With Kyle Brodziak locked up for three years, the Minnesota Wild have removed one of their highest value assets that may have been a trade target. The signing sits well with seemingly everyone involved, and it was the right move to make. Inking Brodziak locks up a player that has done everything the organization has ever asked him to do, and keeps him around to help mold the future of the franchise.
It also limits what the Wild can do at the deadline, if only in a minor way. The Wild still have tradable assets, even if the value of those assets becomes more of a questions as the deadline approaches. Generally, players with time left on contracts aren't the talk of the town on deadline day. This year will be an exception to that rule for the Wild. The team also has a handful of rentals that could attract some attention.
It is certainly shaping up to be a quiet deadline for the team, and maybe even for the league. Still, we take a look at what the Wild have to sell, should someone be looking to buy.
#3 / Defenseman / Minnesota Wild
Feb 03, 1977
|2011 - Marek Zidlicky||40||0||13||13||-7||22||0||0||0||50|
Why is he available: You all know the story by now. He isn't happy in the system, and went to the media to express those feelings. He has asked to be traded, and reportedly is more than happy to waive his NTC.
Where he might go: The rumors were that talks are going on with the Devils, but nothing has come to fruition. Any team looking to roll the dice on a puck moving defenseman with a past history of offensive flair would also make a call to see what Zidlicky might cost. With the NTC, losing teams may be out of the running.
What he might be worth: With the situation surrounding Zidlicky, the return may be limited. Don't expect true top six talent coming back, or a first round pick. I can see a team offering a second round pick, a B level prospect, or a young player Fletcher may be willing to gamble on.
Other considerations: At this point, Chuck Fletcher has options. He does not have to trade Zidlicky. The NTC becomes limited next summer, opening up more options.
The bottom line: Zidlicky likely is moved before or at the deadline. No one wants a player around their team that doesn't want to be there. Paying a guy $4 million to play somewhere his heart is not in it is a mistake. Take the highest offer and get him out of here.
#5 / Defenseman / Minnesota Wild
Jun 05, 1980
|2011 - Greg Zanon||36||2||4||6||1||12||0||0||1||26|
Why is he available: Zanon is a pending UFA, and will almost certainly not be back next year. His stock has fallen like a rock here in St. Paul, and has bbeen scratched multiple times this season. His commitment to the team has come under question recently as well, as Zanon always seems to be the one guy on the ice not involved in scrums.
Where he might go: The market here is wide open. A defensive d-man with a penchant for blocking shots wouold be welcomed by nearly any team in the playoff race. Teams that may be out of the race may be involved, should they think he would help long term.
What he might be worth: Zanon's value is likely a mid-round pick. It would be difficult to see a GM offering much here.
Other considerations: Zanon's age may limit interest, though for a rental, the market may be strong.
The bottom line: Zanon is still on the roster February 28th. He doesn't command a strong reaction from other GMs. Unless they really want a shot blocker who offers little else to the game, he remains on the Wild roster and goes to free agency in the summer.
#37 / Goalie / Minnesota Wild
Jun 18, 1984
|2011 - Josh Harding||24||1320||9||9||57||2.59||700||643||.919||1|
Why he is available: Pending UFA. The Wild have two very good goaltending prospects coming through the system, and need to make room to get them here. Matt Hackett would benefit from a season with Backstrom, and thus Harding needs to find a new home.
Where he might go: The market here is tricky. Tampa Bay could really use him and there are rumors that Chicago may be looking for a goalie. The goalie market has become remarkably soft in recent years, as GMs start to go cheap in net while focusing on other areas. Contenders don't generally need goalies, and unless one of the bottom feeders think he is the long term answer, they can wait until July 1 for him.
What he might be worth: Depends on the team. Bottom teams might be thinking a 2nd or 3rd round pick. Contenders may be thinking they could use their low 2nd, maybe low 3rd to get him as a rental. If the situation warrants it, Fletcher may just take whatever he can get.
Other considerations: Harding has a history of injury. He has also shown himself to have a bit of a mental burden on himself. If the Wild truly think they have a chance at the playoffs, it is unlikely they go with Hackett behind Backstrom.
The bottom line: I don't see Harding being traded. I think if were going to be, he would have been by now. Maybe the price is too high, maybe there is no interest... who knows.
#2 / Defenseman / Minnesota Wild
Sep 24, 1984
|2011 - Mike Lundin||17||0||2||2||-1||4||0||0||0||9|
Why he is available: Why not? He has played in just 17 games, is a healthy scratch more than not, and is providing no real value in his current situation. Pending UFA as well.
Where he might go: Any team looking for a depth defenseman might be interested.
What he might be worth: I can't see him being worth more than a late round pick. Maybe he becomes part of a package deal?
Other considerations: This signing boggled my mind from the get go. The young stable of D-men was ready to play, and I think Fletcher panicked a bit. Lundin was a hedge for the bet placed on a young defensive corps. Nothing much left for him to do here.
The bottom line: Again, doubt he gets traded. Just not sure there is a huge market for d-men who only have 17 games played 3/4 of the way through the year.
The Rest of the Team
There is always the chance that a non-UFA gets traded, but the likelihood is much smaller. There are also pending UFAs like Clayton Stoner, Erik Christensen, Warren Peters, Jed Ortmeyer, and Jeff Taffe, but Stoner is hurt, Christensen is... well... exactly what we expected, and the other guys are career AHLers. Unless they are part of a package deal, it is pretty unlikely these guys go anywhere.
The best guess from this side of the fence is that the Wild are pretty quiet leading up to the deadline. The parts they would sell don't have much of return on them, other parts they would be willing to sell aren't the types of moves made at the deadline, and the real question is whether or not Zidlicky is still on the team in a week.
Wild fans always get their hopes up at the deadline. Save for maybe a couple minor moves, please don't hold your breath.