By Brad Berreman @bradberreman24 on April 15, 2014
The Minnesota Wild are preparing for a postseason series with the Colorado Avalanche right now, and if they bow out of the playoffs quickly the status of head coach Mike Yeo will be speculated on immediately.
Regardless of how long they last in the playoffs, here are five players that should not be back with the Wild next season.
The most noteworthy thing Rupp has done during his time with the Wild is get suspended for a hit on T.J. Oshie of the St. Louis Blues last week. It should go without saying they are unlikely to make any effort to bring him back.
Stoner is slated to become an unrestricted free agent, and with Matt Dumba and Christian Folin possibly ready to contribute next season the Wild may let him explore his options.
Bryzgalov has played well since the Wild acquired him just prior to the trade deadline, and he’ll be their No.1 goalie in the playoffs. But he may seek greener pastures, and a more obvious path to a starting job, in free agency this summer.
Backstrom has two years and close to eight million dollars left on his contract, and injuries were again a factor for him this year. Leaving aside his age (36) and injury concerns the money left on Backstrom’s contract should not prevent a trade, and I expect general manager Chuck Fletcher to actively shop him this summer.
Heatley is clearly a player in decline, with just 28 points in 76 regular season games this year. So it’s convenient for the Wild that he’ll be an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
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