Calm waters in Minnesota
A lot of eyes will be on the Minnesota Wild this season after they acquired Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Calm waters in Minnesota
The Minnesota Wild have been quiet following their signings of left winger Zach Parise and defenseman Ryan Suter to lucrative, long-term contracts.
Those deals pushed the Wild’s payroll close to the projected salary cap of $70.2 million and left them with around $1.3 million in cap space. This prompted speculation the Wild would attempt to create some room by moving out a salaried player or two.
It has also inspired some to dream up trade scenarios involving the Wild, one of which had them shipping Dany Heatley to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Michael Russo of StarTribune.com, however, interviewed Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, who said he had nothing going on of late regarding trade talks with other clubs.
Fletcher said he would prefer to see how things shake out during training camp before making any decisions on possible trades.
He would also undoubtedly prefer to wait and see how things shake out with the new CBA and how it will impact his payroll.
Whatever happens, it’s clear Fletcher isn’t under pressure to make any moves at the moment.
HUET TRYING TO RETURN FROM SWITZERLAND
Former Chicago Blackhawks goaltender Cristobal Huet is hoping to make an NHL comeback this season.
To become salary cap compliant over the past two seasons, the Blackhawks loaned Huet to Swiss team Fribourg-Gotteron and cleared the remainder of his four-year, $22.5-million contract from their books.
His contract is now expired and the 36-year-old claimed he’s been in contact with the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks.
NHL fans recall Huet’s struggles during his final two seasons with Chicago, but last season in Switzerland he had a 1.99 goals-against average and .932 save percentage, which suggests he rediscovered the form that earned him a fat contract from the Blackhawks four years ago.
Huet’s agent, Stephen Bartlett, told the Vancouver Province he hadn’t had any specific talks with the Canucks, though he sent a memo to all 30 NHL teams informing them his client was available and interested in a return to the NHL.
Bartlett told the Province he’s just “identifying teams that may or may not be in a position to look for goaltending, Vancouver being one of them.”
How the Kings and Canucks handle the trade interests of Jonathan Bernier and Roberto Luongo will go a long way towards how serious they are about acquiring Huet.
Huet isn’t an NHL starter anymore, but he’ll prove a capable, experienced backup for a team that has a young starter.
BOUGHT-OUT BUTLER WANTS NHL CONTRACT
Former Ottawa Senators right winger Bobby Butler hopes to land with another NHL team this season.
Butler, 25, was bought out of the final season of his contract by the Senators, which made him an unrestricted free agent.
His father claimed four Eastern Conference teams, as well as clubs from Switzerland, Sweden and Russia, had expressed interest in his son.
Butler had a promising debut in 2010-11, with 21 points in 36 games, but struggled last season with the Senators, netting only 16 points in 56 games.
His preference is to remain in the NHL and he apparently would accept a two-way deal.
Rumor Roundup appears Monday-Friday only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News, Kukla's Korner and The Guardian, Charlottetown.