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Should He Stay or Should He Go: Kyle Wilson

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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.