Free agent forward Drew Stafford, who played for the Winnipeg Jets and Boston Bruins a season ago, is interested in playing for the Wild next season, according to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune. Russo notes the Wild have reached out to his agent and there's mutual interest between the two sides.
Stafford, a former 30-goal scorer, is a physical winger who checks in at 6' 2" and 215 pounds. He's familiar with the Wild too having played in 17 games against them during his three-year tenure with Winnipeg.
The right winger scored just 8 goals last season but he's a year removed from a 20-goal season.
He's played in 725 NHL games in his ten-year career. The veteran also played his college hockey at the University of North Dakota from 2003-2006.
The Boston Herald reported on Monday that the Bruins are still in talks with Stafford about coming back, but obviously the free agent is keeping his options open.
Minnesota is still working out deals for restricted free agents Nino Niederreiter, Mikael Granlund and Marcus Foligno. Both Niederreiter and Granlund filed for arbitration with hearings set for early August, but the they can still work out a deal before the scheduled hearing.
It's likely the Wild will have minimal cap space avilable – somewhere around $3 million or less – after signing the RFAs.
So if the team wants to add a free agent like Stafford or Matt Cullen – who they're still in touch with – they won't have a lot to offer them.