Report: Wild has significant interest in Stastny, Niskanen


Today is the first day NHL teams can begin talking with other team's restricted and unrestricted free agents. The NHL Draft begins Friday, and the official free agency signing period opens Tuesday.

Michael Russo of the Star Tribune reports that the Minnesota has "significant interest" in potential free agents Paul Stastny and Matt Niskanen.

Stastny, 28, had 25 goals and 35 assists as a center for the offensively gifted Central Division champion Colorado Avalanche last season. Colorado General Manager Joe Sakic told the Denver Post that Stastny will give the Avs a chance to sign him, but he wants to "see what's out there."

Niskanen, a former Virginia High School star in northern Minnesota who went on to play for Minnesota Duluth, isn't expected to return to the Pittsburgh Penguins next season, according to the Tribune-Review. He's a defenseman with the ability to put the puck in the net.

Russo says Minnesota won't be able to land both Stastny and Niskanen because both are looking at getting large contracts. Russo didn't rule out the possibility of adding one of the two along with former Gophers star Thomas Vanek, whom the Wild will be in contact with.

Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher has said multiple times that he won't be overly aggressive in free agency this summer.

For more on what Fletcher is considering with the No. 18 pick in Friday's NHL Draft, click here.

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