Minnesota Wolves and Minnesota Wild Set for Spring Cleaning

Zeke Fuhrman@@mellamoelzekeAnalyst IIIApril 17, 2010

DETROIT - MARCH 11:  Goaltender Josh Harding #37 of the Minnesota Wild is set in goal against the Detroit Red Wings during their NHL game on March 11, 2010 at Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After missing the postseason for the second and fourth consecutive seasons respectively, the Minnesota Wild and Minnesota Timberwolves will undoubtedly be looking to make some upgrades this off-season.

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher and Wolves GM David Kahn, both finishing their first seasons as GMs for their respective franchises, will have big decisions to make regarding some key players.

Fletcher has already met with reserve G Josh Harding and has gotten the okay from Harding to move him this off-season. Harding played 25 games this season filling in for Nick Backstrom, who had an injury-riddled season.

Harding, a five-year pro, stated that he'd like to be sent somewhere where he will have a chance to start. Harding had a 9-12 record and saved 90 percent of his shots on goal (626/692).

The Wild will likely try to trade for offense, as they averaged only 2.6 goals per game while allowing three per game.

Fletcher's best GM move thus far was acquiring disgruntled LW Guillaume Latendresse from Montreal; Latendresse scored 25 goals in 55 games for the Wild this season.

The Wild have the ninth overall pick in the 2010 NHL Draft .

Wolves GM David Kahn is in a similar situation, but recent history shows he isn't afraid to make changes.

As soon as Kahn stepped in as GM, he fired Kevin McHale and hired Kurt Rambis. Kahn then cleaned house, leaving only a handful of players on the roster from the previous season, notably Ryan Gomes, Al Jefferson, Kevin Love, and Corey Brewer.

Kahn is on the record as saying that only one player is unavailable for trade this off-season, and that player isn't even on the Wolves' roster.

Ricky Rubio.

That means the Wolves finale last Wednesday could have been the last time fans see Kevin Love, Corey Brewer, or Jonny Flynn in a Wolves uniform.

Things could get worse for Flynn in Minnesota very quickly. With Kahn's dedication to Rubio and Minnesota expected to select Ohio State's Evan Turner or Kentucky's John Wall in the upcoming NBA draft, Flynn could find himself coming off the bench or in a different city altogether.

Let us not forget the "Two Man Draft" of 1992. The two players were Shaquille O'Neal and Alonzo Mourning. The Wolves, who had the worst record in the NBA, were awarded the third pick in the draft and ended up selecting Christian Laettner.

Kahn's most notable move last season was acquiring C Darko Milicic from the New York Knicks.

Milicic, who has been strongly criticized for not reaching his full potential, found a home in Minnesota and put up decent numbers. Milicic said he planned on leaving the NBA for European Basketball after this season when his contract is set to expire.

But after coming to Minnesota, Milicic said the only team he would sign with would be the Wolves, but only if Kahn agrees to guarantee him a starting spot and plenty of minutes.

The Wolves will have a ton of cap space opening up, and will look to be big spenders for the best free agent group in years, which includes Joe Johnson, LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh.

The Wolves have the 16th and 23rd picks in the upcoming draft, and will most likely get a top five pick in the NBA Draft Lottery on May 18.