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Wild Aggressively Pursuing Mats Zuccarello, Ryan Hartman


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According to multiple sources, the Wild have expressed serious interest in veteran winger Mats Zuccarello and are prepared to offer him a lucrative long-term contract.


All indications are general manager Paul Fenton would like to add at least two forwards in free agency, but especially a top-6 winger.


Zuccarello could command north of $6 million annually on at least a five-year deal, an area code the Wild would almost certainly be willing to go.


In addition to Zuccarello, the Wild have also expressed interest in free agents Anders Lee and Wayne Simmonds.


Lee, who would love to still return to the Islanders, seems to be looking elsewhere beyond his hometown Wild. While many felt the Wild would pivot to Simmonds and go hard after him if they learned Pavelski was signing elsewhere, it now appears as if Simmonds will be Plan C if they lose out on both Pavelski and Zuccarello.


A number of NHL sources felt Saturday night that the Wild were one of the finalists on Zuccarello and had a good shot at him.


The Wild, sources say, are also aggressively pursuing right-shot forward Ryan Hartman, who coincidentally the Stars opted not to tender a qualifying offer to after they acquired him via trade with Philadelphia last weekend. That made him an unrestricted free agent after the Stars felt his potential arbitration award as a restricted free agent would be too hefty.





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I hope the Rangers don't ever get in the position of the Wild, which is so unpromising at the moment that they have to overpay in an already inflated UFA market to get a guy like Zucc. $6 per for 5 is an insanely rich deal for him. The fact that Anders Lee is not interested in his hometown team reflects how lame they look.
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