Ladies and Gentlemen, I hope you enjoy today as much as I do. Click on the button above to acces SB*Nation's NHL Trade Deadline hub. That page will have updates from across SB*Nation's NHL community. There will be articles there from each team's site covering the moves of the day.
We here are Hockey Wilderness will be posting moves as they happen in the comments section, so please feel free to drop by and let us know what you think of the various transactions, the impact those moves may have on the Wild, and of course, breaking news as it happens.
Now, as far as our beloved Minnesota Wild are concerned, general manager Doug Risebrough has said if the Wild do anything "it'll be minor".
After the jump, I've listed the Wild's potential commodities.
So, here are the guys we think will be on the block
|2008 - Marc-Andre Bergeron||52||8||16||24||0||26||4||0||2||0||99||8.1|
All teams are in the market for a "puck-moving blueliner" and while the Wild aren't exactly overloaded with these types of guys, Bergeron is a UFA, and I can't see the team re-signing him in the offseason, making him a prime target for a team heading into the playoffs, even with his defensive liabilities. He's a good point man on the power play, and has little problem breaking out of his own zone.
|2008 - Marian Gaborik||6||3||2||5||0||0||1||0||0||0||22||13.6|
Obviously this has been discussed ad nauseum here and across the Wild blogosphere, but news that Gaborik has completely healed from hip surgery, coupled with his seemingly inevitable divorce from Minnesota and the fact that he still is one of the best offensive players in the NHL make Gaborik an interesting factor at the deadline.
While the injury-bug and his repaired hips are clearly an issue, and have likely brought his trade value down to AIG stock levels, the fact remains that he is a juicy target for a team willing to take that risk to add his scoring punch to a Stanley Cup playoff run.
|2008 - Kim Johnsson||61||1||14||15||-4||26||0||0||0||0||69||1.4|
Johnsson, like Bergeron, is a solid puck-moving defenseman. While his offensive skills have been stymied in Jacques Lemaire's system, the fact remains that Johnsson can eat 25 minutes a night, handle the puck in his own end, and in Philadelphia he was a weapon in the offensive end.
Johnsson's price-tag is high at $5.2 this season, but unlike many others, he's under contract for next season as well at $5.3M. While this will hurt his value as a rental player, he may be a juicy target for a team looking past this season, and getting that contract off the books would help the Wild land some scoring punch and size on the blue-line for next year.
|2008 - Owen Nolan||39||17||13||30||1||17||9||0||3||0||98||17.3|
Owen Nolan leads the Wild in goals, and has proven that he's still a fantastic weapon down low, and on the power play. He thrives in the gritty atmosphere of a playoff-caliber game. Nolan too is under contract for next season, but at $2.75 is a bargain if he can get 22-25 goals a season and provide veteran leadership in the playoffs.
A team like San Jose, who just lost Mike Grier and Jeremy Roenick for four to six weeks would be a prime candidate for someone like Nolan. He can provide the grit and loves to play in traffic.
|2008 - Martin Skoula||61||1||7||8||-9||4||0||0||0||0||36||2.8|
Everyone's favorite scapegoat is having his best year as a member of the Wild, and while Jacques Lemaire would hate to lose him, Skoula is a UFA and could be the kind of guy to provide depth on the blueline for a team in the playoffs. He's proven that he is durable, would cost virtually nothing for the rest of the season, and is playing a solid defensive game this year.
|2008 - Stephane Veilleux||61||7||7||14||-18||32||0||1||1||0||102||6.9|
Veilleux is the type of energy guy that coaches absolutely love. He'll come out, give you everything he has for 15-18 minutes a night, irritate the other team, hit everything that moves, and even has some touch around the net if necessary.
With the ascension of Cal Clutterbuck to fan favorite and Veilleux's status as a UFA, he'll likely not be re-signed this offseason, making him appealing to a playoff team in need of some spark.