The Minnesota Wild has re-signed defenceman Jonas Brodin to a seven-year, $42 million contract extension. This brings the annual average value to six million a year against the cap for the duration of the seven years. This will take the 27-year-old defender to the end of the 2027-28 season, so he seems to have committed his future to the State of Hockey. But what are the reasons for the extension and what does it mean for the Wild?
Reasons For The Contract Extension
The main reason for the Wild resigning the Swedish defenceman is that Brodin has been one of the best defensive defencemen in the NHL for the past few years. Always reliable in the top 4 and rarely making mistakes for the Wild. When the Wild needed someone to defend and help bring home, they nearly always looked at Brodin in key situations. For good reason, as his defensive advanced statistics are absolutely wonderful.
With only one more season left before going into free agency as a UFA, it was pivotal that the Wild acted on Brodin’s contract. With a player as skilled as Brodin, you can’t let him walk for free, so the choice was simple. You extend him, or you trade him. Trade Talks surrounding Brodin have been going on since the Wild were eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks in the play-in rounds of the 2020 playoff. Teams like Toronto and Montreal were heavily mentioned, and Brodin would have been perfect for the Leafs due to his defensive abilities. However the Wild choose to re-sign him, although some might think its a bit steep when they look at his one “weakness”.
Defense > Offense
The one area that people often criticize Brodin in is his lack of offensive production. He is a stay at home defender, who isn’t known for his goal-scoring. His greatest season was the past one with just 28 points although the season was shortened due to Covid-19. However having never hit 30 points in a year and never hitting ten goals in a season, makes people wonder if the contract is too steep. At six million against the cap, people might be expecting more offensive production.
A valid claim, but Brodin is a special player who brings exactly what you want in a defender. Brodin can be invisible in some games, for the simple reason that he doesn’t make mistakes that force him to make out worldly plays to make up for it. When that is the case, you don’t need flashy playmaking and goalscoring like Erik Karlsson. Brodin was signed to prevent goals, not score them and the Wild needs a guy like that in their lineup.
The End Of Matt Dumba In Minnesota?
With the signing of Brodin, one thing seems to have become inevitable. The trade of Matt Dumba. Due to the Seattle expansion draft, Minnesota has to leave someone exposed. With Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, and now Brodin locked up long term and with NMC´s, Dumba seems like the odd one out. Going off the idea that the Wild can protect seven forwards, three defenders, and one goalie, Dumba is going to be the one left exposed. There is no way Seattle wouldn’t take him unless the Wild make a trade beforehand. Something I highly doubt happens, as it ended up costing them Alex Tuch to Vegas in 2018.
The other option is that Wild elects to use the second option of the draft. Here they would be able to protect 8 skaters regardless of position. This would mean they could keep their defensive core, but it would more than likely end up with Jordan Greenway, Ryan Donato and Luke Kunin exposed. All players that are a big part of the Wilds retool, so it would be hard to see them walk without getting something in return.
To avoid losing a valuable part of the lineup for nothing, Dumba would have to be traded. When you look at Dumba, he should be able to grant the Wild a desirable return. The Wild especially lacks down the middle at the center position. Therefore a trade for a potential top-line center, who can play with Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov could be on the cards.
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