With arbitration hearings looming, the Minnesota Wild moved closer to locking up all of its key players with the signing of defenseman Kurtis Foster to a one-year contract. Foster and Wild management had been scheduled for an arbitration hearing on Friday.
The club now needs to solidify contracts with Derek Boogaard and Nick Schultz. Boogaard's arbitration hearing is scheduled for July 23, and Schultz for July 26.
Foster, 25 (11/24/81), collected 23 points (3-20=23) and 52 penalty minutes (PIM) in 57 games with Minnesota in 2006-07 and averaged 17:58 in ice time. He led team defensemen with 20 assists including a franchise-record-tying 13 power play assists, set the single-season record with 14 assists at home by a defenseman and ranked second in scoring.
The 6-foot-5, 218-pound native of Carp, Ontario tied a franchise record for defensemen with seven shots on goal at Ottawa on Nov. 20, 2006 and collected six power play assists during a career-high-tying three-game point streak Dec. 29, 2006 to Jan. 2, 2007. Foster added two assists and averaged 18:38 in ice time in three playoff games. He has tallied 52 points (13-39=52) and 112 PIM in 120 career NHL contests with Atlanta and Minnesota, including 51 points (13-38=51) in 115 games with the Wild.
Minnesota originally signed Foster as a free agent on Aug. 4, 2005. As per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.