Looks like Chuck Fletcher is warming up for the trade deadline. Erik Christensen and a conditional 7th round pick in 2013 for Casey Wellman. Now, a lot of us may be a bit saddened by that trade as Wellman was our first big hope that the youth movement Fletcher wanted to install was going in the right place. Alas, he never really found his place with the Wild.
Who is Erik Christensen though?
#40 / Center / New York Rangers
Dec 17, 1983
|2011 - Erik Christensen||20||1||4||5||0||2||1||0||0||10|
Now, this may not look like much, but Christensen was a center in a team that was full of them, but he can also play wing. He's also missed a few games due to a knee injury. Here's what The Hockey News has to say about him:
ASSETS: Owns a big shot and excellent offensive instincts. Has good size. Can play all three forward positions and is a good face-off man. Excels in shootouts.
FLAWS: Loses a lot of puck battles in the corners. Doesn't do the little things that help win hockey games. Takes too many shifts off to maximize his scoring potential.
CAREER POTENTIAL: Inconsistent forward with great hands.
The flaws may be a bit scary, but he's an inexpensive shootout master, the shootouts being the bane of the Wild is recent years. He's ninth all-time with 24 shootout goals and has a 52.4% success rate, which is very high. Only Frans Nielsen has a better success rate with at least 15 tries. Now, this isn't to say Christensen will magically fix the Wild. You can't overestimate the importance of good face-off takers either. This is a trade-off of two mid/low quality players, but a change of scenery can do wonders for some players (e.g Guillaume Latendresse) and Fletcher even got a conditional pick. It's only a 7th rounder in 2013, but hey, lots of quality players get overlooked until late rounds.
Fletcher basically got two players, one who may help right now, especially in shootout situations, for a player we were starting to feel was done in Minnesota. I like this trade, how about you?
Hey folks, Bryan here. Thought a little extra info may be helpful.
First off, the folks over at Blueshirt Banter are not high on the new kid. Their nickname looks to be "Mr. Invisible," which, of course, could be worse. However, with as much as you like to see Fletcher making moves, even depth moves, I have found the fan base of teams to be a great barometer for how a player may behave once he gets settled.
There may be a few weeks where Christiansen is a stud, come out flying, and get everyone's hopes up. Then, he likely settles back down and into his role. Not saying it is 100%, and it is fully acceptable to hope that is not the case, and he just needed a change of scenery, ala Guillaume Latendresse. Just don't get too pumped up. I don't want anyone's heart broken on this.
For your entertainment, here is some video of the new guy:
Granted, that's Dan Ellis... but still.
Plenty more over on Youtube. Check it out.