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Scandella signs five-year extension with Wild

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild on Saturday signed defenseman Marco Scandella to a five-year contract extension reportedly worth $20 million.

Scandella led Wild defensemen with five goals and had a plus-7 rating entering the game Saturday against the St. Louis Blues. He's scored two overtime goals this season, most among NHL defensemen.

"We reached out to them at the beginning of the season. It came together pretty quickly," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "About a week ago, [assistant GM Brent Flahr] made an offer and it literally took three or four phone calls to get it done."

Marco Scandella
Defense - MIN
GOALS: 5 | ASST: 3 | PTS: 8
SOG: 44 | +/-: 7
The Star Tribune reported the average annual value as $4 million.

A second-round selection (No. 55) of the Wild in the 2008 NHL Draft, Scandella struggled in his first two NHL seasons in 2010-11 and 2011-12, shuttling often between the Wild and the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.

He spent much of the shortened 2012-13 season in Houston before being recalled before the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He's remained with Minnesota since.

Scandella, 24, scored three goals and had 14 assists and was plus-10 in 76 games with Minnesota last season. He would have become a restricted free agent after this season.

The Wild have locked up four members of what is considered their young core to long-term contracts. Forward Nino Niederreiter signed a three-year contract in September, defenseman Jonas Brodin signed a six-year contract Oct. 12, and forward Charlie Coyle signed for five more years 10 days after Brodin's new deal.

"Players have to want to commit too," Fletcher said. "They're all very close, they're all good friends. They all have prominent roles on our team. They're very important parts of our present but we're seeing them all take a big step this season. A few of them are just scratching the surface of where they're going to get to, and Marco is certainly one of those guys."

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