The Wild Shouldn’t Add A Center At The Trade Deadline

This season, Minnesota Wild will be in an interesting position heading into the NHL trade deadline. The Wild is a dangerous team preparing to do some damage in the post-season, and possibly even the Stanley Cup contenders.

Minnesota’s 22-10-3 record is good for the best Wild Card spot in the West, and his .671 percentage point is the seventh best player in the league as of January 22. The organization has to decide whether it wants to continue building over the next few years or move forward by making a significant move.

However, the harsh reality is that this year’s roster could be more talented than Minnesota’s in the near future because Wild will face big penalties from buying Zach Parise-Ryan Suter soon.

Does that mean they have to be involved in everything this season?

Last year, General Manager Bill Guerin was adamant he wouldn’t sacrifice the future. Owning a rental center requires large assets. There are centering options that will increase Wild’s chances of taking a deeper ride. Big names like Tomas Hertl, Claude Giroux and JT Miller are likely to be available.

The Minnesota roster is arguably weak in the middle, and many fans will claim Central Commerce. However, prices often rise very dramatically on the trade deadline. A higher position will likely cost a first-round pick and a higher probability.

Is this really something that the wild wants to do?

There is a strong case that Wild should leave his quarterback alone with Ryan Hartman emerging as one of the top six talents. Hartmann fits perfectly between his fellow line-mates Kirill Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello. While he might not necessarily have the true talent for a top position, the core points and numbers totals were relatively close to the top line.

Likewise, it’s no secret that Joel Ericsson Eck is the best two-way center in the league. Sure, he might not fit as well into Kaprizov’s line as Hartmann did. But even in a lockdown role, it’s still a constant threat.

In addition, you need to address the elephant in the room: will these higher positions be stylistically appropriate? Last season, the Toronto Maple Leafs made a significant move by trading for Nick Foligno. Not only did the Maple Leafs concede a first-round pick, Foligno struggled with just one point in four playoffs.

That’s the uncertainty of making a move on the NHL trade deadline. It might make more sense for Wilde to remain patient by not being active on the deadline, considering Hartmann’s appearance and the risk of throwing the team off balance. The last thing an organization wants is to be a big deadline player, give up important assets, and then fail to make a deep run.

The fact of the matter is that the list does not have an obvious gap in the middle. Yes, having more talent in the center should enhance the chances of the wild. If they want to achieve this, they can look inwardly. Rather than setting an expensive deadline, giving Marco Rossi a permanent place in Minnesota would be wiser. And let’s be serious, a Russian is capable of playing full-time at the National Hockey League level right now.

Matt Boldy has boosted Wilde’s squad and is preparing to stay until the end of the season. Rousey can do the same now too, as he continues to dominate in the AHL.

Yes, there is a financial incentive not to play in 10 matches and to burn his contract in a year. But paying a Rossi a year in advance may be a better option than paying a higher price on the deadline.

The Wild must decide whether buying or perpetual betting will be the best course of action for its short and long term opportunities.

The sale should be completely off the table because the disadvantages outweigh any benefits. Kevin Fiala, who is RFA again this summer and with an uncertain future, could bring in a big package. But he is effectively eliminating the team’s chances, especially given his relationship with Boldy.

Perhaps moving someone like Jordan Greenway, who may not be part of the organization’s long-term plans, would be a good idea. However, this will be a low sell, and Minnesota needs his physical and defensive presence in the post-season.

Alex Goligowski would not be able to get a big enough return for Wilde that would justify moving a top-four defender, especially with the injury issues on the blue streak. Moreover, the commercial interest of Viktor Raske will be close to nothing.

There is no player worth trading on the list. Minnesota will already have to shed valuable pieces to make savings this summer. This is the year they should try to tackle before the cover struggles start. Mid-round picks aren’t worth skipping this chance.

Setting a trade deadline is complex, and as the trade deadline approaches, the risks will increase even more. The Wild plays a great game of hockey, which naturally leads to fans inviting a big deal for a promotion at the center. But as much as they need a cup, the best decision at the moment may not be a big spur.

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