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Wild do not extend qualifying offer to Folin; Ex-Bruin would become free agent if deal isn’t reached

By Dane Mizutani

St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Wild did not make a qualifying offer to former Austin Bruin Christian Folin.

The Wild officially made qualifying offers to eight players Monday: wingers Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederrieter, Kurtis Gabriel and Zack Mitchell; defensemen Gustav Olofsson, Mike Reilly and Zach Palmquist, and goalie Steve Michalek.

Folin, a defenseman, was the most notable player not to receive a qualifying offer from the Wild. If the Wild are unable to negotiate an extension with him, Folin will become an unrestricted free agent.

The Wild also did not make qualifying offers to center Brady Brassart and defensemen Guillaume Gelinas and Alex Gudbranson.

This doesn’t mean much for players like Granlund and Niederreiter as extending a qualifying offer is necessary to retain rights. Granlund and Niederreiter almost surely will decline their qualifying offers with the goal of signing long-term deals.

While the Wild only have about $13.5 million to spend this offseason, general manager Chuck Fletcher has said he has no worries about being able to afford both players.

“We can get there,” Fletcher said. “We’ve been tight for three years. We can potentially even have a little bit more room than what we’ve had the last couple of years. I’m not too worried about that. We have some young guys ready to make the team that will carry good cap hits.”