Minnesota Wild general manager Bill Guerin put his stamp on the 2020-21 roster and beyond last week, making a flurry of moves and announcements in his quest to change the team’s culture.
First we saw Jonas Brodin get a seven-year contract extension. The next day, in a stunning move, veteran Eric Staal was sent to Buffalo in exchange for Marcus Johansson in yet another trade between Minnesota and Buffalo. Lastly, in a Friday news
dump release, the team made it official that captain Mikko Koivu would not return next season after 15 seasons in Minnesota.
And let’s not forget that the Wild acquired Blaine native Nick Bjugstad the week previous from Pittsburgh for a conditional draft pick.
The Seattle Kraken join the league after next season, so we have decided to update Minnesota’s expansion protection list leading up to the 2021 draft, when the Kraken can take a player off the Wild roster.
The first version of the list came at the end of August, and you can find the rules and regulations for the protection list as well in there.
The Brodin extension brought a big change to the list, as the format now goes from 7/3/1 to 8/1. Here is the new version of the Wild’s updated expansion list:
List Method – Eight skaters and one goaltender
*The Wild presently do not meet the criteria for eligible defensemen exposed in the expansion draft so they will have to sign another defenseman. Assuming Carson Soucy re-signs, he would meet the criteria for eligibility.
Because of the format change from 7/3/1 to 8/1, Luke Kunin, Ryan Hartman, and Jordan Greenway are now left exposed for Seattle to select. This is the best option because the Wild can not afford to simply let Dumba get taken and get nothing in return. If the Wild went 7/3/1 Suter, Spurgeon, and Brodin all have to be protected due to their no-movement clauses in their contracts. So flipping over to the eight skaters and one goaltender list so the Wild can protect Dumba is a no-brainer.
Again, this is assuming the Wild don’t trade Dumba. No assumptions on this list are made until deals actually happen. Dumba is heavily rumored to be in trade talks over the past few weeks, and those rumors intensified when the Brodin extension was announced. But until a deal is done, Dumba is included on the list this time. (He was not for the Vegas expansion draft in 2017, which led the Wild to swing a deal with the Golden Knights so they did not take him.)
Johansson is not included on the list because his contract expires after 2021, just as Staal’s did, so there is no need to even consider protecting him. Same goes for Bjugstad: The 30-year-old is also a UFA following the season and will look to bounce back from an injury-riddled tenure in Pittsburgh.
With Guerin being one of the most active general managers during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there surely will be more moves down the line that will impact this list again, so Version 3.0 could come in the very near future.