(photo: Bridget Samuels)
The Minnesota Wild are in a battle to make the playoffs, as they have 67 points on the season, which is only one point out of eighth place. In January, they hurt their chances of making the playoffs when they lost eight out of their thirteen games played. Since acquiring Devan Dubnyk from the Arizona Coyotes, they have improved their record, and have only lost four of their last fifteen games.
With the NHL trade deadline coming up on March 2, many teams are looking to move players around in order to better their shot at winning the Stanley Cup. Though many people think that the Minnesota Wild are just too young to win the Stanley Cup, they could still at least make a good playoff run — if they fill in the spots they are missing.
There is still much debate on whether or not the Wild should look for another goaltender, or stick with their current goalie, Devan Dubnyk. Dubnyk has played extremely well for the Wild every time he has suited up for them, but some think he still is not number one goaltender material, and is just on a hot-streak. It is hard to predict how a goaltender will perform in the future, and many are concerned about Dubnyk’s past, because he hasn’t played exceptionally well with the Arizona Coyotes, Nashville Predators, or the Edmonton Oilers. Others argue that he is in fact number one goaltender material, and with the other teams, he was not the problem.
Either way, at the deadline, there is one notable goalie in trade talks, Cam Ward of the Carolina Hurricanes. It has been reported that the Wild have shown interest in him, and could trade for him at the deadline. This seems to be a questionable idea for the Wild, since Cam Ward has a cap hit of $6.3 million, and Dubnyk has had a better record at a salary of $800,000. It would most likely be more beneficial for the Wild if they let Dubnyk finish off the season, and judge whether a new goaltender is needed at that point, depending on how well he plays the rest of the year.
The Wild also appear to need a defenseman. A lot of the Minnesota Wild team is young, and this is definitely the case for their top defensemen. Even though they have performed well, the Wild could still use a top veteran defenseman to play alongside Ryan Suter. Among the top veteran defensemen who are in trade talks are Dion Phaneuf, Keith Yandle, Andrej Sekera, Zbynek Michalek and Mike Green. Though the Wild are not likely to go for an expensive defenseman, it is a possibility, and the trade could be beneficial for them — depending on what they have to give up.
It will be interesting to see if the Minnesota Wild are quiet at the trade deadline, or if they make a large trade. The Wild could definitely improve themselves at this trade deadline; it probably would not be wise to give up a lot of their young players, though. When March 2nd comes along, it will be interesting if the Wild attempt to better themselves, or just keep things the way they are for the remainder of the season.