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Wellman, Palmer Sign Qualifying Offers

by Glen Andresen / Minnesota Wild

UPDATE: Defensemen Jeff Penner and Justin Falk also agreed to terms with the Wild on Friday. That leaves James Sheppard as the only player who has yet to sign the qualifying offer.

After a busy summer of buzzworthy personnel moves, things are finally settling down around Xcel Energy Center as Development Camp nears a conclusion and some downtime awaits. There's just a few items left on the agenda of the Wild front office prior to training camp, and two of those were crossed off the "To Do" list today when Casey Wellman and Jarod Palmer signed their qualifying offers, locking them up for another season with two-way deals.

Both Wellman and Palmer originally signed with the Wild as college free agents following their 2009-10 seasons. Wellman played 12 games for the Wild in 2010 and picked up a goal and three assists. Last year, he added a goal and an assist in 15 Wild games but spent most of his time with the Houston Aeros. In 42 games, he picked up 35 points (14-21=35). He added six goals and five assists in 24 Calder Cup playoff games.

Like last year, Wellman is expected to contend for a roster spot with the big club this season. His speed makes him a valuable asset for a club looking to infuse young and speedy players with the likes of Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley and Guillaume Latendresse.

It will be a challenge, however. In looking at the Wild's current depth chart, there looks to be one open spot among the top 12 forwards. Colton Gillies appears to have an inside track at that slot, but there is always the option to have an extra frontliner, and injuries are sure to crop up throughout the season.

If that's the case, Palmer could also push for a roster spot. The Fridley native spent the entirety of his first professional season in Houston last year, totaling 28 points (9-19=28), 64 penalty minutes (PIM) and ranking tied for third with a +12 rating in 65 games. He also added three goals and two assists in 24 playoff contests.

Of course, Palmer is most famous in these parts for this goal at last year's Development Camp that became an Internet sensation.  
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