I know it has been beaten to death around the various rumor websites, but who or what should we really expect in exchange for Brent Burns if/when he is traded?
I for one truly believe Burns will be traded unless there is absolutely no market for him whatsoever.
As much as we all want to dream about Zach Parise or Bobby Ryan or someone of that ilk, I think that is highly unlikely. It sounds like New Jersey will just qualify Parise anyway and while it sounds like a perfect fit on paper, it could prove to be a huge problem down the road. A trade for Parise would command Burns, plus another forward, plus a high prospect or two or picks (we have no 2nd this year), a defensemen and forward (Falk, Scandella, Noreau, Zucker, Bulmer, Larson). NJ would probably want Zucker and Noreau and the Wild would offer up Falk and Bulmer. In addiont, the Wild would probably have to take some salary back in the form of Rolston or Zubrus I imagine as well. Then add in that they will need to pay Parise as much or close to Koivu money ($6.5-6.75) and that is one major trade. But, Parise would be the hockey equivalent to Joe Mauer and he is in his prime. With the right coach and right players around him, he and Koivu could lead a tremendous offense. But this would be a trade of gigantic magnitude which could have great or terrible ripple effects for years to come. Ideally, Parise comes here and we win the Stanley Cup. But knowing our luck, he comes here, is not the same player after major knee surgery, Burns goes on to win multiple Norris Trophies and every prospect we give up turns into something special.
For Bobby Ryan, I think the price may be even higher since he is a more flashy player with more of a goal scorer's touch. Each can probably be had since the Ducks have Etem coming up and had a minor contract dispute with Ryan last go around. Parise may want out of NJ if they keep hiring defensive coaches too (although if MN hires Mac-T, I'm not sure he would sign here long-term.
Either way, these are highly unlikely trades. So who is really available? Grabner was just signed long-term and the Wild could have had him when he was on waivers for free. Stafford is an intriguing option but I would want more of a sample size or at least get more in return for Burns from Buffalo (although they do not need d-men at all). Realistically, I think we are looking at prospects and picks in return for Burns which is not a terrible thing, but it won't fill any immediate need and Fletcher needs to find some offense now to keep his job.
Which brings me to the awful crop of free agents available. Really, none of them do anything for me really other than Leino who might look good on Mikko's left side.
So I'm leaving this up to the Wilderness to decide. Who or what should we really expect in return for Burns? What free agents really intrigue and are worth going after?