So the Wild did sign Andrew Burnette today during the first moments of the UFA signings. They also acquired defense-man Marek Zidlicky from Nashville for a third round draft pick and forward Ryan Jones. Maybe there is a little hope for the 08-09 season. They are picking up some solid defense-men, and the addition of Burnette starts to make up for the loss of Rolston, Demitra, Radio, and Fedoruk. Radio and Fedoruk are replaceable, but I'd like to see Fedoruk stay. He's a better enforcer than Boogey, and has the ability to score (unlike Boogey who threw up a donut last season after missing the first half with back problems).
What I don't understand is why they can't offer Rolston more. Rolston made somewhere in the neighborhood of 2.43 million last year, while Demitra made over 4. Demitra had the worst season of his career last year, and barely made an impact. While Rolston has always been a better player and a better leader than Demitra. Why can't they offer Rolston more and drop Demitra, they would still have enough money to pick up a lower "B" class forward or a solid "C" class.
GM Doug Riseborough tries to shed some light on the situation in a blog post today at the Wild's website. He makes a good point point about this being the most important day of the off-season. "You can't win the division on July 1st, but you can lose it." Fair enough, but is the signing of Burnette going to keep the Wild competitive in the northwest, arguably the most competitive division in the NHL? last season only ten points separated the Wild in first from the last place team. That's five games. Burnette is good, but he doesn't even begin to replace the very versatile Rolston. Hopefully there will be more pick ups in the coming days.