Wild fan survey: How confident are you heading into a cap-strapped offseason?

Wild fan survey: How confident are you heading into a cap-strapped offseason?

It has been nearly a month since the Wild held their exit meetings and season wrap news conference with general manager Bill Guerin and coach Dean Evason, and things have been typically quiet since.

Usually, things don’t pick up steam until after the Stanley Cup Final and once the NHL draft on the horizon provides a pressure point for trades.

The difference this year, of course, is the season has been pushed into late June, meaning if the Final goes seven games, that’ll be June 28 with the July 7 and 8 draft in Montreal right around the corner.

GMs will have to work fast if they don’t get a move on it.

The last time we talked to Guerin on our Straight from the Source podcast, he said he had received no calls on pending restricted free agent Kevin Fiala.

Sources say that has now changed and a few teams have kicked tires with the Wild GM about Fiala.

However, nothing yet has moved the needle toward a highly anticipated trade of a 25-year-old coming off an 85-point season.

There are multiple dynamics that will make the return for Fiala intriguing and potentially underwhelming: 1) Everybody in the league assumes the Wild can’t afford him; 2) He’s one year from unrestricted free agency, so any team parting with precious assets would probably want to know it can extend Fiala long-term; 3) The market will possibly be flooded with high-end forwards this summer. Besides Fiala, forwards potentially available via trade or free agency include David Pastrnak, Alex DeBrincat, Mark Scheifele, JT Miller, Brock Boeser, Johnny Gaudreau, Nazem Kadri, Filip Forsberg, Claude Giroux, among others.

In terms of other business to be done, we know Guerin would like bring back goalie Marc-Andre Fleury. Fleury is in no hurry to make a decision and with free agency set to begin July 13, it wouldn’t be surprising if Guerin meets face to face with Fleury in his hometown of Montreal during the draft.

The Wild are just getting going on re-signing their restricted free agents not named Fiala. They’ll reach out to Jake Middleton’s camp in the coming days, and Connor Dewar’s the type of contract that could probably be consummated in one phone call.

As for their unrestricted free agents, Guerin will try to bring back Nic Deslauriers, but he’ll have to come at the right cost. As for Nick Bjugstad and Jordie Benn, it’s safe to assume both will go to market.

This brings us to our annual offseason survey, which will hopefully represent much of what’s on your mind heading into this important summer.

(Note: If you have any problems loading or filling out the survey, you can access it directly by clicking here.)


(Photo of Kevin Fiala: Brad Rempel/USA Today)

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