Wild add three more, still looking for physical defenseman


The big news of the day for the Minnesota Wild was the signing of forward Thomas Vanek, but there was a lot of other news surrounding the team on Tuesday as well.

In addition to Vanek, the Wild also signed three other players, including Chanhassen native Stu Bickel to a one-year, two-way contract.

Bickel played one season at the University of Minnesota. He came to the Wild after spending last season in the AHL with the Hartord Wolf Pack. He appeared in 67 games between 2011-2013 with the New York Rangers.

According to the Pioneer Press, he will likely start the year with the Iowa Wild. Bickel seemed to be excited about the opportunity to play for the hometown team, though.

The Wild also signed forward Brett Sutter to a two-year, two-way contract and Guillaume Gelinas to a three-year entry-level deal.

But the Wild don't appear to be done yet.

According to the Star Tribune's Michael Russo, the Wild will be looking to sign a physical defenseman to replace Clayton Stoner. Stoner agreed to a four-year contract worth $3.25 million annually, with Anaheim.

That left a void the team has not filled.

Forwards Cody McCormick and Matt Moulson are also gone. Both signed with Buffalo Tuesday.

It was a crazy day around the league, and Wild General Manager Bob Fletcher said the team may wait for the market to settle down, before they make a move.

"It's been insanity out there," Fletcher told reporters. "My first thought is to just go home and come back (Wednesday) and maybe the tide will turn and management will get the upper hand and we'll get some better deals. But it's a difficult task to get into this market right now. The prices are high. The terms are long."

If Minnesota isn't happy with the list of potential free agents, don't rule out the possibility of a trade, to find that physical defenseman.

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