Saturday: No team put in a claim for Mermis, Friedman reports.
Mermis, 29, has been with the Wild since signing as a free agent in the 2020 offseason. His first season with the club was spent almost entirely on the infamous 2020-21 taxi squad, playing just three games all season, all in the NHL. Since then, he’s logged heavy minutes for the AHL’s Iowa Wild, serving as an alternate captain since his debut with the club in 2021-22. He was not on Minnesota’s opening night roster this season but was recalled just a few days into the campaign with multiple injuries affecting the Wild’s defense core.
20 of Mermis’ 40 NHL appearances have come in a Wild jersey over the past four seasons, including a career-high 13 this season. He’s notched two goals, three assists, five points, and an even plus-minus rating in 15:30 of average ice time with Minnesota, with all of his points coming in 2023-24. Most commonly paired with Jacob Middleton and Jonathon Merrill, he has a Corsi share of 47.8% at even strength, 4.7% worse than the Wild’s Corsi share when Mermis is not on the ice.
To put it succinctly, Mermis has done about as well as you can expect for a minor-league veteran plugged into a defense that’s dealt with structural issues this season. He’d managed to stay in the lineup over the past few games after the return of captain Jared Spurgeon to the lineup, but with veteran Zach Bogosian now in the fold after a trade for the Lightning, Mermis was losing his grip on a roster spot and saw his ice time slip.
Since he’s played more than ten games and his recall lasted more than 30 days, he again requires waivers to return to Iowa. As a pending unrestricted free agent on a two-way deal, there’s a decent chance the Wild lose Mermis on the wire if a team deems they need some short-term blueline depth on the cheap.