Minnesota gave Devan Dubnyk a sweet deal

Ryan Kennedy
Devan Dubnyk has helped turn things around for the Minnesota Wild since being acquired on Jan. 14. (Bruce Kluckhohn/Getty Images)

Devan Dubnyk was incredibly valuable in getting Minnesota to the post-season. Apparently, that value was six more years of service for a grand total of $26 million.

That`s the pact the netminder just signed with the Wild, bringing a reasonable cap hit of $4.3 million with it. But the length is something to behold.

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Coveted NCAA defenseman Mike Reilly chooses Minnesota Wild

Matt Larkin
Mike Reilly (Richard T Gagnon/Getty Images)

The top college free agent player has decided to stay home. Per beat writer Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, defenseman Mike Reilly will sign with the Minnesota Wild on an expected two-year, $1.85-million deal when eligible next Wednesday.

Reilly, 21, was born in Chicago but raised in Minnesota. He cut his teeth at the esteemed Shattuck-St. Mary’s. He won a gold medal with the U.S. world junior team in 2013 and bronze playing with men on the World Championship team this spring. Reilly played his college hockey at the University of Minnesota. He stood out as a puck-mover, notching better than a point per game in 2014-15 with the Gophers, and he’s the reigning Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. He was a Hobey Baker finalist, too.

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2015 Draft Preview – Minnesota Wild must fill in gaps

Matt Larkin
Alex Tuch (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)

The Wild’s immediate future is tough to project after an odd season in which goalie Devan Dubnyk’s freakishly good performance carried them to the playoffs. Did that feel-good story mask a few team needs? The Wild’s good young forwards have blended nicely with their vets, and their blue-chip blueliners have improved, but they still have some flaws to address at the draft and in free agency.

PICKS:
Round 1, pick 20
Round 2, pick 50
Round 4, pick 111
Round 6, pick 171
Round 7, picks 201, 204

SHORT-TERM NEEDS:
Jonas Brodin has emerged as a defensive pillar, and 2012 first-rounder Mathew Dumba made an impressive jump to full-time NHL duty, but Minny could use a physical, top-four veteran blueliner to take pressure off Ryan Suter. Many of the Wild’s checking forwards are UFAs this summer, so GM Chuck Fletcher must re-sign or replenish bodies for his bottom six. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Will Thornton and Marleau bid the Bay Area farewell?

Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau of the San Jose Sharks. (Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images)

During the summer of 2014, there was considerable trade speculation regarding San Jose Sharks’ veteran stars Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau. The Sharks were still reeling from their opening-round playoff elimination by the Los Angeles Kings. General manager Doug Wilson promised significant changes, stoking the rumors Thornton or Marleau would be dealt.

The trade chatter about the duo fizzled out when both made it clear in media interviews they weren’t waiving their respective no-movement clauses. With the Sharks going on to miss the playoffs this season, CSN Bay Area’s Kevin Kurz speculates over the possibility Thornton or Marleau will be part of a blockbuster move this summer.

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Pressing question for Wild: Is Devan Dubnyk a $5 million man?

Ken Campbell
Devan Dubnyk (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

If Devan Dubnyk gets something just north of $5 million a year on a long-term deal with the Minnesota Wild, he’ll be 19th in the NHL when it comes to salary cap hit among goalies. That doesn’t seem outrageous or unreasonable, considering his performance this season and the fact he’s 29 and this is the first time he hasn’t played behind a terrible team.

But if you’re Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, do you really want to offer a big-money, long-term deal to a player with such a checkered past when you’ve already got five contracts that have at least five more years remaining?

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Team USA summer roster out; look for an experienced world junior squad

Noah Hanifin of Boston College (Tom Sorensen/USA Hockey)

Team USA was almost shockingly young at the world juniors in 2015, so perhaps it wasn’t surprising that the Americans lost to Russia in the quarterfinal, mainly due to a rash of unnecessary penalties. But the wound of that loss could become vital scar tissue for the 2016 squad.

Because USA Hockey just released its preliminary summer camp roster and it is heavy on experience.

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Jackets’ Johansen throws shade at departing NCAA free agent Reilly

Ryan Johansen (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

American collegiate defenseman Mike Reilly told the Columbus Blue Jackets Wednesday he would not be signing with them despite the organization drafting him in the fourth round (98th overall) in 2011. And via a pointed message on social media shortly after the news, Blue Jackets star center Ryan Johansen told Reilly he wouldn’t be missed in Columbus. Read more

Not to worry, Lightning fans – this team will be back in the Cup final soon

(Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

You could see it in the dejection splashed across the face of Steven Stamkos, and hear it in the considered whisper of Jon Cooper: the Tampa Bay Lightning were spent, physically and emotionally, and at a loss for appropriate words in the wake of losing the Stanley Cup final to the superior Blackhawks Monday. Undoubtedly, their fans and management were devastated as well; you would be too if you cheered on or built up a speedy and skilled roster of players who defied the odds and two of the league’s very best goalies en route to their fourth-round showdown against the Hawks. To get within eye distance of a lifelong dream and fall short is about as excruciating as it gets for professional athletes and those who support them.

But the mourning period for this edition of the team ought to be short, because the Lightning are anything but one-year wonders. The group GM Steve Yzerman has in place will have just as good a chance of returning to next year’s Cup final and at least a couple more after that. The Bolts are young, their salary cap situation is tenable – and if you look closely enough at this year’s squad, you’ll see they should be a little more lucky when next they’re playing for the best trophy in all of sport. And they will be back, and at least as dangerous next time around. Read more