Morning Free Association: Drewing Attention

It seems like Drew Stafford is drawing interest from another club in this young free agency period.

According to the Star Tribune, The Minnesota Wild are interested in signing Stafford but only after they nail down deals for RFAs Marcus Foligno, Mikael Granlund, and Nino Niederreiter.

The Wild has $15.741 million of cap space left if one presumes rookie Joel Eriksson Ek, goalie Alex Stalock and defenseman Mike Reilly, who last week signed a one-way contract, make the team. A large chunk of that cap space — potentially more than $13 million — could be eaten up by unsigned Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Marcus Foligno.

Granlund and Niederreiter, both coming off career years, have filed for salary arbitration. If unsigned beforehand, Niederreiter’s hearing is slated for Aug. 3 and Granlund’s for Aug. 4.

“The two arbitration cases are really the bigger focus, and we have to work out something with Foligno, too,” Fletcher said. “We have some cap flexibility, but it’s not unlimited.”

Poor Marcus Foligno. He’s the third wheel in this situation.

So, it’s not just the Bruins that are in a holding pattern with regards to signing free agents. Don Sweeney has also commented on this, as noted in Ty Anderson’s blog post.

“I can’t predict what other teams or other players will do in that regard,” Sweeney admitted of the club’s holding pattern with veteran free agents. “Some of the players we’ve talked to, I don’t know if that timeline identified with them. But, I’ve been consistent, we’re going to deal with our RFA situations and move forward from there.”

We know that Sweeney is still talking to Stafford. While Stafford has ties to Minnesota, having family roots there, he and his wife enjoy Boston because, quite frankly, Boston is just better in about every conceivable way.

What have we learned? #SignPasta now.

Oh and David, please stop holding the team and its fans hostage.

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