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Wilderness Walk: Will They/Won’t They

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Teams look for trade suitors as deadline approaches, plus NHL news and notes.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Minnesota Wild Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

It’s that magical time of year when those who are so inclined reach out to make a connection and offer a gift that brightens their partner’s day, hoping to get something special in return.

And if they’re really lucky, the gift will come with three magic words: First Round Pick.

Yep, the trade deadline is 11 days away.

Only two games on the docket last night, and an extra day before the Wild play New Jersey on Friday make plenty of room for rampant trade speculation. Let’s walk.

Wild News

Wild equipment managers thrown into high gear this time of year - StarTribune.com
In-season transitions wouldn't be possible without equipment staffs outfitting players with what they need to represent their new squads, behind-the-scenes shuffling that's essential.

Scoggins: Boudreau shouldn't be Wild's fall guy ... however the season turns out - StarTribune.com
Bruce Boudreau is a good coach who appears to be out of answers but still searching for ways to spark a lethargic Wild team that has slumped mightily since the All-Star break.

On Frozen Pond

Former Gopher Brady Skjei living his dream life in NYC | INFORUM
Just a few years removed from his time with the Minnesota Gophers, defenseman Brady Skjei has found a lucrative career and a dream life in pro hockey with the New York Rangers.

'U' Hits Road for Ohio State Series - University of Minnesota Athletics
The Gopher Hockey program closes out a four-game road trip with a two-game series at No. 2/3 Ohio State this weekend in Columbus, Ohio. Both games in the Friday/Saturday

Around the League

Crosby, Penguins defeat McDavid, Oilers again
Pittsburgh 6-0-0 all-time against Edmonton when both in lineup

Bold predictions for the NHL trade deadline
The boldest move at the NHL trade deadline is usually no move at all.

Down Goes Brown: Which NHL teams are under the most pressure at the trade deadline? – The Athletic
Which teams are under the most pressure to make a deal or two (or three, or four) over the next 12 days? Who can afford to stay quiet if they have to and who absolutely has to do something big?

Historical look at deadline deals involving first-round picks and how infrequently they move the needle – The Athletic
A historical breakdown of using first-round picks as ammunition at the deadline for rental players and how those trades have worked out in regards to winning the Stanley Cup.

LeBrun Notebook: A scenario where Columbus would keep Artemi Panarin (at least for the stretch drive) – The Athletic
The latest news on pending UFAs Artemi Panarin, Mark Stone and Matt Duchene and why Eric Staal will have a lot of say on his destination.

The Lightning are nearly perfect, but one addition could put Tampa Bay over the top - TheHockeyNews
Superstar talent? Check. Offensive depth? Check. High-scoring blueliners? Check. And a game-stealing goaltender? Check. The Lightning appear locked and loaded for a Stanley Cup run, but one small addition could be the last piece of ammunition they need.

NHL Trade Buzz: O’Reilly hopes Blues keep team intact at Deadline
Hagelin could be in demand if Kings decide to sell; Maatta injury complicates Penguins picture

Five rookies who have flown under the radar and made their marks this season - TheHockeyNews
Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington doesn't get near the press of Flyers freshman Carter Hart, but St. Louis' rookie keeper deserves high praise. He's not alone in being overlooked, however.

If the Senators get answers from pending UFAs, their rebuild could be great
It’s become increasingly clear that Ottawa’s pending UFA trio of Mark Stone, Matt Duchene, and Ryan Dzingel are not particularly interested in playing for the Senators much longer.

Gibson placed on injured reserve by Ducks
Goalie sidelined with injuries to head, back, neck after collision in Feb. 7 loss to Senators

NHL goalies do best to prepare for unexpected, unpredictable
NHL goaltenders prepare for the unexpected and unpredictable, ready for pucks deflecting off sticks, bodies, feet or even a divot in the ice past all the gear designed to help defend their net.