Goligoski’s previous contract was a five-year deal worth $27.375 million with the Arizona Coyotes — signed in 2016 — and the 35-year-old had 152 points in 362 games. The Wild are getting a blue liner with staying power, as he not only played all 56 games with the Coyotes this past season, but has played in at least 70 games every year since 2013-14.
Goligoski is Experienced and Team-Oriented
Goligoski has maintained steady numbers throughout his career, even when on some pretty dicey Coyotes teams. Last season his 22 points were eighth-best on the team, and he was the only lineup regular to finish with a plus/minus above zero, recording a plus-2 on a team that finished the season 24-26-6.
The 5-foot-11-inch, 185 pound defenseman isn’t afraid to sacrifice his body, either, ranking first on last season’s Coyotes with 108 blocked shots. For perspective, fellow blue-liner Jakob Chychrun ranked second with 89 blocks in 56 games. He has averaged 145 blocked shots per season over the last eight years.
On the flip side, Goligoski turned the puck over 33 times last season, and a team-worst 53 times in 2019-20, so there’s a little left to be desired when it comes to protecting the puck.
Fit With the Wild
Goligoski will be a good fit with Minnesota, who desperately needed to plug defensive gaps in their lineup after buying out Ryan Suter and losing Carson Soucy to the Seattle Kraken in the NHL Expansion Draft. This contract immediately helps address those gaps, though there’s still work to be done.
The move also fits well because of the aforementioned homecoming for Goligoski, a Minnesota native who, despite apparently having multiple offers on the table, chose the Wild because he wanted to play in his home state. Given his age, the contract makes sense for both sides, and Minnesota didn’t lock itself into a bad cap situation with a long-term deal.
The signing makes sense for both, and it will be interesting to see if this homecoming story has a storybook ending.
A die-hard hockey fan in the desert, and proud Iowa State alum. Detroit Red Wings and Arizona Coyotes contributor for The Hockey Writers.