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  • Defenseman by Trade


    The Wild could be well-served by adding a defenseman with experience. Ger has already looked at some available UFA Defensemen, and Tony has looked at a good internal option to fill the void. I'm going to look at the other way the Wild could go about acquiring a defenseman: trade.


    That leaves:

    Mark Streit: He's 39 and highly-paid, with 3 years left on his contract. This puts him at 42 at the end of his contract, which is worth 5.25M per year. It's hard to see the Flyers trading Streit. He's a fantastic player, and has been brilliant from a Corsi perspective. The only reason I could see the Flyers moving Streit is to dump his salary, and if they did, the price would be more than the Wild are likely willing to give up.

    Kimmo Timonen: He's also 39, though is less expensive with only 2M on his contract. He also only has 1 year left on his contract. A trade here is more possible; at Kimmo's age, it's possible he will start to decline. However, that decline hasn't happened yet. Unfortunately, the Flyers are just over $3 Million over the cap, and this doesn't quite get them out of trouble; it helps, but it isn't a full solution.

    Nick Schultz: Wild fans are likely familiar with Mr. Schultz. He has 1 year left on his contract at 1.25M. Schultz has been less than stellar from a Corsi point of view, and a return to the Wild, while possible, is unlikely. At 6'2'' and 200 pounds, Schultz is not small, but not huge. What's more, this trade won't cost as much as some other defensemen might cost, simply because of his less-than-stellar status.

    What's more, the Flyers are looking to sell; they are moderately deep at the blue line, with lots of young players who are going to be looking for NHL time. Even better, the Flyers don't want to add more of a cap hit than they need to to replace whoever they move. My guess would be that a combo of young players and picks, with some cash, would be enough.



    The Blackhawks also, however, have a sizable group of youngsters who are moving towards NHL readiness- namely, James Van Riemsdyk's younger brother Trevor.

    The Blackhawks, most likely, are looking to move a forward. If the Wild look to Chicago for a defenseman, they have to hope either the Hawks are willing to part with Leddy, or one of their other blue liners is willing to waive their NTC. In short: likely, there are no trades to be had here, as Leddy would probably be more expensive than the Wild are willing to pay.



    Victor Hedman: Hedman is 23, carries a hit of 4 Million, but is a very capable player. It's unlikely the Lightning are willing to move him. Even if they were willing, Hedman is a bit overkill for the hole the Wild are looking to fill.

    Mark Barberio and Andrej Sustr: Neither of these options are appealing to the Wild: Barberio is a great young player who the Lightning like, and he would cost more than the Wild want to give up. Sustr is very similar to Gudas; young and inconsistent.

    The Lightning don't have much to offer the Wild on the blue line. This is because the Wild already have young, promising defensemen, and because the Lightning don't have players that fit the role the Wild need filled.



    The Wild are in a very unique situation. They don't want to pay as much as a top-pairing defenseman would cost, nor do they necessarily need to add a top-pairing player. They are simply looking for someone to play bottom-pairing minutes while the youngsters finalize their preparations. Assuming the Wild's front office thinks this way as well, the only player I could see them making a play for would be the Flyer's Timonen. It's possible Chuck Fletcher brings Nick Schultz back to Minnesota, but he is very similar to players that are available in free-agency, and there's no reason to give up pieces to acquire a middling player.



    Ultimately, I doubt the Wild are going to make a move regarding the blue line in the offseason, unless it's an offer they can't refuse. I would bet some money (not a lot, but some) that the Wild start the season with the roster they have on the blue line, and if none of the youngsters can handle 3rd-pairing minutes, then they might make a move to bring in some experience.


    If you haven't read Tony's article about Dumba yet, go do it, it's wonderful.


    Edit: re-worded section around Andy Macdonald. Sarcasm doesn't work sometimes.

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