The Minnesota Wild made a few depth signings on the first day of free agency, including giving contracts to defenseman Victor Bartley, goaltender Alex Stalock and AHL veteran Patrick Cannone.
Stalock, a former goaltender with the San Jose Sharks who was at one point considered to be the future of their net when they moved on from Antti Niemi. Even after the team traded to acquire Martin Jones there was some discussion of whether Stalock may contend for the title of starter.
In the end, he didn’t. He had a very tough season with San Jose and was eventually traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs in a package. Toronto sent him to the AHL, where he played in just three contests. The 28-year-old netminder finished the year having played 13 games for the Sharks, carrying an all-situation save percentage of .884.
— Al Stalock (@Stalock32) July 1, 2016
The former Duluth Bulldog and Minnesota native is expected to be the team’s starter with the Iowa Wild, ranking third on the NHL depth chart behind Devan Dubnyk and Darcy Kuemper. He was inked to a one-year, two-way deal worth $650,000 in the NHL.
Bartley is another player who bounced around a bit last season. He was a Nashville Predators prospect and was a part of the three-team trade that moved John Scott out of Arizona before the All-Star Game. Bartley, like Scott, wound up in Montreal, where he saw just nine NHL games. His 10 total games last season were the fewest he’s played during his four-year NHL career.
He has one goal and 23 points in 121 NHL games and was given a one-year, two-way deal with the Wild. It carries a cap hit of $650,000 at the NHL level.
Cannone is AHL depth. He captained the Chicago Wolves of the AHL last season. The 29-year-old Bayport, New York-native is a little smaller, but has had strong offensive results in the AHL, hitting a career-high 20 goals and 52 points with the Wolves last season. He’ll be able to bring additional center depth to the AHL club and a little scoring. He has yet to make his NHL debut. His contract is also a one-year, two-way pact. It’s worth $600,000 at the NHL level.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.