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  • Trade Bait: Why Chuck Fletcher will have a quiet NHL trade season


    It's a great time of year for fan GM's and their endless supply of potential trades they want to see to take their team to the next level. Unfortunately for Wild fans, a blockbuster trade is just not in the cards. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but GM Chuck Fletcher just isn't going to make any moves as the trade deadline looms larger on the horizon. It's still a lot of fun to think, "What if...". I just don't see it happening for the Wild this season, and it goes beyond how strapped for cash this team is right now as they sit (as of publication) with less than a million dollars of cap space available.

    Don't get me wrong. The salary cap situation for this team is a big part of why Fletcher is sitting on his hands up in his cozy office and not answering the phone. Any trade for a real game changer for the Wild right now would require the team on the other end of the phone line to likely retain a lot of salary if the object of Fletcher's affection is a seasoned vet. If a budding star is on his radar, it's going to cost not only a highly touted prospect, but probably some NHL level talent as well, or maybe some draft choices as compensation.

    The Wild are an improved team this season, and despite some of our grievances about lineup choices and players under-performing, we are sitting a full 11 points higher in the standings than a year ago at this time. While there is always room for improvement, Chuck Fletcher has to like what he is seeing out of this team right now. Unless the team is due for a massive downswing (and being a Minnesota team, we're all waiting for that collapse) there is really no reason to break up the continuity this team that is enjoying a second season with nearly all the same cast, certainly the same primary players.

    We also didn't see Fletcher make any significant moves this past offseason. This indicates to me 2 things. First, the obvious. He doesn't have the cap space, or roster space to bring in any names of note to help bolster this lineup. Second, he's confident in the group he has out there. Nothing is impossible, and he could've made some moves if something came up in the offseason. He didn't. He's looking towards the future and just isn't willing to bet on a long shot right now.

    Fletcher has spent the last several seasons putting this team together, and he's happy with the product on the ice. 52 points is good enough for 2nd in any division but the Central and is only 3 and 4 point out of 1st in the Pacific and Atlantic respectively. Throw the Wild in either of those divisions, playing against those opponents regularly, and those 3 or 4 points fade into the ether and the Wild could very well find themselves the dominant powerhouse in those divisions.

    The Wild also don't have a 2nd round draft pick for the next 2 drafts. In fact, they only have 5 picks in the upcoming draft, a 1st, a 4th, a 6th and 2-7th round picks. Fletcher isn't going to part with his 1st round pick this summer, and I can't expect he'd be willing to give it up next season too. He's blown his assortment of draft picks the last few seasons to bring in new players, and with as terrible as Iowa has been this season, Fletcher really needs to sit back and start restocking the cupboards before considering anything this seasons trades might have to offer.

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