Back to Fluidity

Harry How

The NHL season restarts today and the roster freeze that was in place during the Olympics has now been thawed.


Welcome back Wilderness to NHL hockey. Our boys representing the Wild had a decent tournament in the 2014 Sochi Olympics, even though the result for the United States was a colossal disappointment.

Today marks the restart of the NHL season and the end of the roster freeze that began at the start of the Olympic break. Even though rosters had been frozen and no trades or roster moves could be made during that time period, it does not mean that NHL general managers could not work behind the scenes to try and better their teams' future. The New York Islanders had been shopping Thomas Vanek hard prior to the break and Buffalo was looking to flip Matt Moulson for some assets as well. With nothing going before the break, implications are looking that something will be done by the trade deadline and even as early as today.

The Minnesota Wild has historically been busy on Trade Deadline day although it has usually involved minor deals that just unload underperforming players, moving bad contracts, and stock piling draft picks. That was the case until last year when Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher made a mega move to bring in Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville.

The trade history of the Wild at the deadline has been lackluster at best.

Wild Acquired

Date

Other Team Received

Askhat Rahkmatullin

2001 3rd RD pick

2002 conditional pick

March 1, 20014

Scott Pellerin to CAR

Willie Mitchell

Future Considerations

March 4, 2001

Sean O'Donnell to NJD

2001 3rd RD pick

2002 conditional pick

March 13, 2001

Curits Leschyshyn to OTT

Greg Crozier

March 19, 2002

Darryl Laplante to BOS

Johan Holmqvist

March 11, 2003

Lawrence Nycholat to NYR

2004 5th RD pick

March 3, 2004

Jason Marshall to SJS

2004 4th RD pick

March 4, 2004

Jim Dowd to MTL

2004 3rd RD Pick (#79-Clayton Stoner)

2004 4th RD pick

March 5, 2004

Brad Bombardir to NSH

Sergei Zholtok to NSH

2005 4th RD pick

March 8, 2004

Brad Brown to BUF

2005 6th RD pick

Jordan Krestanovich

March 9, 2004

Chris Bala to COL

2006 1st RD pick

2007 Conditional 3rd RD

March 8, 2006

Dwayne Roloson to EDM

Shawn Belle

Martin Skoula

March 8, 2006

Willie Mitchell to DAL

2007 2nd RD pick to DAL

Aaron Voros

March 1, 2007

2008 7th RD pick to NJD

Chris Simon

Feb26, 2008

2008 6th RD pick to NYI

2010 2nd RD pick (#56-Johan Larsson)

March 3, 2010

Eric Belanger to WSH

Future considerations

March 1, 2011

Petr Kalus to CLB

Tom Gilbert

Feb 27, 2012

Nick Schultz to EDM

Steven Kampfer

Feb 27, 2012

Greg Zanon to BOS

2014 conditional 7th RD pick

March 14, 2013

Chay Genoway to WSH

Jeff Drouin-Deslauriers

April 3, 2013

future considerations to ANA

Jason Pominville

2014 4th RD pick

April 3, 2013

Matt Hackett to BUF

Johan Larsson to BUF

2013 1st RD pick

2014 2nd RD pick

Okay, so maybe the moves weren't all completed EXACTLY on deadline day, but I'd say in the vicinity of the trade deadline is just as good. Notice how the only moves even worth noting have been completed during Chuck Fletcher's tenure as the Wild GM. Prior to that, Risebrough's only "blockbuster" (LOL, you're kidding me, right?) was the Willie Mitchell trade for Belle and Skoula. And who doesn't remember HWRSN trading for Chris Simon as the savior for the team's toughness in advance of the 2008 playoffs against the Ducks. Yes, there have been trades that have brought good players to the Wild, but the vast majority of those have been done in the offseason and during the Entry Draft.

With this year's trade deadline fast approaching, after seeing the past deadline trades, do we trust the Wild to make a substantial move to improve the team for a playoff run? Outside of last year's Pominville trade, when has the Wild made a deal that actually improved the team? With the Wild salary cap strapped, does the Wild even have the flexibility to make a move?

Some names out there possibly being shopped around are:

Milan Michalek for the Senators has been demoted to the third line and is a pending unrestricted free agent after this season.

Ryan Callahan has a big cap hit. Thanks to Glen Sather and all the bad contracts the Rangers have, the US Olympian may have used Sochi as a showcase to maybe land on another team.

Marian Gaborik is on the block, don't worry Wild fans, the speedy winger, yet often injured groin will not make a return to the intersection of Kellogg and West 7th.

The only goal scorer for the Czech Republic in the game against the US, Ales Hemsky, is probably asking out of Edmonton because the Oilers are going nowhere fast.

We all know that Vanek is being shopped by Garth Snow and the Islanders, especially since Vanek before the break told Snow that he would not agree to an extension and test free agency.

Ryan Miller is on the block for Buffalo. He plays on the Buffalo Sabres and is the top goalie available, need we say more?

Chuck Fletcher and the Wild need to find players that can help this team now, but also fit into their long-term plans. As we saw during the Risebrough tenure, the trade deadline moves hardly did anything to improve the team for the future or even that year. Most of you probably asked yourself many times as you read over that chart, "Who in the hell was that?" as did I. Not even the picks received in return for the players traded away became anything worth noting, nor were they here for any substantial amount of time.

It will be interesting to see if there are a number of NHL rosters appearing quite fluid after being frozen.

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