in two regular season games and six playoff games for Minnesota last season. A second-round pick (No. 45) in the 2020 NHL Draft, Faber had 27 points (four goals, 23 assists) in 38 games for the University of Minnesota last season. Faber also had five assists in seven games to help the United States win gold at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championship and played for the United States at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. … Marco RossiA: The 21-year-old, who was the No. 1 pick, had one assist. 9 in the 2020 draft, in 19 regular season games with Minnesota last season and was second to Iowa of the American Hockey League with 51 points (16 goals, 35 assists) in 53 regular season games. He had six points (one goal, five assists) in seven games for Austria at the 2023 IIHF World Championship. … Sammy WalkerA: The 24-year-old had two points (one goal, one assist) in nine regular season games for the Wild. A seventh-round pick (No. 200) by the Lightning in the 2017 NHL Draft, Walker led Iowa in goals (27) and was third in points (48) in 56 games.

What they still need

To get a goalie Philip Gustavsson signed. The restricted free agent, who has a salary arbitration hearing scheduled for Aug. 4, had a career high 39 games (22-9-7) in 39 games (37 starts) and three shutouts. His 2.10 goals-against average and .931 save percentage ranked second among NHL goaltenders (minimum 20 games) behind the Vezina Trophy winner Linus Ullmark of the Boston Bruins (1.89. GAA, .938 save percentage).

They said it

“I would love to be more active (in free agency). At certain times of the day, you get frustrated, but then you look at your board and realize that most of your team is already intact. We still have some RFA contracts to sign but, for the most part, our team is together and we’re happy with that.” — general manager Bill Guerin

Fantasy focus

goalkeeper Jesper Wallstedt and Rossi gives the Wild another gear to achieve in fantasy keeper and dynasty leagues. Wallstedt enters Levi Devon of the Buffalo Sabers and Yaroslav Askarov of the Nashville Predators as rookie defensemen who can make a big fantasy impact this season, if they play in the NHL. Rossi’s ceiling is filling the Wild’s center void on a line with an elite wing Kirill Kaprizov and/or Matt Boldy in the coming years. — Pete Jensen

Video: WPG@MIN: Kaprizov sends in payback for PPG

Projected line

Kirill Kaprizov – Ryan HartmanMats Zuccarello

Matthew Boldy — Joel Eriksson MeMarcus Johansson

Marcus FolignoFrederick GaudreauBrandon Duhaime

Pat Maroon — Marco Rossi — Connor Dewar

Jake MiddletonJared Spurgeon

Jonas BrodinCalen Addison

Jon Merrill — Brock Faber

Philip Gustavsson

Marc-Andre Fleury

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