Full Deadline Coverage
Full Deadline Coverage
Good Afternoon Wilderness... Today, I am going to talk briefly about the Minnesota Wild's goalie situation. Currently, the Wild are locked into the first Wild Card position, and they would make the Stanley Cup Playoffs if they started today.
Okay, the Stanley Cup Playoffs do not start today, they start the third week in April. The good news, the Wild do have a comfortable seven point lead on the Dallas Stars and a nine point lead on the Winnipeg Jets, and Vancouver Canucks. Obviously, the Wild are looking to solidify their playoff position during the stretch run.
As silly season ends, the "buzz" surrounding the Wild is the team is looking for a goaltender as an insurance policy for rookie starter Darcy Kuemper and injured backup Niklas Backstrom. However, some of the options that have been mentioned don’t really sound all that attractive. That being said, good goaltenders don't grow on trees, and there doesn't seem to be a lot of good options to choose from.
Michael Russo, Star Tribune --- To me, he makes sense if you plan to go with Darcy Kuemper the rest of the way with Niklas Backstrom as your backup and you don’t mind having Dubnyk ride the pine as a third goalie.
Otherwise, I think you can do better via trade. Obviously, it all has to do with what the price is for guys like Jaroslav Halak and Martin Brodeur. Carolina’s also got goalies available, and there’s always Ilya Bryzgalov.
Jaroslav Halak (24-9-4, .917 SV% and a 2.42 GAA) is going to come with a high price tag. Buffalo is going to want something in return, especially after they traded their All-World goalie Ryan Miller to St. Louis. Besides, he'd be a pretty expensive rental player for the Wild.
My thoughts are don't give up the farm if you don't have to. The Minnesota Wild are very close to being a very good hockey team, based on the players that they have developing in their system. Darcey Kuemper has proven to be a very good goaltender and is 11-2-2 in his last 15 games. In his last two games (before the game against Calgary), Kuemper was (2-0-0, with a .981 SV% and a 0.48 GAA). I am not convinced that the Wild need another goaltender, but I guess it depends on how hurt Backstrom is. Obviously, the fans don't make the decisions. I guess we will see if the Wild make a move for a goalie before the March 5th deadline.