clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Trade winds are furious with Minnesota Wild potentially in the mix

New, comments
Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

There is a lot of talk about players getting moved across the league. In Minnesota, just because the Wild are tight against the salary cap ceiling, it doesn't meant there hasn't been rumblings about possible moves. Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher is, in fact, the son of "Trader" Cliff Fletcher and a move could very well be in the works soon.

There are a number of players out there and anyone could be had for the right price.

Here's a list of players that could potentially be on the block.

Travis Hamonic

Hamonic isn't potentially on the block, he's already requested a trade citing "family reasons". He wants to move close rto his home in Manitoba. While its seemed that a trade with Winnipeg seemed most likely, Hamonic did expand his trade list to include Minnesota. Drafted in the 2nd round (58th overall) by the New York Islanders in 2008, Hamonic is a 25 year old, five-year veteran of the NHL. Thus far, he has only one goal and five assists, but his defense is considered solid. He impacts the play on both ends of the ice in a positive way. His mobility would fit in nicely with what the Wild are trying to do. However, with Garth Snow demanding a top flight defenseman in return, the cost just may be too much for the Wild to pull the trigger on this move.

Ryan Johansen

Johansen has seen his playing time diminish so much since the Columbus Blue Jackets fired Todd Richards and hired John Tortorella. So much so that he ended up being a healthy scratch on Thursday night. Johansen is a 23 year old right-handed center and the Wild need centers. His overall size is exactly what the Wild have coveted as well. So to add a sizable, skilled forward to the line-up would be a positive for the this team, especially if he can play a top center role effectively. However, his possession numbers, while a positive in relation to his team, they are otherwise awful. But like Thomas Vanek, sometimes a good shot can silence fancy stat critics. Another thing going for Minnesota is that the Blue Jackets need defensemen, and the Wild have those. Things going against the Wild is the very fact that Johansen carries an AAV of $4 million and the Blue Jackets want so really good assets back. Between a solid, mobile defenseman, Jarmo Kekalainen is also looking take on another center in return. He's got six goals and 16 assists and may be looking to find a new environment. He has the talent the Wild covet, but not his contract. And what it would take to get him may end up being a net negative in the end.

Ryan Nugent-Hopkins

The 22 year old former first overall selection has had decent success playing on a crap team in Edmonton for all of his career. The kid is young and he knows how to score, but maybe the defensive side of things is lacking. However, possession on that team may be a bit skewed. Right now he might be on the block because Edmonton has so many top picks that are looking to get paid, yet the Oilers lack all kinds of defensemen. Getting a top flight defenseman could do wonders as the new regime in E-town is looking to change the culture and create more structure on defense. Already with 23 points in 32 games played this season,  RNH is the perfect candidate to fetch a good defenseman, perhaps like a Travis Hamonic. He's not the only player on that Oilers team that could be dangled as teammates Jordan Eberle, Taylor Hall, and Leon Draisaitl all have been rumored as a possible assets in an exchange.

Taylor Hall

Hall is another former 1st overall pick with a $6 million price tag. Taking a player like Hall on would require either the Oilers retaining some salary or a many-for-1 kind of deal to make the money work. Hall shoots a ton, but after scoring 80 points in 13-14, he's barely borken the 30 point plateau the past two seasons.

Tyson Barrie

The most promising young defenseman the Avalanche have, has been rumored to be available. Mile High Hockey feels that most of it was just noise around the league as the Avs got off to a rough start and other GMs may have been trying to cash in low on Barrie and his teammate Matt Duchene. However, as of right now, there is nothing to say that Barrie is on the block, but it won't stop GMs around the keeping on eye on the 24 year old defenseman who will become a Resttricted Free Agent this offseason.

Marcus Johansson

The Capitals have come out and said that there are teams interested in the 25 year old Swede. Johansson is a left winger that is consistently putting of 40 points per season and he has a very movable $3.75 million contract. According to Elliott Freidman the Capitals are trying to figure out what kind of player Andre Burakovsky is before deciding what to do with Johansson.

***

For the Wild, Chuck Fletcher may want to make an improvement, especially in the center spot. But with the the Wild's strength clearly on the defense, it is likely that any move will involve one of those NHL defensemen. There has been a lot of talk about Johansen of Columbus lately, even so much as Kevin Weekes on NHL Network's NHL Tonight show on Thursday talking about Fletcher and Kekalainen talking about Tortorella's problem child. Hamonic is still out there, but some feel that if the Wild trade for him, it would likely cost another defenseman and the move would be seen as an even swap and not much of an improvement.

What do you think Wilderness?