In an ever lasting quest to improve the talent level in the forward ranks, the Minnesota Wild have gone to a source of depth in their All-Star defensemen and made a trade with the New Jersey Devils. This trade involves a soon to be free agent going from the Wild to the Devils in exchange for a soon to be free agent forward. While this move may not be popular with everyone, it shows Chuck Fletcher is willing to trade anyone in the organization to improve the squad.
Yes, Mike Russo is reporting via Twitter that the Minnesota Wild have traded All-Star defenseman Maxim Noreau to the Devils in exchange for AHL center David McIntyre. While this may not be the All-Star defenseman many of you are calling to be traded to the Devils, rest assured this is a good trade.
Make the jump for further discussion, should you wish it upon yourself.
Maxim Noreau is a popular defenseman in Houston. He has been a good soldier with the organization, making the AHL All-Star team on multiple occasions, and often times being the Aeros leading scorer. This move isn't about Noreau's ability at the AHL level. He has proven he is a solid, scoring d-man at that level. However, that success never translated to the NHL, and the Wild could use more help at forward than at D.
Many wondered why Max never got his chance with the Wild. Then he was given his chance, and it became rather clear why he wasn't going to be sticking around. His play just did not approach that of Jared Spurgeon, Marco Scandella, or Justin Falk. Max is buried behind a long line of d-men in a deep organization, and needed out.
Noreau is a pending RFA, and it was unlikely either side wanted anything to do with the other. No hard feelings, I am sure, but Max wants to make the NHL, and that wasn't going to happen with the Wild. The Wild also have a new class of prospects coming in, and need some room in Houston.
Look, Max is a great AHLer. He scores, he carries the puck well, and he has always been the good soldier. Plugging away, working hard, and helping his team win. It is beyond question that he will be missed in Houston. Unfortunately, this isn't about Houston, it is about Minnesota. Trading Max is the best thing for the Minnesota Wild, and long term, likely the best thing for Maxim Noreau.
The New Guy
Looking at the new guy coming in, he looks to be a very serviceable center. He has one full season of pro hockey under his belt, scoring 30 points in 78 games played with the Albany Devils, adding 50 PIMs as well. This could be a great pick up for the Wild, as McIntyre could be a great grinding forward call up for injury replacements, etc.
His stats look like this:
Looks like a 30-40 point guy fairly consistently, with some good PIMs to go along with it. Certainly not going to be the next Wayne Gretzky, but he may be able to take Colton Gillies spot when Gillies makes the team out of training camp.
All in all, a minor trade for Wild fans, but a pretty big trade for Aeros fans. Welcome to the organization, Mr. McIntyre, and thank you for your service, Max. Good luck to you in the future.