Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has one less restricted free agent to worry about after the team announced on Monday they’ve extended defenseman Jared Spurgeon for four years.
The 26-year old Spurgeon will carry a $5.187 million cap hit and join fellow Wild blue liners Ryan Suter, Jonas Brodin and Marco Scandella in being locked up through at least the end of the 2019-20 NHL season, per General Fanager.
Spurgeon is second among Wild defensemen in goals (4), points (16) and time on ice (22:15). He also stays out of the box, having earned only four penalty minutes through 31 games this season.
Most importantly, he continually makes his teammates better, as Dimitri Filipovic of NHL Numbers showed last summer and as Micah Blake McCurdy of Hockey Graphs Tweeted Monday using data from this season. According to War on Ice, Spurgeon's Corsi Rel, which measures shots directed at a player's net while he's on the ice, shows the Wild take 5.6-percent more shots when he's out there compared to when he's not. That's valuable.
When Spurgeon hops over the boards possession numbers rise all around. That’s what Mike Yeo wants, and with the defense Fletcher has currently tied up in deals for at least the next four seasons, the Wild will continue to feature one of the league’s deepest and stingiest bluelines.
Next up for Fletcher? Jason Zucker and Matt Dumba, both set to become RFAs this summer.
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