The Minnesota Wild have a great problem on their hands. They are playing the best hockey to be seen in St. Paul since the North Stars left, they are contending for the top spot in the Northwest, and look to be a strong contender to make the playoffs for the first time in five years. The problem? The trade deadline approaches, and the Wild have to make decisions.
Scratch that. You have decisions to make. You are now Chuck Fletcher, you have until April 3rd to either make a move or stand pat. Other teams in the league (read: Pittsburgh) are already making moves, and there are rental players to be had. You also have expiring contracts of your own on players that teams want on their roster.
What do you do? What if you mess with the chemistry of the team and everything falls apart? You send Pierre-Marc Bouchard off for a couple draft picks, and suddenly the second line falls apart. You bring in whoever replaces Jarome Iginla as the big name left to move, and the perennial Wild killer is not met with the welcome you want or need. You trade Niklas Backstrom and Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper crumple under the pressure.
Fans are going to be on you no matter what.
You don't make a move, and fans will say you didn't do everything you could. You're timid. Weak. Scared.
You make a move and you have to trade picks and prospects that fans will remind you of for years. They will call you cracked, addle-minded, or worse... compare you to the former GM.
The other 29 NHL GMs are calling you. What will you give me for so and so? What would it take to get so and so? If so and so available? Hey, I've got so and so on the block for the small fee of... You field the calls. The deals have to be completed by April 3rd. That gives you six days give or take a few hours.
The pressure is on. Your team is playing the best hockey of your young career at the top, and you have to keep an eye on the future while also assuring fans and the team that today matters.
So, hot shot... what do you do?