Just two days from the trade deadline, the Minnesota Wild trade rumors have begun swirling similar to last year. According to reports, the Wild are rumored to be interested in a number of players who will likely be on the move over the course of the next 48 hours. Minnesota is among the most talented teams in the NHL when it comes to young talent. This means other teams would prefer to deal with Minnesota to acquire assets that might play a part in a franchise rebuild.
First and foremost, you have to look at what the Wild may be willing to give up in order to acquire one of the sought after players on the trading block. It can be assumed that Mikael Granlund is off limits unless a deal arose that they couldn’t pass up. His upside is much too important to the future of the Wild to give him up for what could be a rental player. Charlie Coyle is the next best prospect possessed by Minnesota, and superior size would cost any team a hefty price. The most likely names to be moved at the deadline are Jason Zucker and jack-of-all-trades Justin Fontaine. Zucker is a speedy, highly talented forward that just hasn’t been able to find a permanent spot in the NHL. Unfortunately, he is stuck behind a top 6 cast of forwards that have seized the top 2 lines. Fontaine, however, is much more versatile. His ability to play up and down the lineup would be attractive to many teams looking for younger players.
The position that the Wild seems to be looking for insurance at down the stretch is at goalie. There are 2 names that have been rumored to be on the Wild’s radar approaching the March 5 deadline. The first is future hall of famer Martin Brodeur. His future with the Devils looks to be coming to an end with Cory Schneider seizing the No. 1 spot between the pipes. Depending on the price, he would be a great addition to the team and would likely play backup to Darcy Kuemper.
The second name rumored to be linked to Minnesota is Jaroslav Halak. The former St. Louis Blues goalie and current Buffalo Sabre was a key part of the trade that moved Ryan Miller to St. Louis. While he is set to become a free agent this summer, Halak is a veteran in the NHL and could be another reliable backup in case Kuemper’s game goes south.
Besides goaltenders, Minnesota does not seem to be in the running for the high-profile names of this trade deadline. Those names include Ryan Kesler, Ryan Callahan and Matt Moulson, among others. The price is simply too steep to pay for those players. If a move for a forward or defensemen were to be made, it likely wouldn’t be a very significant transaction.
In my opinion, I believe the Wild will keep the roster as is through the trade deadline. As the top teams in the NHL have proved time and time again, you can never have too much depth. Another reason is that the Wild are going to be buyers in free agency this summer. The NHL salary cap will be raised and the team has potentially $9 million coming off the books. Minnesota should let the team grow as it is and avoid trading away their youth for potential rentals.