NHL: Wild don't extend qualifying offer to Folin
The Minnesota Wild officially made qualifying offers to eight players Monday: wingers Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, Kurtis Gabriel and Zack Mitchell; defensemen Gustav Olofsson, Mike Reilly and Zach Palmquist; and goalie Steve Michalek. The most notable player the Wild did not make a qualifying offer to was defenseman Christian Folin. If the Wild are unable to negotiate an extension with him, Folin will become an unrestricted free agent. The Wild also did not make qualifying offers to center Brady Brassart and defensemen Guillaume Gelinas and Alex Gudbranson. This doesn't mean much for players like Granlund and Niederreiter as extending a qualifying offer is necessary to retain rights. Granlund and Niederreiter almost surely will decline their qualifying offers with the goal of signing long-term deals. While the Wild only have about $13.5 million to spend this offseason, general manager Chuck Fletcher has said he has no worries about being able to afford both players. "We can get there," Fletcher said. "We've been tight for three years. We can potentially even have a little bit more room than what we've had the last couple of years. I'm not too worried about that. We have some young guys ready to make the team that will carry good cap hits."
• About an hour after extending a qualifying offer to restricted free-agent Gustav Olofsson, the Wild agreed to a two-year, $1.45 million contract with the up-and-coming blueliner Monday afternoon.
Olofsson played in 13 games with the Wild last season, producing three assists and no goals. Despite those unimpressive numbers, the 22-year-old Swede showed flashes of brilliance as a smooth skater with offensive upside. In fact, Olofsson logged some time on the power play last season, impressing coach Bruce Boudreau in the process.