|Photo: John Autey/Pioneer Press|
Minnesota (NHL): Regular Season-81 GP, 8 G, 16 A, 24 P, 61 PIM, 115 SOG
Playoffs-12 GP, 3 G, 3 A, 6 P, 2 PIM, 15 SOG
After a disappointing 2012-13 lockout shortened season, Kyle Brodziak was hoping to turn it around in 2013-14. He didn't get very far in achieving that goal. Brodziak does play the toughest minutes and competition on the team. It comes with being the third line center. But at times this year, Brodziak looked lost with the puck and had issues burying it despite a multitude of opportunities. Mike Yeo had stuck with Brodziak throughout the entire regular season, but decided to bench him for Game Three of the first round against Colorado. Had Matt Cooke not been suspended for kneeing Tyson Barrie, Brodziak might not have played for a few more games. But instead, Brodziak returned for Game Four and went on to play every game through the end of the postseason. He was bumped down to the fourth line, due in large part to the success of Erik Haula, and did reasonably well in that role.
Status for 2014-15
Entering next year, Brodziak is in the final year of his three year deal, which will come with a $2,833,333 cap hit. The Wild are not likely to use a compliance buyout on him, nor are they likely to trade him this summer either. Its a pretty reasonable assumption that Brodziak will be on the team in training camp. As to where he starts the season, probably more depends on how Erik Haula does in training camp/preseason. Haula will likely have first shot at the third line center spot after taking it during the postseason.
Follow Giles on Twitter @gilesferrell