Stanley Cup Appearances: 0
If there are teams you can look at and say “the clock is ticking,” these guys have to be among them. The Wild have made the playoffs in the past three seasons and would be classified as a team still in their window, so at this time they are closer to a Stanley Cup than the two teams previously mentioned.
But playoff-caliber is all they are right now, and they will have to make some moves in order to avoid the mediocre limbo that is the worst spot for any team to be in. And more than anything else, they need to find a legit number one center.
They have two great young wingers in Kirill Kaprizov and Matt Boldy, and Mats Zuccarello has had a great past two seasons. They have a solid defensive core, and Filip Gustavsson‘s progression is showing that he can be a goaltender good enough to lead a team to the promised land.
But they still need a center who is a real threat, and they need to shore up their overall forward depth as well. They do have the cap space to address their needs, which includes re-signing Gustavsson to a new deal.
Once again though, they have had three consecutive seasons of first-round playoff exits, the average age of their team is reaching 30, and Kaprizov’s current contract expires in three years.
So yea, the clock is very much ticking on the Minnesota Wild.
Stanley Cup window: 1 to 3 years from now