The Minnesota Wild have an interesting offseason approaching with little cap room and little roster space. While general manager Bill Guerin is expected to make changes to the roster, there is the question of whether the team will consider buying out a player or two.
The Athletic’s Michael Russo (subscription required) writes that one player who is a candidate for a buyout is goaltender Devan Dubnyk. The scribe adds that if Minnesota opts to buyout Dubnyk, it likely would be to open up a roster space as opposed to saving on cap space. Dubnyk was the starting goaltender at the beginning of the year, but struggled immensely this season in 30 appearances with an 3.35 GAA and a .890 save percentage. Granted, the veteran still has one more year at $4.3MM. However, more importantly, the team may want to move on from Dubnyk with Alex Stalock taking over the starting role. They also have AHL Goaltender of the Year in Kaapo Kahkonen ready as well as the potential to go out and get a goaltender such as Braden Holtby or trade for Matt Murray.
- The Athletic’s Joe Smith reports that the Department of Player Safety took a look at the hit from Boston Bruins forward Nick Ritchie on Tampa Bay’s Yanni Gourde during Game 3 Saturday. There will be no suspension as the hit was timed at .6 seconds from the time the puck was released. Gourde was clearing a puck during the second period when he was hit from behind by Ritchie in a shoulder-to-back hit, sending Gourde flying forward into the boards where he hit his head. However, the league rarely suspends players for hits at .6 seconds, especially ones that don’t include head contact.
- The Bruins won’t have it easy as they face elimination on Monday against the Tampa Bay Lightning, down 3-1. The Associated Press’ Stephen Whyno reports that fourth-line forward Chris Wagner won’t be available for Game 5 due to an undisclosed injury. Wagner missed Sunday’s practice along with Ritchie, while Sean Kuraly did skate with the team after missing two games. Both Ritchie and Kuraly are day-to-day, but Wagner is definitely out, according to Bruins’ coach Bruce Cassidy. Wagner played quite well in the round-robin series scoring two goals, but has not tallied a point in the Tampa Bay series and boasts a minus-five plus-minus.
- The Athletic’s Eric Stephens (subscription required) took a look at players destined to stay with the Anaheim Ducks and those who could find themselves elsewhere next year. One interesting observation is the inclusion of 27-year-old forward Rickard Rakell, a two-time 30-goal scorer. Of course, Rakell’s last two seasons have been quite disappointing with just 33 goals in his last 134 games and he could find himself being the scapegoat for the past two years of losing. On top of that, Rakell would be quite an attractive trade chip for playoff teams that could offer him more talent up front to work with.