Fletcher reacts to Free Agency 2009
Thursday, 07.2.2009 / 6:00 PM CT / News
By James MacDonald - Special to Wild.com
| Fletcher addresses media
As of 6 o'clock Thursday night, Minnesota had acquired two players, Martin Havlat and Greg Zanon, both of whom, according to Fletcher, contacted the Wild and showed a great deal of interest in signing with the club nearly as the gates opened at 11 a.m. CDT Wednesday.
At the close of regular business hours on Wednesday night, the Havlat deal had not been completed, but, working deep into the evening, Fletcher was able to sign the talented and versatile winger, then wake up with the feeling he had accomplished his Day 1 mission -- to land both a defenseman who could play in the top five as well as a top-tier free-agent forward.
Havlat, 28, certainly fits that bill. In addition to his production (29 goals last season, plus 44 between 109 shortened seasons from 2005-08), Havlat, should the Wild's coaching staff see fit, can play in all situations and on both sides of the ice. He's 6-foot-2, 217 pounds, and signed for the next six seasons.
In the coming days, Fletcher will continue to pursue the options he has available to him -- he told the writers, "we're certainly working on things." The Wild GM is understandably uncomfortable discussing some of the specifics, but he was quick to point out, on a few occasions, both with the writers and with the television crews, the idea that a free agent signing period runs more than just a few days.