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Minnesota Wild 2014 free agent analysis: Darcy Kuemper

Darcy Kuemper is one of several restricted free agents for the Minnesota Wild this offseason.
Darcy Kuemper is one of several restricted free agents for the Minnesota Wild this offseason.
Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild have few roster spots with the emergence of their young stars. However, a few players still need to supplement the roster. The Wild enter the offseason with 14 unrestricted free agents and eight restricted free agents.

Here is restricted free agent goaltender Darcy Kuemper.

2013-14 Team(s): Iowa Wild (AHL), Minnesota Wild (NHL)

2013-14 Statistics: 41 games played, 7-10-0 record, 1 shutout, 579 shots against, .929 save percentage, 2.47 goals against average (Iowa); 26 games played, 12-8-4 record, 2 shutouts, 702 shots against, .915 save percentage, 2.43 goals against average (Minnesota - regular season); 6 games played, 3-2 record, 1 shutout, 127 shots against, .913 save percentage, 2.03 goals against average (Minnesota - playoffs)

Qualifying Offer: $850,500

Outlook: Kuemper reached the pinnacle of his development last season when he saved the Wild’s season twice. The first came in the regular season when Josh Harding went out and Niklas Backstrom was ailing in early January. Harding did not play again and Backstrom played three games before being shut down. It was Kuemper’s team and he got the Wild into good playoff positioning before suffering an injury himself.

He returned in the first round of the playoffs against the Colorado Avalanche and helped turn the series around with an 1-0 overtime shutout victory. He was really good in the playoffs before suffering another injury in Game 7.

There is no doubt that Wild can afford to sign him at least at his qualifying offer, but is now in line for a one-way contract. General Manager Chuck Fletcher has stated that he right now he is willing to go into the season with three goaltenders. That would make an interesting depth chart with Harding, Kuemper and Backstrom all vying for playing time.

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