There is loud trade chatter happening in Montreal and Detroit, for example, but several Minnesota Wild fans are wondering what will take place with their favorite team as the trade deadline nears.
In his recent mailbag in The Athletic, Michael Russo fielded questions over possible moves by the Wild, as general manager Chuck Fletcher might attempt to shed salary by moving out players such as Marcus Foligno or Tyler Ennis, rather than trading draft picks for rental players.
These two would become the new, most likely coveted, targets on the trade block.
"My guess is Fletcher will try to avoid dealing draft picks before the Feb. 26 trade deadline and look to maybe move some contracts instead. It wouldn’t shock me if he tried to deal Marcus Foligno or Tyler Ennis to a team that could take on lucrative contracts," writes Russo.
More forwards available?
Russo also added that he would not be surprised to see Fletcher trying to move Chris Stewart. He could also see him move veteran Matt Cullen if the Wild fall out of the playoff race.
When it comes to the younger core of the team, Russo does not rule out the possibility of seeing forward Charlie Coyle being moved, unless the Wild feels the cost of re-signing Matt Dumba or Jason Zucker gets out of hand.
"To trade Coyle would be a significant step and I do think you’d have to get a solid package in return. This is also the type of trade that rarely happens at the trade deadline. This is a draft move, a summer trade. Trade deadline typically involves so-called rentals — guys in the last year of their contracts."
The playoff race remains close in the West, so Fletcher and fans might have to wait to see if the Wild will be sellers or buyers at the deadline.