TSN’s Darren Dreger believes the Minnesota Wild could be open to moving defenseman Matt Dumba at the 2020 NHL trade deadline. Wednesday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman provided another update on Dumba’s status as the February 24 deadline approaches.
Toronto GM Kyle Dubas has had this to say to other teams regarding his team’s approach at the deadline: “Our players will decide what we do.” Their fortunes will determine whether or not the Maple Leafs pursue a right-handed defender or test the market on their UFAs-to-be. They played very well in a 5-2 win over Nashville in their first game back from the all-star break, with a tough game in Dallas coming up on Wednesday. They have looked into Minnesota’s Mathew Dumba, who fits with Toronto’s modus operandi — he has three years remaining on his contract. As one exec said, “They are investigating every good defenceman on the market.”
Even with Jake Muzzin returning from injury, the Maple Leafs are extremely thin on the back end. Morgan Rielly is out of commission until March with a fractured foot, and Toronto is now relying on the likes of Cody Ceci, Justin Holl and 19-year-old rookie Rasmus Sandin to hold the fort.
Though Dumba is currently in the midst of perhaps his most disappointing season as a pro, the 25-year-old remains an intriguing option for teams needing help on the blue line. He is just two years removed from a 50-point campaign as a 23-year-old, and prior to suffering a season-ending pectoral injury in 2018-19, he was on pace to score 30 goals — a feat no NHL defenseman has accomplished in over a decade.
There’s no doubt Wild general manager Bill Guerin is listening to trade offers. A trade involving Dumba, however, would be substantial. And if Dumba does end up being moved, it won’t merely be a “hockey trade.” It will be a move that, for better or worse, could impact the Wild for years.