So, you thought you got a bit of a break between the Olympics and the Wild's first game, huh? Not so much. The NHL trade freeze was lifted last night at midnight eastern time, and the deadline is 3PM eastern on Wednesday.
We have gone over this subject a bit already in the past couple months, but with the deadline looming, let's look at each Wild player and take a shot at the likelihood they may be traded. This may also help to put away some of the really stupid rumors like trading Niklas Backstrom.
Make the jump.
In Wild.com roster order:
Eric Belanger -A UFA on July 1st, Belanger looks to be a prime candidate for a trade deadline type deal. Excellent face-off artist, solid in the defensive zone. With Dominic Moore garnering a second round pick before the Olympic break, that should be the going rate for Belanger. If Fletcher wants to go a different direction with the sdecond line center spot, expect Belanger to be moved. (Or is Brodziak the second line center now?)
Derek Boogaard - Another excellent candidate to be traded. The Boogey man would be a great pick up for any playoff team thinking they need toughness. I am not sure what the going rate for an enforcer is, but my guess is it would not be all that much. I think even a fourth round pick may be asking too much. I am hoping Boogey sticks around.
Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Not likely. On LTIR, very little interest of any other team to pay him to not play.
Kyle Brodziak - I don't think Brodziak is going anywhere. He is signed through 2012 at a very friendly cap hit. He has shown chemistry with Lats, Havlat, Clutterbuck... yeah, he's not moving.
Andrew Brunette - Signed through next season, Bruno would command a pretty good return from a team looking to add a vet, but it won't happen this year.
Cal Clutterbuck - Recently signed to an extension, Clutter isn't going anywhere.
Andrew Ebbett - A UFA at the end of the year, Ebbett would be a likely target, but having been waived twice this season, there may be little market for him. Of course, he was claimed both times, so maybe there would be. A good depth player. Who knows. Maybe a third round pick?
Martin Havlat - Yeah. No. Not 100% sure, but 90% sure he has a No Trade Clause. Not happening. For anything.
Chuck Kobasew - Fletcher paid a pretty good price to bring Kobasew in. Looks to be part of the long range plan. Return on a trade would have to be pretty high, and Kobasew is hurt on top of everything. Not happening.
Mikko Koivu - HA HA HA HA HA HA! (breath) HA HA HA HA HA HA! No.
Guillaume Latendresse - An RFA at the end of the year, Lats will be re-signed and will be sticking around for awhile. Shown great chemistry with Havlat, playing his butt off. He's not available.
Antti Miettinen - Signed through next season. Unless someone offers something pretty good, he's not going anywhere. Not untouchable by any means, but not a likely target.
Owen Nolan - One of the prime targets right now. A grizzly vet with scoring touch and one of the best locker room presences in the league. Yeah, I bet no one calls about him. Value? That's a bit more tricky. I'd say a second rounder or a prospect. Or both?
James Sheppard - Not likely to be a target unless he is included as part of a package deal. I mean come on, who is out there right now in their war room saying, "You know who the difference maker is? James Sheppard." No one. That's who.
Cam Barker - Just brought in. Not going anywhere.
Brent Burns - I would say no flat out, but you never know here. I don't think he has the trust of Fletcher (just an opinion), and as a young defenseman, he may garner some interest. Asking price is likely high though. For the right offer, Burns could move, but is very unlikely.
Shane Hnidy - Another UFA, he could certainly be a target. A defensive d-man, Hnidy may be a target for Fletcher to re-sign, but again, for the right offer? I'm guessing he goes. Defensemen are trade deadline gold, but not usually defensive d-men. At best, maybe a fourth rounder, and for that I think he sticks around.
Nick Schultz - No way. Core player, signed long term. Not a deadline type deal.
John Scott - Big, strong, willing and able to fight. Oh, and a UFA. Not a lot of confidence running through the organization for Scott, so maybe he is dealt for a late round pick. Fifth?
Greg Zanon - Signed long term. Going nowhere.
Marek Zidlicky - See Russo's story about this. This will be a true deadline deal. If he won't sign, he goes. Flat out. Fletcher sounds very interested in signing him, but the sides are not there, and Fletcher is not going to play games. He will command a solid return, especially with Leopold earning a second round pick. Zids has got to be worth a player and prospect or a first rounder and prospect. I put the odds on a trade higher than the odds on a signing.
Niklas Backstrom - See entry above entitled "Mikko Koivu." No trade clause. Starting goalie, one of the best in the league. What could a team possibly offer to even make the Wild think for a half a second about this deal?
Josh Harding - A good target, but not at the deadline. Harding likely goes to a team looking to rebuild, not to a team looking for a back-up. Limited options. If he goes, it will be for a second round pick or a prospect.
There, a primer. We'll watch together in the next two days to see what happens. Enjoy the ride.