Clearly the first priority in this off season for the Minnesota Wild is signing power forward Guillaume Latendresse to a multi-year contract, but at what cost? His numbers in a Wild uniform last year were terrific...55 games, 25 goals, 12 assists. If you compute that over an 82 game season he'd have 37 goals, 18 assists for 55 points.
Comparably speaking, I liken him a bit to Dustin Penner. Penner's a big forward who can score. Last season with the Edmonton Oilers, Penner's numbers looked like this: 82 games, 32 goals, 31 assists for 63 points. Granted, Penner is 26 and Latendresse is only 22, but I still like the comparison.
Penner is in the middle of a 5 year, $21.25m contract with the Oilers. While I don't think I'd sign Latendresse to a 5 year contract at this point, I think the average salary is acceptable. If I were Chuck Fletcher, I'd try and ink him to a 3 year, $12.0m contract. If he balks, offer him a one year, $4.5m contract. Then again, if I were Chuck Fletcher I'd have a much bigger TV and I probably wouldn't be writing this blog.