Okay, time for a little roster math. The Wild, by my calculations (feel free to check my list at the end of this post), have 43 players signed to contracts, either one-way or two-way (this does not include guys signed to AHL-only contracts).
The limit for the number of contracts an NHL team can carry per season is 50, so the Wild could sign up to 7 more players before having to unload a contract. I would guess they leave a buffer for late season signings, as well.
As for the Aeros line-up, it's shaping up like this (updates):
(Some of these guys can play multiple positions... ahem... so it's hard to guess how lines will shake out. Plus, lines don't really matter on a KC-coached team.)
So, assuming Pouliot (or possibly Gillies, though I'm starting to doubt we'll see him) stays in Houston, and assuming Kalus doesn't bail for Europe when he doesn't make the Wild roster, the Aeros really only have a few more holes to fill. Of course, I mean this strictly in a "warm bodies in roster spots" way; not in a "who's gonna score the goals?" way.
Throw another d-man in there to cover injuries, and maybe 3 more forwards and you've got a team. And just a hunch, but I don't expect to see any of last year's free agents re-signed here this season. And by that I mean, ladies, cherish your Beaudoin memories and find a new hottie to adore. If he hasn't signed here yet, I don't think he's going to.
Bottom line: I don't know much about the new guys, but it's looking like another heavily defensive season, and the Aeros certainly have the quality blue line to pull it off, if perhaps not the goaltending (I still have big doubts about Dimples, though if it's Brusty and Dubie, you're golden).
Also, it seems good teams strive to have the "old guy." The vet who's done his time, maybe in the show, maybe just lots of AHL/Europe/etc. and it appears they don't have that guy yet. Set your prayers to a Hrkac-type rather than a Steve Kelly-type.
To me, this looks like *maybe* a first round and out team.
What do you think?
Guys with NHL contracts