The Minnesota Wild Trade Deadline: Expectations and Concerns

Paul CCorrespondent IMarch 1, 2009

Hello Minnesota Wild fans, and all other fans of the NHL. Every year, as the trade deadline nears, we see blockbuster trades such as last year’s Marian Hossa trade from Atlanta to Pittsburgh.

Unfortunately, such trades are rare occasions in the NHL, so as much fun it is to see, don’t expect the Wild to do anything daring like that. Rather, look for the Wild to search for trades that will help create a deeper team, while not trading away key future players.

What the Wild may also do, is to trade for players that would better fit within the Wild system and team chemistry. Not a while back, we saw the Wild trading for the likes of Dan Fritsche, who has been fitting into the Wild system better than Erik Reitz did.

The Wild should additionally be careful though, not to trade off their promising young players. Even though they may have a good chance at making the playoffs, they shouldn’t destroy their next few seasons by trading off all their young guns for a run at the cup.

Luckily (or not so luckily, your opinion), the Wild don’t have many trade rumors flying around their heads. There is one player that seems to have rumors of trades around him however: Marian Gaborik.

After undergoing surgery in late December, Gabby should be back anytime now, and seeing that he doesn’t plan on staying in Minnesota, the Wild may send him to another team for some other valuable player.

The best bet for the Wild to regain their lost scoring touch though, is to resign Gaborik instead of trading him for someone they believe can give the Wild that scoring touch. Gaborik is returning soon, and as can be seen by what he can do when healthy, the Wild should be back on track scoring wise in a week or so.

Besides not trading Gaborik, the Wild should also be careful not to repeat last year’s trading deadline results. With the ability to go far into the playoffs, the Wild acquired Chris Simon, for a sixth round pick. Granted, a sixth round pick isn’t entirely valuable, but Chris Simon was worth far below that of a  sixth round pick.

What the Wild didn’t need last year (and most importantly this year), was another enforcer. At the end of last season, Minnesotahad three enforcers: Boogaard, Simon, and Fedoruk. While Fedoruk provided a small amount of fourth line scoring and Boogaard policed the ice, Simon proved to be relatively useless.

Similar to last year, the Wild do not need another enforcer this year. Boogie does a good enough job to not have to depend upon another enforcer. Thus, if the Wild were to trade for another player, it better be a good two-way player that can merge well into Jacques Lemaire’s system.

Unfortunately for the Wild, they also have some concerns with other teams within the NHL, more specifically within the Northwest Conference. Calgary seems to have run away with the division lead, but if the Wild can pull in a strong finish, they may be able to claim that coveted top three playoff spot.

The Wild may also need to rely on some lucky trade breaks in regards to their division rivals. The Wild should watch out for Calgary and Vancouver building up its team with better players, while keeping an eye on Edmonton, who has been playing well as of late.

Thus, it is essential that the Wild either trade for players that improve team chemistry and add depth to the team, or not even trade at all.

It would definitely help the Wild if Calgary and Vancouver made bad trade breaks, but seeing how both organizations are solidly led by their respective GM’s, it would be more helpful for the Wild if Calgary and Vancouver didn’t make any trades at all.

So, keep your fingers crossed, hold your breath, and keep on hoping that the Wild will do the right thing, and with some luck from opposing team trades, maybe propel themselves into a strong playoff start.