With free agency kicking off on Monday, the Minnesota Wild are reportedly prepared to make an aggressive push for Mats Zuccarello and Ryan Hartman.
According to The Athletic’s Michael Russo, sources have indicated that the Wild are targeting the two UFA right wings.
Minnesota could benefit from getting more depth on the right side; Jason Zucker is their top right wing, but all signs point to him not returning as he has become the center of trade rumors. After Zucker, Kevin Fiala, who the Wild acquired at the deadline, and Luke Kunin are next on the depth chart.
Pontus Aberg was Minnesota’s fourth-line right wing, but he was not issued a qualifying offer and will become a UFA as well. Kunin led all Minnesota right wings in scoring with 17 points in 49 games.
That being said, Zuccarello and Hartman could easily fill voids in the lineup and also turn Minnesota into a top competitor.
Zuccarello, one of the top RWs hitting the market, had 11 goals and 37 points in 46 games with the Rangers before being dealt to Dallas at the deadline. He played in two games with the Stars before an upper-body injury sidelined him for the rest of the regular season, but he made a triumphant return during the playoffs, registering 11 points in 13 postseason games for the Stars.
It’s been a hectic few days for Hartman, who was “off the grid” while fishing for the weekend when the Flyers traded him to Dallas. The Stars didn’t issue him a qualifying offer, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Hartman played in 83 games this season split between the Nashville Predators and Philadelphia; with Nashville, he had 10 goals and 20 points in 64 games before he was dealt at the deadline as part of the Wayne Simmonds deal. He went on to play in 19 games with Philadelphia, posting two goals and six points.
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