If you are a regular reader of my work you probably know I’m a bit of a prospect geek. During the 2004 NHL lockout, with no games to watch I fully invested into following the Minnesota Wild’s prospects. At the time, one of the Wild’s most intriguing prospects was Patrick O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan was a gifted scorer leading the way for the Mississauga Ice Dogs of the Ontario Hockey League. Listening to a lot of his junior league games, I also got to hear a lot about a bunch of his teammates who would also go onto NHL careers like Cody Bass and Daniel Carcillo. Yet on the Ice Dogs’ defense, it was Kyle Quincey who set the tone and now he’s the newest member of the Minnesota Wild after signing a 1-year, $1.25 million deal.
The almost 32-year old defenseman isn’t the offensive producer he was when he got his first NHL break with the Los Angeles Kings in 2008-09 when he registered 38 points in 72 games. He has been pretty well traveled, having played for 5 NHL organizations prior to joining the Wild in his 12-year NHL career. Quincey will slot in on Minnesota’s 3rd pairing where he likely will be playing with youngster Gustav Olofsson or yet to be signed restricted free agent Mike Reilly. The veteran brings more size and his game has a bit of sandpaper to it as he doesn’t hesitate to take the body which will be most welcome to a soft Wild blueline.
Quincey is a left-hand shot, and will likely be playing on his off-hand side but he’s proven he’s capable of playing well in this situation in other organizations. He does have a decent shot and while I don’t think we’ll see Quincey get a lot of power play time, but he does have some offensive ability. There are some interesting connections at work as Quincey is best friends with Wild winger Chris Stewart. Prior to today’s deals, some Wild fans noted how the team had been showing a tendency to sign friends like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter as well as Jared Spurgeon and Tyler Ennis and now Stewart and Quincey.
The Wild is reportedly still talking with unrestricted free agents Matt Cullen and Chris Kunitz (who just signed with the Lightning) who are both fresh off winning two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Its been a long day, and while the Wild certainly did not make the splashes Central Division rivals like Nashville (Nick Bonino, Scott Hartnell, Alexei Emelin), Winnipeg (Steve Mason, Dmitry Kulikov), Chicago (Brandon Saad, Patrick Sharp, Anton Forsberg), Colorado (Colin Wilson), Dallas (Alexander Radulov, Martin Hanzal, Ben Bishop, Marc Methot), and St. Louis (Brayden Schenn, Chris Thorburn, Beau Bennett). Yet its to be expected since the lion’s share of the Wild’s cap space going to RFA’s Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter it was unlikely were were going to be really bold in free agency. Sorry folks, that’s just how the cookie crumbles when you only have part of a crumbling cookie to work with.