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Wild, Zholtok ready to open contract talks // Pioneer Press
VANCOUVER, British Columbia - The Wild and Sergei Zholtok will begin talks early next week to see if a contract can be reached to keep the center in St. Paul.
Wild general manager Doug Risebrough approached Zholtok to hear what the center's plans are concerning his impending unrestricted free-agent status.
The Wild and Zholtok's agent, Mark Gandler, likely will start talks Monday. If no common ground can be reached, the team will consider trading Zholtok before the March 19 deadline to receive something in return.
"Sergei would like to see if something can be done here," said Risebrough, who will attend the NHL's general managers' meetings Sunday through Wednesday in Fort Myers, Fla. "It doesn't mean we're going to reach a deal, but we will see what everyone is thinking."
Zholtok is the only Wild regular who can be free at the end of the season. As a free agent, he could sign with any club July 1 and the Wild wouldn't have a chance to match the offer.
Goalie Jamie McLennan, who has played all season in the American Hockey League, also will be an unrestricted free agent.
Last season Risebrough had to deal with Sean O'Donnell, Scott Pellerin and Curtis Leschyshyn. O'Donnell told Risebrough he would test the market, so the Wild traded him to New Jersey for defenseman Willie Mitchell.
Pellerin wanted a new contract, but the talks stalled, and he was shipped to the Carolina Hurricanes. He and Leschyshyn, who was sent to the Ottawa Senators, brought back draft choices for the Wild.
Zholtok, acquired in a trade with the Edmonton Oilers on June 29, has had a solid season with 30 points in 60 games, and his 16 goals rank second to Marian Gaborik's 18 for the Wild.
Zholtok knows he can't focus on contract or trade talks.
"Sometimes you wish you could just stay with one team for your whole career," he said. "That way you're going to feel like your roots are in it. In this modern market, it's just not possible. Some guys have played for four teams in a couple of years. That's unbelievable. You're always looking for that one place.
"At one point, I thought Montreal was the one. I really liked that organization. I felt I built up a good relationship with the city. Then things changed. I went from being a guy they thought could help drive the team to being a guy who nobody cared about."
The Canadiens traded him to Edmonton last season. Then he came to the Wild, where he is playing for $725,000 this season.
"The last contract I signed was when I was with the Montreal Canadiens, and it was a two-year deal," said Zholtok, 30. "The first year I played good, solid hockey overall. I had 26 goals. The second year I got off to a rough start. It was a good lesson for me. You can't let a contract situation affect you."
Zholtok has added to the Wild's offensive production, especially on the power play, where he provides a right-handed shot from the point.
"To go to a different team in the middle of the season would be a tough thing," he said.
"If you get traded to a place like Carolina, you'll be in a place that isn't a big hockey environment.
"It's just so fun to come into the building in Minnesota. It's so new, and the people are excited about hockey. All the games are sold out all the time. We have a great coaching staff."
Risebrough likes to hear players talk positively.
"You always want guys to feel they can build a career here," he said.
"Players have a lot of options, and you want word to get around that Minnesota
is a great place to play."
Страничка Сергея Жолтка на сайте
"Звёзды с Востока"
18 ноября. Honoring Zholtok's memory, one year after
his death - St. Paul Pioneer Press
11 ноября. Ex-Wild teammate returns home, recalls
Zholtok's death in Belarus // St. Paul Pioneer Press
11 ноября. Former Wild teammates Darby Hendrickson
and Sergei Zholtok had a tragic reunion in Latvia // Minneapolis Star
5 ноября. Zholtok's death has really hit home
// Providence Journal/Evening Bulletin
5 ноября. Вожак Латвии // "Спорт-Экспресс"
5 ноября. Сергей Жолток - смерть за 5 минут до конца
матча // "Спорт-Экспресс"
18 ноября. Honoring Zholtok's memory, one year after his death - St. Paul Pioneer Press
11 ноября. Ex-Wild teammate returns home, recalls Zholtok's death in Belarus // St. Paul Pioneer Press
11 ноября. Former Wild teammates Darby Hendrickson and Sergei Zholtok had a tragic reunion in Latvia // Minneapolis Star Tribune
5 ноября. Zholtok's death has really hit home // Providence Journal/Evening Bulletin
5 ноября. Вожак Латвии // "Спорт-Экспресс"
5 ноября. Сергей Жолток - смерть за 5 минут до конца матча // "Спорт-Экспресс"