Matt Read, fresh off an expensive contract that didn’t quite work out with the Philadelphia Flyers, has signed with the Minnesota Wild for the 2018-19 season. Read has agreed to a one-year, two-way contract that will pay him the minimum $650K at the NHL level.
Read, 32, hadn’t yet started the third season of his NHL career when he signed a four-year, $14.5MM contract extension in September of 2013. The undrafted forward had been one of the most successful NCAA free agent signings in recent history, scoring 24 goals as a rookie in 2011-12 and 24 points in just 42 games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. He followed the extension with another good season during the last year of his first contract, but things quickly deteriorated thereafter. In 2014-15 he scored just eight goals and 30 points, the highest point total he would register during the four-year deal. That even led to a demotion to the minor leagues this past season, after clearing waivers without any interest.
Still, there’s very little risk in this signing for the Wild. A legendary player for Bemidji State University, he’ll return to Minnesota to try and resurrect his professional career. Whether that means he’ll get a chance at any NHL time with the Wild isn’t clear, but at the very least he can provide a veteran scoring threat for the Iowa Wild—another state he’s familiar with from his time with the Des Moines Buccaneers of the USHL. Read scored just a single goal in the NHL last season, but did add 16 points in his 33 AHL contests and could have some real offensive ability left if assigned to the minor leagues. On a minimum deal, if he shows anything in camp he would be an extremely inexpensive option for Minnesota.