Should He Stay or Should He Go: Kyle Wilson

COLUMBUS,OH - OCTOBER 28: Kyle Wilson #25 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates the puck out from the corner during the second period against the Edmonton Oilers on October 28 2010 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by John Grieshop/Getty Images)

Name: Kyle Wilson
Position: Center
Status: UFA
2010-2011 Salary/Cap Hit: $0.6 million / $0.6 million

Last Three Years' AHL Stats:

Year GP G A PTS +/- PIM
'10-'11 23 12 12 24 -4 2
'09-'10 77 24 29 53 +17 23
'08-'09 80 28 30 58 +13 31

Kyle Wilson was signed last summer to a one year, two-way deal. He's a known quantity at the AHL level and was signed to provide depth for the Jackets, and to be a go-to producer for the Springfield Falcons. He provided just that and more last season, but going into next year- should he stay, or should he go?

What's He Worth?

Good teams have depth, it's just that simple. Wilson is a tweener- he's a fantastic AHL-level player, but he hasn't been able to complete a full season for an NHL squad. This past season he did however set personal highs with 4 goals, 7 assists for 11 points in 32 games with Columbus. He was a surprise in training camp, making the squad after impressing the coaching staff with his energy and occasional offense. His play started to tail-off mid-season, and he was sent down to Springfield. Rather than mope after being sent down, he did just the opposite-he was a point-per-game player for the Falcons.

Players like him are pretty standard, salary-wise. At the AHL level, his contract was worth $165,000, which was the 27th highest AHL salary. His NHL level salary of $0.6 million was a bit higher than some of the players who earned similar AHL-level money, but given his contributions to Columbus for the first half of the season, it falls right in line.

What Should The CBJ Offer?

A common scenario for players of Wilson's ilk are that they often hold out for a one-way NHL deal. Some teams are willing to offer high-end AHLers a one-way deal in the hopes they can lock down a spot on the bottom two lines. Wilson will be looking for such a deal, but it's unlikely he'll get it from the Jackets. If he doesn't receive one-way offers, Columbus has interest in bringing him back to fill a similar role-depth player who will be a leader for Springfield. He could earn a slight bump in salary, perhaps to the $200,000 level in AHL dollars. Another one year deal would be most likely. I would consider re-signing Wilson to be a priority, once the NHL club is filled-in.

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