One of our favorite Canadians, Pierre Lebrun, had a Christmas bundle of expansion notes for us this week. LeBrun focused on Minnesota’s expansion dilemma this week. The Wild’s defensive squad are one the leagues best and could create a problem for management. Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, Christian Folin, Jonas Brodin and Matt Dumba are a good problem to have. After breaking it down, Lebrun believes the Wild will use the likely popular 7-3-1 protection format. Suter and Spurgeon are locks and Dumba made the most sense to LeBrun. That means Scandella, Folin and Brodin would be available to Vegas. Here’s a quick profile on all three.
Marco Scandella: 26 years-old/Defenseman/Left-handed
325 Games/79 Points
Career Stats: +/- -9/TOI 19:55/Blks 467/Hits 315/GWG 6
2016 Stats: +/- -1/TOI 16:40/Blks 28/Hits 15/Pts 3
Contract: 5 years $20M/$4.75M per year/UFA 2020
Positives: Solid defender/Potential/134 total shots 5-v-5 close
Negatives: 161 giveaways to 115 takeaways/Contract/Injuries
Christian Folin: 25 years-old/Defenseman/Right-handed
91 Games/17 Points
Career Stats: +/- +15/TOI 15:58/Blks 103/Hits 119
2016 Stats: +/- 10/TOI 16:05/Blks 31/Hits 34
Contract: 2 years $1.5M/RFA 2017
Positives: Right-handed/6’4/Speed/Puck movement/Great athlete
Negatives: Healthy scratches/Been demoted to AHL
Jonas Brodin: 23 years-old/Defenseman/Left-handed
298 Games/67 Points
Career Stats: +/- +25/TOI 22:39/Blks 475/Hits 125
2016 Stats: +/- +25/TOI 20:17/Blks 60/Hits 10
Contract: 6 years $25M/UFA 2021
Positives: On track for career season/Age/Smooth skater/Puck control
Negatives: Potential trade bait/Contract
There you have it, three very solid NHL defenseman. All with potential, experience and skill. LeBrun likes all three and understands Minnesota’s pickle. Brodin and Folin have already been mentioned in trade rumors so things could change at any moment. If all three are there though, it would be doing the Golden Knights a huge favor.
Keep an eye out for the dealings of GM Chuck Fletcher as the season progresses. I’m sure he’ll even get a call, or seven, from George McPhee.