Joe Pavelski might not want the Wild’s money — the veteran center is expected to sign with Dallas when NHL free agency opens at 11 a.m. Monday — but it appears others will be willing to take it.
Veteran left winger Mats Zuccarello is expected to join the Wild on a five-year, $6 million-plus deal annually, according to Michael Russo of The Athletic, and the team is looking to add veteran right winger Ryan Hartman (a right-handed shot!) on a two-year contract that will be just under $2 million per season.
Zuccarello is a left-hand shot but he can play right wing. He’s only 5-foot-8 — remember, how much emphasis general manager Paul Fenton put on size at the NHL draft? — but the Wild would be getting a 31-year-old (32 on Sept. 1), top-six forward who had 12 goals and 28 assists in 48 games last season split between the New York Rangers and Dallas. Zuccarello added four goals and seven assists in 11 games with the Stars in the playoffs.
Hartman, who will turn 25 on Sept. 20, had 12 goals and 14 assists in 83 games with Nashville and Philadelphia last season. He was traded by the Predators to the Flyers on Feb. 25, along with a fourth-round pick in 2020, for winger Wayne Simmonds.
In addition to Mats Zuccarello coming to the #mnwild on a five-year deal at a shade north of $6 million annually, #mnwild looking to add Ryan Hartman on a two-year deal at a shade under $2 million annually
Free agency opens at 11 a.m. CT Monday
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) July 1, 2019
All signs pointing to Zuccarello signing with the Wild. Hearing five years and $6 M aav or around there https://t.co/icVUkU6wI5
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) July 1, 2019