| Brian Rolston scored one of his 34 goals last season against the Edmonton Oilers. |
As far as easy decisions go, this one was right up there with opting for filet mignon over a bowl of rusty nails and broken glass. Ever since Brian Rolston led all Minnesota Wild scorers in 2005-06 with a franchise-record 79 points on 34 goals and 45 assists, the day the Wild excercised its option on him was a foregone conclusion.
That day was Monday, when Wild management announced that the club has exercised Rolston’s contract option for the 2007-08 season. Due to the new collective bargaining agreement, the option had to be excercised by June 30.
"We had to make a decision, and it was expected. We are just really happy to have Brian," said Assistant General Manager, Tom Lynn. "We have him for the next two seasons for sure, and beyond, we’ll have to deal with that when it comes."
As a result of the option being exercised, Minnesota will not be able to negotiate a contract with Rolston beyond 2007-08 until that final year of the contract, which was originally a three-year deal. One of those years was lost to the 2004-05 lockout, but the option guarantees Rolston in a Wild sweater for at least two more years.
While two more years may not seem too far down the line, Lynn said both parties are extremely happy with where they are at this point in time.
"I talked to Brian, and he’s excited," explained Lynn. "He really enjoys being here, and that’s going to be infrectious. You want more players to come here and feel that way. We’re both very excited."
Rolston’s totals in points, goals and assists were all career-highs, as was his team-leading +14 rating. He played in all 82 games in his first season with Minnesota, and he scored 15 times on the power play, and five times in shorthanded situations.