The Minnesota Wild have been busy during the opening hours of free agency. The team has signed both free agents and brought back players currently on the roster.
First, the Wild resigned 25-year-old defenseman Nick Seeler. The deal is for three-years worth $2.175 million. He recorded four assists, a -10 and 21 penalty minutes in 22 games with the wild last season. He is a native of Eden Prairie Minnesota and was selected in the fifth round of the 2011 NHL draft by Minnesota.
The Wild signed two Minnesota natives on the free agent market as well. Those include 27-year-old JT Brown, who split last season between the Anaheim Ducks and Tampa Bay Lightning. The deal is for two-years worth $1.375 million contract.
“He did score quite a bit in college and he hasn't had the success that you might of thought he was going to," new Wild general manager Paul Fenton told Wild.com. "To play in that role, we're hoping he's a dirty type of goal player that he's able to get in around the paint and chip in with a lot of ugliness."
The other Minnesotan brought home via free agency this offseason included 37-year-old Matt Hendricks. Hendricks spent the past season with the Winnipeg Jets and notched five goals, 13 points in 50 games last season.
"The character that he brings both on and off the ice and being a local guy from here that can have that influence on our younger players was really a critical part that we identified awhile ago and we're very happy to have him on board," Fenton tells Wild.com. "We've already had the conversation that it might not be a (playing) every night thing, and that's fine. We never know ... what the health of our team is gonna be, so you can say whatever you want on July 1st but at the end of the day let's just see how our lineup plays out here."
Minnesota added goaltender depth and someone to challenge backup Alex Stalock with the addition of goaltender Andrew Hammond. Hammond’s contract is for one-year worth $650,000 and is a two-way deal.
The Wild bolstered the blue line by bringing in Greg Pateryn on a three-year $6.75 million deal. Pateryn is 28-years-old and recorded 13 points with 50 penalty minutes in 73 games with the Dallas Stars last season. He set career highs last year in games played, assists, points, game time, penalty minutes, and shots on goal, shots block and hits. Also joining the defense corps is Matt Bartkowski on a one-year two-way contract. The 30-year-old played for Calgary last season.
From Anaheim, Minnesota signed forward Mike Liambas to a two-year, two-way contract. Liambas is 29-years-old and collected seven points and 104 penalty minutes in 40 games last year between the AHL and the NHL. The Wild also signed forward Eric Fehr for one-year $1 million taking him from the San Jose Sharks and the age of 32.