Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said a lot can change week-to-week, but claiming forward Chris Porter off waivers only increases Minnesota's talent pool and adds depth to an already deep team.
"Our cap situation was tight this summer," Fletcher said. "We were trying to keep our powder dry, and leave as much cap space as possible until we could see what happened in training camp."
Porter, who has played 173 career NHL games, all with the St. Louis Blues, said he feels his style of play would mesh well with what the Wild do having seen them so often in the Central Division.
"They're good defensively, good offensively, so I'm not looking to come in and do anything crazy," Porter said. "I'm just looking to play my game. I feel I can add speed and physicality to the team, and hopefully we can get out of the first and second round and make it deep into the playoffs."
While Fletcher said injuries would affect how the Wild proceed in its decision-making as training camp winds down—Justin Fontaine, Jordan Schroeder, and Erik Haula have each missed time—the decision to claim Porter was not injury-based.
"I even spoke to Doug Armstrong a little bit the past two years," Fletcher said. "He's certainly a player that fits our identity, plays the way we like to play, and it's good depth to have right now. We'll see how things play out."
The addition of Porter will also, according to Fletcher, allow the Wild to pick-and-choose how it wants its fourth line to play, with the ability to make tweaks, which Fletcher said he expects.
"We have the ability to put more skill in, we have the ability to put size in, we have the ability to put speed in, so we have different options, and the coaches will have to make the decision as to what that identity will be for that fourth line, but my sense is it might change often," Fletcher said.
It's not just the forward group that has competition brewing. The Wild has nine defensemen currently in training camp, including rookie Mike Reilly, and Fletcher said decisions would still need to be made on the blue line as well.
"You need seven or eight defensemen, so ultimately we'll sit down with the coaches and see what we want to do with our fourth line, what our health is like, and who they want to play to start the year," Fletcher said.
Should Reilly make the team out of training camp, Fletcher said the Wild has handled grooming young, NHL-green defensemen before.
"We did it last year with [Matt Dumba] and [Christian Folin] at times where we had those players with the NHL roster, and they weren't playing every night, but they were learning, and watching, and practicing, and then at times they needed the game reps," Fletcher said. "We'll see where our health is, things can change quickly."
Kevin Fullness from Wild Radio caught up with Chris Porter before he made his way to the Twin Cities. Listen here.