The SBNation mock expansion draft has reached its zenith. The rosters have been chosen, and the GMs are now sorting out what to do with their newly selected squads. Who did the Wild lose? What are the options on the table for replacing them?
Make the jump and find out.
To put your minds at ease, the Wild lost:
Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Josh Harding.
Harding was selected with the fourth pick in the draft, going to the new Winnipeg team, and Bouchard was selected 10th, going to Quebec.
Gabe from Behind the Net is a huge supporter of Harding's, and he is basing the success of his new team on whether or not Harding can find consistency with increased playing time. If you read the post, he built a team around defense, so it would be likely that Harding would benefit from that.
As for Bouchard, he was taken by none other than James Mirtle for the new Nordiques squad. He is taking a huge risk, but with huge risk can come huge rewards. Butch is a 60 point forward when healthy, and that would be valuable on a new team. Mirtle must be hoping that Krys Barch can intimidate the hell out of the opposition, because he also took Scott Gomez in the draft.
Since this is all for fun, what would you do now? You need a back-up goalie and a top line right winger. With the current free agents available, and with the current roster, who do you put where? Trades are not out of the question, in fact with the new found cap space, would be welcome. Since trades are so wide open to debate and fans tend to overvalue, let's just say we promote from within or hire a free agent.
The back-up goalie seems an obvious move, with Anton "Borat" Khudobin moving into the role for the season. None of the free agent goalies still available are worth paying the money to ride the bench, and no other goalie in the system has any NHL experience.
The top line forward question is a totally different matter. The easy solution would be to leave Mittens up there, right? Is that the best option? Right wings left on the team are Martin Havlat, Cal Clutterbuck, and Eric Nystrom. Havlat has had zero chemistry with Koivu, but it's an option. Clutterbuck and Nystrom are not top line talent, so maybe it is best to explore the free agents.
Bill Guerin? Owen Nolan is still out there, but it is unlikely either of them want to play for the Wild. Most of the free agent class that are still left are either grizzled vets (read: slow) or are nothing overly special.
My bet, without a trade, the Wild would sign one of the cheaper vets, and move Mittens back to the top line.
Now it is your turn. What would you do?