May 9, 2014; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Jason Pominville (29) celebrates his goal with teammates during the second period against the Chicago Blackhawks in game four of the second round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

NHL Rumors: Wild expected to meet with Thomas Vanek, Matt Niskanen

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The Minnesota Wild won more than any other team that lost out in the Stanley Cup playoffs as the 13 games they played in the postseason were an arrival for a team many hockey fans have been waiting to see pop for a while now.

Minnesota’s young core of players are on the rise but they’re still looking to add veteran talent to the roster and the team is looking at adding a top free agent this summer to make their roster even more explosive than it already has proven to be at times.

According to Michael Russo from the Star Tribune, the Wild have been in contact with at least five of the best free agents slated to hit the open market on July 1st and are expected to have formal sit-downs with Minnesota residents Matt Niskanen and Thomas Vanek.

It’s not believed the Wild had any formal sit-downs yet, but General Manager Chuck Fletcher contacted at least the agents of defensemen Matt Niskanen and Willie Mitchell, goal scorer Thomas Vanek and center Paul Stastny, NHL sources confirmed. At a minimum, Fletcher is expected to meet with Niskanen’s agent, Neil Sheehy, and Vanek’s agent, Steve Bartlett, while they’re all in Philadelphia this week for the NHL draft.

Minnesota isn’t interested in using up too much cap space this offseason as they are thinking ahead to the younger players they’ll need to be locking up in the coming year. Still, they’re figuring they won’t be in a cap pinch should they get a top free agent this summer, and that’s clearly looking to be the case based on who they’re staying in contact with as free agency prepares to open next week.

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Tags: Minnesota Wild NHL Free Agency