Minnesota Wild Roster Nearly Finalized

TJ SandersContributor ISeptember 26, 2009

UNIONDALE, NY - MARCH 25:  Colton Gillies #18 of the Minnesota Wild skates against the New York Islanders on March 25, 2009 at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

With the cuts of Cody Almond, Robbie Earl, Danny Irmen, Matt Kassian, and Marco Scandella this morning, the Wild roster is down to 27 players; just four more cuts away from having their regular season roster set.

After the cuts, forwards Colton Gillies, Andy Hilbert, Nathan Smith, and Craig Weller remain fighting for the final forward spot and defensemen Jaime Sifers and John Scott remain for the seventh defenseman slot.

With enforcer Derek Boogaard out indefinitely with a concussion, it might make sense to give Scott the nod over Sifers to have someone who can fill in pugilist role if need be. Also, Scott has had a pretty good preseason, but that's not to take away the impression that Sifers has left with Wild management which has been positive as well.

Without Gillies, Hilbert, Smith, Weller, Sifers, and Scott on the Wild payroll, the Wild's total salary currently sits at $53,811,860. The salary cap for the 2009-2010 season is $56,800,000.

Of the six players remaining trying to snag the last two roster spots, their cap hits are as follows:

Gillies: $1,041,667
Weller: $600,000
Smith: $550,000
Hilbert: unsigned
Sifers: $650,000
Scott: $550,000

With only $2,988,140 left in cap space, Chuck Fletcher is going to have some interesting decisions to make. Keep in mind that most NHL teams try to have a million or two in cap room during the season for injuries and call-ups.

Does Fletcher choose between the players listed here as expected, or does he pull off a last second trade to fill in one of the remaining spots?

Each team needs to have their rosters finalized by 2:00 PM on Wednesday, so we should know in the next few days who will be wearing the iron range red and forest green sweaters next Saturday in Columbus for the season opener.


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