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[Signing] Wild Sign Mikael Granlund


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#1 -Vintage Canuck-

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:44 AM

Wild signs prospect Mikael Granlund to three-year, $2.7 million deal. That includes annual $90,000 signing bonuses:

Finally, after more than a year of concern by many, Mikael Granlund, the No. 2-ranked prospect in February's Hockey News Future Watch, is officially locked up.


The talented playmaking forward signed a three-year, $2.7 million deal. That includes annual $90,000 signing bonuses. He also received a performance bonus structure that should significantly raise the salary-cap hit. Working on the details. but the deal's been done for awhile and essentially the transfer paperwork needed to be finalized, then registered with the NHL.


I'd certainly suspect that you can pencil the Finnish Elite League star onto next year’s Wild roster.


As a 17-year-old in a league made up of men, Granlund scored 40 points in 43 games for IFK-Helsinki and was named the Finnish Elite League’s Rookie of the Year. As an 18-year-old, Granlund led IFK to a championship by tying for the league’s scoring lead. To put Granlund’s production in perspective, Wild captain Mikko Koivu combined for eight points in the same league as a 17- and 18-year-old.


As a 19-year-old this past season, he led the HIFK in regular-season scoring.


Granlund’s a Finnish rock star.


He appears on murals all over Helsinki, he's followed by paparazzi and became the toast of Finland last May by helping the proud country to a world championship in part because of a highlight-reel, lacrosse goal in the semifinals that’s been captured on a postage stamp.


“My mom has a lot of them,” Granlund said, laughing, last June. “For me, it’s not so big deal. It was just one goal. And that’s it,” Granlund added. “I tell people, ‘Come on, we won a gold medal. That’s what’s important.”


The ninth overall pick in 2010, Granlund can fly up ice, handles the puck beautifully and almost nonchalantly creates offense. He’s as good a distributor and a shooter and could give the Wild a bona fide Rookie of the Year candidate next season along with maybe even Charlie Coyle and certainly the Rangers' Chris Kreider.


The naysayers say he's too small, his footwork needs to be better. "I'll never be the biggest, fastest player. I've got to be the smartest," Granlund said last year.


Granlund has grown close with Koivu during the last two world championships and a stint in the Finnish Army. That’s got to music to the ears of the Wild brass, which envisions Koivu and Granlund as cornerstone fixtures of the Wild’s foundation.


“He’s a great guy,” Granlund said of Koivu last summer. “I need to learn from him. He’s a great player and great leader, so there’s much to learn from him.”


Granlund delayed signing with the Wild because he wanted to fulfill his six-month military obligation, finish school and “practice hard so I will be more ready when I come here.”


But he always promised Wild fans, “I want to play in Minnesota. That’s for sure."


Granlund was second in scoring at the most recent world junior championships. But in the semifinals in a must-score situation to extend a shootout against rival and eventual gold medal-winning Sweden, the puck slid off Granlund's stick.


During the precise time of Granlund’s shootout snafu, the Wild touched down in Vancouver. Later that day, Koivu watched the highlights.


He saw Granlund’s dejected face. He saw Granlund’s tears as he stood with his head slumped over the bench. So Koivu called Granlund to lift his spirits.


“At the end, it’s one shootout attempt,” said Koivu. “It’s not going to make him any worse or any better as a player.
“Everybody who knows the game, everybody who looks at the game, they know what kind of player he is. One shot won’t ruin that. He’s got to know that. It was a tough spot to be in, and a big deal for him. But it won’t make him any worse. He’s going to do just fine when he gets to [Minnesota].”


If you know Koivu, he’s not exactly the touchy, feely type. So for Koivu to show this kind of compassion was big.


“He said, ‘It’s just hockey,’” Granlund said. “He tried to cheer me up. It means a lot that he called me. He’s a great player, and a good friend.”


In last year's world championships, besides "The Goal," his nine points in nine games were second on Finland. This year, he played on the second line, but the coaches used Koivu's line, an energy line and a checking line more. He was benched during long stretches and did seem to struggle at times. He also, after missing the end of the regular season with an illness, reportedly struggled during IFK's playoff-round loss to Jokerit.


Is this a cause for concern? I asked reporter Samuel Savolainen of the sports magazine, "Urheilulehti," and he said, "The thing that was talked about for instand in our magazine was that he was simply burned out. After his sensational performance in the World Championships last year, he had to endure media exposure like never seen before. He had to tour with the trophy around the country and did everything. Interviews, commercials, PR-events, you name it. You can also throw in his brief stint in the military.


"He became such an instant hero and celebrity that (I'm not kidding) there were news in the tabloids about him having pizza and him going out to have a beer. He is incredibly polite, so he had a tough time to say "no". And I think all that put together just took such a huge toll on him. And it showed in a transparent way in the playoffs in the Finnish league and the World Championships."


We'll see. Regardless, this should be a very exciting development camp (July 8-15) and training camp (if training camp starts on time due to the league and union needing to modify the collective bargaining agreement) to see Granlund, Charlie Coyle, Jonas Brodin, Johan Larsson, Brett Bulmer, Jason Zucker and Zack Phillips compete for roster spots.


I'll be updating this later. Content from this blog came from numerous articles I've written on Granlund.


http://www.startribu.../152273445.html
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#2 D.Doughty

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 07:56 AM

Parise-Grandlund-Heatley
Bouchard-Koivu-Latendresse
Setogouchi-Cullen-Clutterbuck
Powe-Veilleux-Christensen


Kind of solid if you ask me
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#3 Joffrey Lupul

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:12 AM

Parise-Grandlund-Heatley
Bouchard-Koivu-Latendresse
Setogouchi-Cullen-Clutterbuck
Powe-Veilleux-Christensen


Kind of solid if you ask me


Parise is a Devil
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#4 Joel Heyman

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:14 AM

Good signing, love Granlund.
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#5 Sabre4life

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:14 AM

Grandlund was told by the wild he be Koivu on the first line
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#6 Pears

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:16 AM

Parise is a Devil

Soon to be a member of a certain other NW team ;)
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#7 Snake Doctor

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:24 AM

I say they will be a soft team again next year. Grandlund has the stuff to be on the top line but it will surly be a transition year for him. Don't expect big numbers right away. But best of luck!
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#8 OilRigger89

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 09:08 AM

Excited for Granlund!!!

Been keeping tabs on him for awhile now, the kid's the real deal, and is going to be a pain coming into the same division as us. Like poster above said, I wouldn't expect big numbers out the gate, but give this guy some time to learn the up's and down's of an NHL season, and he's going to become the face of the Wild.

Minnesota needs this kid, badly. You look at their selections in the first round since the 03' Draft, and it's pretty embarrasing. Aside from Burns, who they turned into an asset, they have yet to draft and develop that impact forward even though since the 03' draft the Wild have held atleast the 10th overall pick in 4 drafts since, and atleast 20th overall 3 times.

Best of luck Mikael! Look forward to watching you over your career
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#9 Tangerines

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:22 AM

Soon to be a member of a certain other NW team ;)


Calgary?
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#10 250Integra

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 11:47 AM

Stud.
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Thanks for everything Naslund!
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#11 nd84

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:04 PM

Can't wait to see this kid in the bigs. Minnesota did well this season but became inconsistent at the crucial times

If they stay hard working and healthy they will be better

And if Parise and Suter sign there.... then we got ourself a strong division!

I expect Edmonton to be stronger too. Calgary and Colorado should compete as usual too
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#12 Stix

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:07 PM

Minnesota's future looks bright. Let's not forget Charlie Coyle.

They also have a good shoot at Parise.

Grandlund and Coyle are legit top 6 forwards.

Edited by Stix, 23 May 2012 - 12:08 PM.

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#13 Canucks_fo_life

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:23 PM

This guy will be a bust, guaranteed. TSN was trashing him during the World Championships, so overrated.
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#14 Patrick Jane

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:25 PM

This guy will be a bust, guaranteed. TSN was trashing him during the World Championships, so overrated.


Your jealous
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#15 Canucks_fo_life

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:41 PM

Your jealous


Yes, so jealous of a guy that hasnt played one single NHL game and hasn't developed like people expected. I hope the wild have fun with that contract and term.
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#16 Niloc009

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 12:54 PM

*
POPULAR

Yes, so jealous of a guy that hasnt played one single NHL game and hasn't developed like people expected. I hope the wild have fun with that contract and term.


Yeah, I don't know how they'll afford a young player with a typical 3 year, 900K per year cap hit for one of the best prospects in the game.



Also, one tournament does not a career make.
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#17 Kassian

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:17 PM

Silky mitts
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#18 Stix

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:25 PM

This guy will be a bust, guaranteed. TSN was trashing him during the World Championships, so overrated.


I thought he was going to be legit, I didn't know TSN was trashing him...definite bust then.
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#19 InSoM-

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:36 PM

This guy will be a bust, guaranteed. TSN was trashing him during the World Championships, so overrated.


You're high.







This kids got some serious jazz hands.
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#20 Canucks_fo_life

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 01:45 PM

Nice, now lets see him do this at the NHL level
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#21 .Naslund

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

For all you folks, it's Granlund, not GranDlund. :)

One of my favorite prospects, hopefully he turns out good
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#22 playboi19

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:47 PM

Granlund and Coyle are making the Wild next season, maybe even Phillips. They need to rebuild and go for a top pick.
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#23 Squeak

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 03:50 PM

Granlund and Coyle are making the Wild next season, maybe even Phillips. They need to rebuild and go for a top pick.


Sorry - they have been.

They are about to explode with young talent - Coyle, Granlund, Philips, Bulmer, Larsson, Brodin, Zucker, Hackett, Cuma and Scandella.

Plus they have the 7th overall pick this year.

Edited by Squeak, 23 May 2012 - 03:51 PM.

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#24 Versace

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:29 PM

Wait 3 years then the Canucks will snag him ;)
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#25 InSoM-

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 09:14 PM

Sorry - they have been.

They are about to explode with young talent - Coyle, Granlund, Philips, Bulmer, Larsson, Brodin, Zucker, Hackett, Cuma and Scandella.

Plus they have the 7th overall pick this year.


I'm glad somebody else has noticed this...

Minnesota, St. Louis....teams to look out for in the West next year, as much as any others.
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#26 Juice-03

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 09:37 PM

this kid is going to be an amazing player . He may not show that right away but he will continue to progress and develop his north american game; and one day he will be great. Good signing !
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#27 Strawberries

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 10:07 PM

sick hands
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#28 Buttock

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:04 AM

People really still do not think Parise will re-sign in NJ, eh?
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#29 Joel Heyman

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:48 AM

Also, one tournament does not a career make.


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