MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
Center Kyle Brodziak played 82 games, which on the Wild was a coup this season. The versatile, tireless third-line center filled in first- and second-line duties for much of the year and scored a career-high 22 goals and 44 points. He earned a three-year contract extension in February.
MOST DISAPPOINTING PLAYER
For the second consecutive season, Guillaume Latendresse's year was destroyed by injury. Last season, he came into camp in awful shape, got hurt immediately and eventually needed surgery on five abdominal ailments. This year, it was a concussion. The power forward missed 66 games this season.
Offense, offense, offense. The Wild scored the fewest goals (165) in the NHL since the lockout. Since losing Marian Gaborik to free agency in 2009, it completely lacks any type of game-breaker and this season had no player hit 25 goals or 55 points.
FREE AGENT FOCUS
The Wild will almost certain let center Erik Christensen, who had no points in his first 15 games as a Wild, walk as a free agent, along with defensemen Kurtis Foster and Mike Lundin. The Wild plans to try to re-sign physical defenseman Clayton Stoner, as well as restricted free agents Nick Johnson and Justin Falk. However, it may walk away from Guillaume Latendresse by not tendering him a qualifying offer in June.
--RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard missed the final 41 games of the season with a concussion but is starting to feel better. He's still having symptoms like fatigue, but he did skate lightly in a tracksuit the last few days.
"I'm confident I'll be playing next season," Bouchard said. "I'm staying positive. The good thing is I'm seeing progress. I don't think I'm far from doing slight exercise."
--LW Guillaume Latendresse can become a restricted free agent this summer, but after missing 66 games with a concussion and being limited to 27 games in the past two seasons, the Wild may either try to negotiate a cheaper contract or walk away from him by not tendering him a qualifying offer.
"I've met with Gui, and what I told him is, 'Let's get you healthy first, and then we'll sit down and have a candid discussion to see where you're at mentally and where you're at physically and what are your expectations going forward,' " general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "He was a pretty good hockey player for us three seasons ago and he is still a young man.
"I am open-minded and am not ruling out anything at this point in time."
--D Clayton Stoner has been prone to injury throughout his pro career, but the Wild is interested in re-signing the physical defenseman before he hits free agency.
"Certainly we would love to see him in the lineup, and durability is important when you're trying to make those decisions, but this is a character guy," coach Mike Yeo said. "This is a guy that plays for his teammates and is effective when he's on the ice. We'd like to get more games from him, but he's a valuable piece."
--G Niklas Backstrom is expected to undergo postseason ankle surgery.
--D Clayton Stoner (broken rib) missed the final two games of the season.
--D Steven Kampfer (knee) missed the final eight games.
--C Matt Cullen (broken finger) underwent season-ending surgery.
--D Jared Spurgeon (concussion) missed the final nine games.
--LW Matt Kassian (sports hernia) underwent season-ending surgery.
--LW Guillaume Latendresse (concussion) missed 66 this season.
--LW/RW Pierre-Marc Bouchard (concussion) missed the final 41 games.
--D Mike Lundin (hernia) underwent surgery.
Copyright (C) 2012 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.