By Mark Wollemann
The Wild signed free agent goalie Wade Dubielewicz today as insurance and depth at the position.
GM Chuck Fletcher told Michael Russo this is “possibly” to provide insurance if the Wild is able to trade Josh Harding, “but it is always nice to have a quality, experienced third goalie in any event.” Harding’s club-elected arbitration hearing is scheduled for July 29.
Dubielewicz, 30, has 40 career NHL appearances (29 starts) with the Islanders and Blue Jackets during a five-year NHL career. He’s 17-15-1 with a 2.65 goals-against average and a .916 saves percentage. He played three games last season, two of them starts, for Columbus.
He is best known for filling in for Islanders goalie Rick DiPietro in the final week of the 2006-07 season during which time he won four straight games to lift the Islanders into the eighth and final seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Also, Russo talked with agent Ben Hankinson yesterday, and Hankinson says the Wild made a legitimate run at former Gopher Jordan Leopold. But at the end of the day, Leopold turned down the Wild’s offer because he felt that with the Wild’s established top-five on the blue line, there would actually be a better opportunity for him to get ice time in Florida.
The Wild has also signed forwards Duncan Milroy and Jon DiSalvatore to two-way contracts to replace Krys Kolanos (Philadelphia Flyers) and Corey Locke (New York Rangers).
2009-10 MINNESOTA WILD PRESEASON SCHEDULE*
DATE OPPONENT LOCATION TIME (CT)
Tuesday, Sept. 15 at St. Louis Blues Scottrade Center 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 18 Columbus Blue Jackets Xcel Energy Center 7:00 p.m.
Sunday, Sept. 20 Chicago Blackhawks Xcel Energy Center 5:00 p.m.
Monday, Sept. 21 at Columbus Blue Jackets Nationwide Arena 6:00 p.m.
Thursday, Sept. 24 St. Louis Blues Xcel Energy Center 7:00 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 25 at Chicago Blackhawks United Center 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 29 at Philadelphia Flyers Wachovia Center 6:00 p.m.
Russo Update: As I reported a month ago, Matt Shaw was going to be the likely replacement for Todd Richards on the San Jose bench because of his relationship with Todd McLellan from Houston. Shaw wanted a new role and to actually be on the bench. Since that didn’t happen in Minnesota (Richards retained Mike Ramsey and hired Dave Barr), Shaw got out of the final year of his contract. Trust me, this is an enormous loss to the Wild coaching staff.
Now, the Wild must hire a video coach. Darby Hendrickson, who would make a great coach, might be somebody to consider for this job.