This should go down as a solid move for Wild general manager Bill Guerin and company. Brodin, 27, set new career highs in points (28) and assists (26) during the pandemic-shortened 2019-20 regular season. And while the Wild may have slightly overpaid to retain Brodin’s services, he’s an excellent second-pair defender capable of shutting down opposing teams’ top offensive weapons.
With Brodin locked up for the long haul, though, Matt Dumba’s future with the Wild is now a far more complicated issue.
Dumba’s name has been flying around in trade rumors for months. Before the NHL’s trade deadline, it was reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs were doing their due diligence on a potential trade involving Dumba, but nothing ever ended up materializing.
Set to make $6 million per season in the final two years of his contract — the same average annual value Brodin agreed upon for his new deal — it is very possible Dumba could be moved at some point this offseason in order to free up additional cap space. In fact, according to The Athletic’s Michael Russo, Guerin is not only listening to offers about Dumba, but has actively shopped him.
The Wild are currently on schedule to have over $27 million invested in their top-four defensemen next season. With Jared Spurgeon having just signed a new contract last summer and Ryan Suter being logistically untradeable, it appears Dumba could be the odd man out with one of the more trade-friendly contracts on Minnesota’s books.
It wasn’t all that long ago that Dumba was on pace to score 30 goals during the 2018-19 season. Unfortunately, a fight with Matthew Tkachuk prematurely ended what likely would’ve been an All-Star campaign. And even though Dumba looked like a shell of his typical self this past season, he remains a hot commodity on the trade market. Still just 26 years old, Dumba has the potential to be a game-breaking talent on a team’s back end.
In theory, the Wild could get a pretty nice return for the Regina-born defenseman if Guerin does opt to move him before the start of next season. It’s no secret that the Wild are actively trying to get stronger down the middle of the ice. This is evidenced by their move to acquire Nick Bjugstad from the Pittsburgh Penguins. By moving Dumba, perhaps Guerin would finally have the chance to acquire the top-six center Minnesota desperately needs (though that would likely require the Wild to throw in some sweeteners).
It’s no guarantee that the King Clancy Memorial Trophy winner won’t be wearing a Wild uniform next season, but the odds seem to be getting slimmer by the day.