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Wilderness Walk: Goodbye So Soon

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Mr. Graovac goes to Washington, Nino wants to stay, and the Bruins might want Brodin.

Minnesota Wild v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images

So long, Tyler “Battery” Graovac! Here’s hoping you can find a more consistent NHL-caliber game and the time that goes with it over in Washington.

Battery might not be the only piece that the Wild move before the deadline. Most rumors concern the Wild trading a defenseman, but there’s been talk of the Wild going after a high pick in the first round. A deal for one of those could very easily require the Wild to move a forward instead of or in addition to a defenseman.

Trades are part of the NHL and one or two more moves might help the Wild for a variety of reasons, but I will say that I don’t buy the justification of “better to trade a defenseman now for something than to lose one in the expansion draft for nothing.” If the Wild trade Jonas Brodin to the Boston Bruins, Vegas can still select another of the Wild’s defensemen. Trading one may very well guarantee that the Wild’s defensive depth takes a double hit, because no matter what the Wild do, they are losing somebody to Vegas. Unless the Wild protect the rest of their defenseman by using assets gained in a trade of a defenseman, trading one ahead of the Expansion Draft isn’t protecting the Wild’s defensive depth. It’s cutting it down.

Anyway, it’s time to say goodbye to Battery. He might not have seized the spot on the fourth line like we hoped, but he’s a 7th round draft pick that managed to actually see NHL ice and he netted the Wild a fifth round pick for next year’s draft.

Wild News

Wild trades Tyler Graovac for a draft pick - StarTribune.com
The 2011 seventh-round pick is being given a fresh start in Washington.

Wild GM Fletcher talking possible trades with expansion Vegas but nothing completed - StarTribune.com
Vegas' debut roster will be announced throughout next Wednesday's NHL Awards Show. The Wild almost certainly will lose a good player in the expansion draft.

Wild's Niederreiter ignoring trade rumors, hoping for long-term deal - StarTribune.com
The Wild, has not yet begun contract negotiations with Nino Niederreiter's agent. The player is coming off the best season of his NHL career.

Wild have 'pretty good idea' who they'll protect in NHL Expansion Draft
The MN Wild have 'pretty good idea' of which players they plan to protect with the NHL Expansion Draft looming next week. General manager Chuck Fletcher and his staff have until 4 p.m. Saturday to submit their list of protected players.

Bruins Round Table: Jonas Brodin Trade | The Hockey Writers

Off the Trail

Down Goes Brown: The wild, wacky history of NHL expansion drafts - Sportsnet.ca
In one week the Vegas Golden Knights will be born via expansion draft. So today let's look back on the various expansion drafts that came before this one.

Which NHL teams need goaltending help right now? | The Hockey News
We know the Golden Knights will be major players in the goalie market and that they may even hoard extra netminders. But which other teams need help in the crease?

Marc-Andre Fleury: Waiving NMC 'was the right thing to help the team' - Sportsnet.ca
Marc-Andre Fleury spoke about the decision to waive his no-movement clause for the Vegas expansion draft, saying it was the best thing for the team and also gave him the best shot to win another Stanley Cup.

The Interview: Noora Raty on the CWHL’s Chinese Expansion | Sportsnet.ca