The Wild has traded big, good-skating center Tyler Graovac to the Washington Capitals for a 2018 fifth-round pick.
The 24-year-old scored seven goals and 10 points in 52 games for the Wild last season after playing two games in each of the previous two seasons. While the Wild gets out of his one-way, $650,000 contract next season and the Capitals grab an extra forward so it can protect Lars Eller, Graovac conceivably could be getting a fresh start after a tough 2016-17. Coach Bruce Boudreau made it very clear how disappointed he was that Graovac did not earn a spot out of training camp after the team essentially saved him one.
In February, GM Chuck Fletcher also was not happy with the Chris Stewart-Graovac-Jordan Schroeder fourth line and said it was time to change the identity of that line. Graovac had been up and down between Minnesota and Iowa all season and wasn't given another crack after being placed on waivers in February.
Two years ago, Graovac came to camp with an abdominal injury. After making his season debut in Colorado, he underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia.
On startribune.com/wild soon, there's a story on Fletcher media availability today in advance of the expansion draft a week from today.
Also, according to sources, the Wild tendered qualifying offers to top restricted free agents like Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Erik Haula, Gustav Olofsson and Mike Reilly in order to retain their rights.
Per sources, the Wild has not yet decided if it’ll do the same with Jordan Schroeder. If it doesn’t by June 26, he’ll become an unrestricted free agent July 1. I have got to think that's the way it'll go so he, too, like Graovac can find a fresh start.
The Wild did cut loose minor leaguers Alex Gudbranson, Brady Brassart and Guillaume Gelinas.
As of now, Christian Folin hasn't been QOed, but that could be because the Wild's trying to work out a contract with the defenseman in advance.
Also, change of plans, but NHL schedules will be announced June 22 with home openers announced June 21.