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Wild GM Fletcher: “Clearly we’re going to have to try and add some more NHL talent”

Wild Richards Hockey

Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher, left, talks to reporters about the release of Wild head coach Todd Richards at Xcel Center in St. Paul, Minn., Monday April 11, 2011. (AP Photo/The Star Tribune, Jerry Holt) ** ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS OUT. SOFT OUT MINNEAPOLIS-AREA TV NOT TV, MAGS OUT. **


According to ESPN, this promises to be an active offseason for the Minnesota Wild.

That’s what GM Chuck Fletcher indicated on Wednesday as he vowed to fix his organization’s lack of depth, something that played a role in Minnesota plummeting from first in the league to out of the playoffs last season.

Fletcher called the fall “incredibly tough and disappointing.”

“Clearly we’re going to have to try and add some more NHL talent,” Fletcher said. “Now whether it’s through free agency or through trades we’ll look at both.

“We do have a lot of cap space and a strong desire to get better.”

The Wild project to have over $30 million available for next season with no real significant UFAs or RFAs to negotiate with (maybe Nick Johnson and Guillaume Latendresse...I guess.)

It’s expected highly touted draftees Mikael Granlund, Brett Bulmer, Jonas Brodin and Zack Phillips will all have a shot at making the opening night roster, though Fletcher told ESPN “obviously not all of those players will play in the NHL.”

As such, Fletcher will have to add “NHL talent” -- especially in light of how reliant Minnesota was on AHL Houston last season.

The Wild dressed a franchise-high 47 players in 2011-12, due in large part to a rash of injuries.

Of Note: Minnesota will pick seventh overall at the Entry Draft, the highest it’s selected since taking Benoit Pouliot fourth overall in 2005.