The Minnesota Wild announced a seemingly minor contract extension on Thursday, but the ramifications of the signing go much deeper than they appear to when initially analyzing the move.
First the signing itself, according to Wild insider Mike Russo of the Star Tribune the Wild have negotiated new two-year $1.3 million contract extension with backup goaltender Alex Stalock. The first year of Stalock's extension will see him playing one-way for year one of the deal and two-way in year two making the motivations here quite obvious.
While the Wild likely do believe in Stalock, this move was all about providing protection for star goalie Devan Dubnyk, something Russo confirmed in his report. Having Stalock signed to such a deal will allow the Wild to expose him come the expansion draft and more importantly will prevent them from being forced to expose Dubnyk.
This is likely one of many moves of it's kind that will be seeing in the coming months as teams in the National Hockey League look to protect key assets on their roster from the threat of the expansion draft.