Wild announce pair of signings

The Minnesota Wild have come to terms with forwards Justin Fontaine and Carson McMillan on one-year, two-way deals.

Fontaine, a member of the 2010-11 NCAA Champion University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, made his professional debut the following season as a member of then-Wild affiliate Houston Aeros. While in Houston the past two seasons, Fontaine, a winger, appeared in 146 games, talling 42 goals and 77 assists.

Fontaine, 25, signed his professional contract as an undrafted free agent with the Wild in April of 2011. The Bonnyville, Alta., native has a nice scoring touch and though he’s not the biggest body — he stands at 5’10” and weights 170 lbs. — he is effective from the perimeter and isn’t afraid to do what it takes to get the puck to the net.

McMillan, a 24-year-old from Brandon, Man., was a seventh round pick of the Wild in 2007. At 200th overall — nearly the last pick in the draft — McMillan has played well above what you imagine Minnesota had expected of him. In his four AHL seasons, McMillan has been an effective depth player for their AHL club, and has gotten the call to the NHL 15 times. In his 278 AHL games, McMillan has registered 32 goals and 31 assists, but has tallied two goals and three helps in his short span in the NHL.


Iowa Wild add defenceman Landry

Johnathon Blum’s signing was finalized today by the Wild, but their farm club didn’t stop there, adding former Bridgeport Sound Tiger Jon Landry.

Landry, who had played 108 games with the Sound Tigers over the past two seasons, inked a one-year deal with the Wild that will see the 30-year-old in the AHL this season.

Undrafted, Landry worked his way to the professional ranks by way of the Central Hockey League. While his development may have taken a while, it’s a testament to the Montreal natives determination that he’s playing in the AHL now.

Landry spent his college years at Bowdoin College, an NCAA Division III club in Maine, before getting a shot out of college to make it with the Portland Pirates. The Pirates and Landry parted ways after only two games, and he began his long journey back. Since his cup of coffee in the league in 2005-06, Landry has played his way through Augusta (ECHL), spent three full seasons in Arizona with the Sundogs (CHL), played part of a year in Germany, a full year in England, and then landed with the Colorado Eagles of the ECHL before getting the call to come to Bridgeport.

In Bridgeport, Landry found AHL success, scoring 10 goals and adding 43 helpers while with the Islanders top affiliate. His best production came last year when, in 72 games, the 6’3″ defenceman had 33 points (8-25).

Report: Blum lands in Minnesota

Jonathon Blum has reportedly signed a one-year, two-way deal with the Minnesota Wild, according to @IBNIncarcerated.

The former Nashville Predators defenceman was not tendered a qualifying offer, and the Preds left the 24-year-old to hit the free agent market.

A 2007 first round draft pick, Blum has spent his entire professional career with the Predators organization, appearing in 215 AHL contests and 91 NHL games since his debut in 2009-10. Over that time, Blum has registered 122 points (24-98) in 231 games while in the minors, and another 22 points (7-15) in 91 NHL appearances.

A skilled puck mover that can fill out the bottom of a roster, Blum may have some difficulty cracking the Wild defence, and he could spend the season as a fill-in in the big leagues and a mainstay in the AHL.

The reports say the deal will pay Blum over $600,000 in the NHL. AHL terms have not been released.

Wheels on the Bus: Draft Day

Well, that took a lot longer than expected.

After a three-minute time limit was imposed on drafting teams, some thought the first round of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft would take no longer than two hours. Three hours later, the first round hadn’t ended, and the hubbub about there being trades into the double digits¬†was all for naught. All told, there were seven deals including players and a handful of picks-for-picks deals.

It wasn’t the biggest day as far as movement in the AHL goes, but a few years down the road you might be seeing a number of players from this year’s draft class getting some seasoning in the A. Continue reading