With the trade deadline coming up and the Wild in a very tough position, you can't help but feel that we're sellers at this point. Kyle Brodziak has been re-signed and the Wild's "trade bait" now mostly consists of Marek Zidlicky, Mike Lundin, Greg Zanon and the odd forward Fletcher may see as non-vital. We do, however, have a valuable asset in our goalies. It hit me last night that there are a few options the Wild could/should consider. More after the jump.
Option A: Trade Josh Harding to either Chicago or Tampa (or really any team that will give us the best bang for our buck) for a high pick or a few prospects. Recall Matt Hackett to backup Niklas Backstrom for the remainder of the season. He's already proved to be a capable goalie at the NHL level. I don't think he's ready to be a #1 goalie quite yet, but it wouldn't hurt for him to watch Backstrom and learn the ropes. This plan is also very beneficial for Darcy Kuemper as it frees up the net for him in Houston and makes way for him to prove he is a #1 netminder.
Option B: Same as above, just switch Hackett and Kuemper. While I firmly believe the goaltending tandem of the future Wild will be Hackett and Kuemper, I just don't see Kuemper being a #1/#1 B goalie (see Boston's Thomas and Rask) for another year or two after the reigns of the Wild net are given solely to the young tandem. This gives him a glimpse at being that backup and gives him vital NHL experience. This also gives Hackett more time to mature and develop into that #1/#1 A goalie he has the potential to be.
Option C: Trade Harding and recall Dennis Endras from Finland (if possible, if not, scratch Option C) to backup Backstrom for the rest of the season. The sole purpose of this is to showcase Endras for a future trade in the offseason. Endras has no future with the Wild; he was only brought into the system as competition for Harding, Hackett and Kuemper. If he's not going to be a permanent member of the team, why not showcase him temporarily and get something for him in return?
Either way, I say that next year's Wild goalies will be Backstrom and Hackett with Kuemper and Johan Gustafsson between the pipes in Houston. Anyway, these were just a few thoughts I had last night while delivering pizzas.