Archive for Minnesota Wild

31 Thoughts: Athanasiou, Granlund, Goaltenders

In the newest edition of 31 Thoughts, Elliotte Friedman wonders about a number of players and what might happen with them following the conclusion of the playoffs:

- He wonders about Andreas Athanasiou, now with the Oilers, as he approaches restricted free agency with arbitration rights. As the Oilers cap situation is tight, they need to make a decision on if they could fit in Athanasiou’s potential arbitration award. Should they decide they can’t, they could try to trade him or simply not extend him a qualifying offer, making him a UFA.
- Friedman also questions whether it might be Semyon Varlamov or Thomas Greiss who works alongside rookie Ilya Sorokin in the Islanders’ crease next season. Greiss is a pending UFA, and Varlamov is signed for 3 more seasons at a cap-hit of $5 million. Given the Islanders’ cap position, he wonders if they might offer Greiss a more affordable deal in hopes of moving Varlamov’s contract out–which I would suggest would be difficult in the today’s cap environment.
- He also wonders about Mikael Granlund as he approaches unrestricted free agency. Granlund was having a quiet season for the Predators before exploding for 7 goals in 14 games in February. His value on the free agent market might be set by his play in the upcoming play-in and play-offs.
- He wonders about retirement for Wild captain Mikko Koivu. Koivu opted to use his no-trade clause is order to stay with the Wild at the trade deadline, despite interest around the league.
- Friedman hints that pending UFAs Evgenii Dadonov and Mike Hoffman might be casualties as the Panthers make an effort to trim payroll. Hoffman is a big part of Florida’s powerplay attack.
- Friedman quotes Penguins GM Jim Rutherford about how one of Matt Murray or Tristan Jarry doesn’t necessarily need to be the one moved in Pittsburgh. I’ll still bet on Murray being moved.
- He wonders if strong performances from David Rittich and/or Cam Talbot might convince the Flames to stay the course in net rather than a bold move to bring in a goalie from outside.

Pittsburgh Acquires Jason Zucker

The Pittsburgh Penguins have finally acquired winger Jason Zucker from Minnesota:

The Penguins nearly acquired Zucker last summer, but the agreed upon traded was voided when Phil Kessel refused to waive his no-trade clause to go to Minnesota. Pittsburgh eventually traded Kessel to Arizona for a package including Alex Galchenyuk, who never found his role in Pittsburgh. Galchenyuk goes to Minnesota today. Depending on how the Wild play in the upcoming weeks, Galchenyuk may find his way back on the trade market.

Zucker, 28, is signed through 2022-23 at a cap-hit of $5.5 million. Being one of the few impact forwards with term on his contract on the trade market, the price for Zucker is high. As well as Galchenyuk, the Penguins give up their first in a strong draft year and a blue-chip right-handed defense prospect in Addison.

Friedman: Penguins Pursuing Jason Zucker

According to Elliotte Friedman in his 31 Thoughts Blog, the Pittsburgh Penguins continue to pursue Jason Zucker, but with Minnesota sitting 7 points back of the final wildcard spot with 3 games in hand, the Wild aren’t ready to start shipping out roster players.

Zucker, 28, has 13 goals and 14 assists in 39 games for the Wild this season. He is signed through 2022-23 at a cap hit of $5.5 million.

Minnesota had previously agreed to trade Zucker to the Penguins last summer as part of a Phil Kessel trade, but Kessel exercised his no-trade protection to stop the trade. The Wild also nearly traded Zucker to the Flames at last season’s trade deadline, but the deal fell through due to a “timing issue”.

Chris Stewart Traded to Minnesota

Image from Resolute via Wikimedia Commons

Image from Resolute via Wikimedia Commons

Chris Stewart has been traded to Minnesota in exchange for a 2017 2nd round pick.

Stewart has been bandied around in trade rumors since he’s gone to Buffalo in the Ryan Miller trade. In 61 games this season, Stewart has 11 goals and 14 assists.

Michael Russo reports that the Sabres are retaining half of Stewart’s contract.

Jordan Leopold Traded to Wild

Jordan Leopold has been traded to the Wild for Justin Falk and a 5th round pick.

Wild Acquire Sean Bergenheim

The Minnesota Wild have acquired Sean Bergenheim from the Wild along with a 2016 7th round pick for a 2016 3rd round pick.

Bergenheim has 8 goals and 10 assists in 39 games in 2014-15. He’s been held out of the Panthers lineup for several games after requesting a trade.

Personally, I believe Bergenheim will prove to be one of the more cost-effective additions before the trade deadline.

Wild Acquire Devan Dubnyk

The Wild have acquired Devan Dubnyk from the Coyotes for a 2015 3rd round pick, the team announced.

The Wild have been looking for goaltending for some time, and for good reason. The team currently sits last in the league in 5-on-5 SV% at 0.896. Niklas Backstrom, Darcy Kuemper and John Curry have all seen time in the Minnesota nets this season.

The third round pick is solid return on the Coyotes’ investment. After finishing the season with Hamilton of the AHL, Dubnyk’s only garnered a one-year, $800,000 commitment in free agency. Nineteen games later, the Coyotes gain a mid-to-high draft pick from trading him.

Insider Trading: Yeo, Williams, Methot, Sekera

Image from Resolute via Wikimedia Commons

Image from Resolute via Wikimedia Commons

From January 13th’s edition of TSN’s Insider Trading:

Pierre Lebrun reports that, despite all the talk and speculation to the contrary, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has no intention of firing head coach Mike Yeo, though he might not have a choice if owner Craig Leipold has other ideas.

Lebrun also reports that Thane Campbell, the agent for Justin Williams, has suspended contract negotiations with the Los Angeles Kings. He notes, however, that their latest offer to the Kings remains on the table should the Kings wish to accept it.

Bob McKenzie reports that the Kings are searching for defensive help with Slava Voynov out of the picture indefinitely. He notes that they are looking at Marc Methot of the Senators and Andrej Sekera of the Hurricanes


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