The Minnesota Wild have hit a home run by making Jared Spurgeon their new Captain.
It was announced today – on the day that Training Camps open around the NHL – that Jared Spurgeon will wear the “C” for the Minnesota Wild in 2020-21 and beyond.
The Wild needed a new official leader after long-time Captain and veteran forward Mikko Koivu departed in Free Agency, signing a one-year, $1,750,000 contract with the Columbus Blue Jackets.
More from Puck Prose
- Detroit Red Wings 2023 Rookie Camp Has Plenty of Ups and Downs
- This Columbus Blue Jackets rookie doesn’t want to be forgotten
- 2 trades the Boston Bruins must make to secure the Stanley Cup
- 3 reasons the Avalanche won’t win the Stanley Cup in 2024
- This is a big year for Alex Turcotte and the Los Angeles Kings
As a result, that left the door open for someone and Spurgeon will become just the second full-time Captain in franchise history, while defenseman Ryan Suter and forward Zach Parise will continue to serve as Alternate Captains.
And Jared Spurgeon is perfect Captain material.
First joining the Wild in 2010 after signing a three-year, $1,580,000 contract, Spurgeon has developed and morphed into a cornerstone on that Minnesota blueline.
He has skated in 653 career NHL regular season games, all with the Wild, recording 280 points (82 G, 198 A) with a career plus / minus rating of +50, in addition to recording 21 points (8 G, 13 A) in 48 postseason contests.
Spurgeon has become one of Minnesota’s most important players, alongside the likes of Suter and Parise, while he and Matt Dumba give the Wild a real high-end one-two punch on that backend.
The 31-year-old has averaged more than 20 minutes of ice time throughout his NHL career, aside from his rookie season in 2010-11, while he recorded 32 points (12 G, 20 A) in 62 regular season games in 2019-20 with an ATOI of 22:34.
Spurgeon is also the franchise leader in blocked shots (1,097), goals, power play goals (29), game-winning goals (15) and hits (563) by a defenseman, while he also ranks second in games played, points, assists, power play points (93) and is fourth all-time in plus / minus.
Respected in the locker room and a key figure on the ice, the Wild signed Spurgeon to a seven-year, $53,025,000 contract on Sept. 14, 2019, and he will continue to be a vital piece of the future for Minnesota who are attempting to rebuild on the fly.
And there are a plethora of reasons why Spurgeon makes perfect sense to wear the “C” on his chest for the Wild.
Firstly, there is the on-ice impact where Spurgeon is a top-pairing defenseman for the Wild and someone who gives it his all every single game. He isn’t what you would call a flashy player by any stretch of the imagination, but he gets the job done and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line.
He ranked second on the Wild in blocked shots with 102 in 2019-20, while he can be relied upon to eat monster minutes on a nightly basis.
Secondly, Spurgeon demands instant respect from everyone in that locker room and he’s someone who likes to lead by his actions rather than his words.
You can see that in his consistent play and how he carries himself on the ice in every single game, earning votes for the Norris Trophy in three of the last four seasons, and votes for the Lady Byng Trophy in six consecutive years.
The right shot is a dominant presence at both ends of the ice for the Wild, and he’s someone who can be relied upon in all situations.
Then there is Jared Spurgeon’s relationships with his teammates and, in a story from The Star Tribune, the veteran defenseman reached out to Wild prospect Kirill Kaprizov earlier in the summer, making sure that the young Russian was settled in and adapting well to his new surroundings.
He also got in touch with Marco Rossi, the No. 9 overall pick by the Minnesota Wild in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, and ensured that the franchise’s latest stud prospect felt welcomed to the Twin Cities.
That’s exactly what you want from your Captain and Spurgeon will provide a reliable presence in what will become a younger and younger locker room as Minnesota continues to trade away pieces in order to get younger and build for the future.
Spurgeon also knows what it takes to make it in the NHL having been drafted 156th overall by the New York Islanders in the Sixth Round of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, before being released and then waiting on invites to Training Camps.
One such invite did come from the Minnesota Wild and Spurgeon fought tooth and nail to prove himself, before quickly proving that he belonged in the NHL and then becoming the face of the franchise.
So, as a result, Spurgeon is an ideal role model and mentor for young players because he has experienced the ups and the downs, the highs and the lows that come with trying to make it in the NHL, and he can offer some invaluable advice to those who need it.
Plus, with the Wild likely to tear certain parts of their roster down in order to improve long-term, there is perhaps nobody better than Spurgeon at the helm to make sure the ship stays afloat amidst stormy waters.
He can be leaned on by the coaching staff to get a message across and he’s the perfect buffer between locker room and front office.
Overall, the Minnesota Wild needed a true leader to step up and fill the void left by Mikko Koivu, and they certainly have that in Jared Spurgeon who will be exactly the Captain this franchise needs right now.
He was the perfect choice.