A late-January waiver claim, Bitetto became a regular in the Wild lineup as general manager Paul Fenton had familiarity with Bitetto from their days in Nashville. While Bitetto got a decent amount of time on the Wild’s third pair, he became a blemish on the defense’s stellar reputation for not allowing shots in the high danger zone.
There honestly was not much good to write about for the 28-year-old unrestricted free agent to be. He was seemingly always out of position or making poor decisions with the puck in his half-season stint with the Wild. In 18 games, Bitetto did not tally a single point and the only good thing he provided was offering this great reactionary gif for the internet.
Just days before the Wild claimed Bitetto from Nashville, they acquired Hunt from Vegas in exchange for a fifth-round pick. Hunt was brought in to help bolster the Wild’s struggling power play, as the team was without defenseman Matt Dumba who had been a power play stalwart up until his injury in mid-December.
In 29 games with the Wild following the trade, Hunt tallied five points and four of those came via the power play which was third among Wild blueliners to end the season. Hunt was restricted mainly to second power play pair duties for the remainder of the year but provided some productivity offensively nonetheless.
The 30-year-old Hunt will be a UFA this summer and it remains unclear if the Wild will be bringing him back following his half-season stint. If the Wild found his power play services useful, Hunt could return on a minor deal as a seventh defenseman.
After parts of 10 seasons with the Wild, it appears Prosser’s time in Minnesota will be coming to an end. The 32-year-old Prosser played in 15 games with the Wild through January before being sent down to Iowa after clearing waivers to make room for Hunt and Bitetto.
In 31 games down in Iowa after being sent down, Prosser tallied a goal and seven assists from the blue line while helping the team reach the Calder Cup Playoffs for the first time. With decent depth on defense and his demotion mid-January, Prosser will undoubtedly hit free agency this summer — he is a UFA — and will not be returning to Minnesota for the 11th season.
That’s not a bad run for an undrafted college free agent.