Irresponsible RumormongeringOffseason

Potential trade partner: Minnesota Wild

matt dumba jared spurgeon
Pioneer Press: John Autey

As the expansion draft nears, we are going to begin hearing rumors of trades with Vegas to protect players and/or bribe Vegas into taking a contract. We’ve seen one such rumor publicized already, and it’s likely we will see more. But we will also begin seeing trades made by clubs who are in a bad position with protected players. Anaheim is one such team, covered already last week. Another team in a precarious situation: Minnesota.

Minnesota is a little stuck right now with no-move clauses. Zach Parise, Mikko Koivu, and Jason Pominville all have no moves up front, with Ryan Suter having a no move on the back end. If you assume that the Wild will go the 7-3-1 route, then they have a serious problem.

The forwards are less of a concern than the blue line, as the Wild have five defensemen they’d ideally like to protect. Suter is definitely getting protected (NMC). After that it’s two of Jared Spurgeon, Jonas Brodin, Marco Scandella, and Matt Dumba. That’s not exactly Anaheim levels of concern, but it’s up there.

Of that list, the Rangers would only really benefit from Spurgeon or Dumba. Brodin and Scandella are hard no’s from me. Brodin is just a mildly better version of Nick Holden, and Scandella is on par with them just without the scoring. Neither would be a significant upgrade for the Rangers.

But when it comes to Spurgeon and Dumba, now we are talking. Spurgeon is a top pairing defender on a solid contract, which leads me to believe Minnesota will be protecting him. Dumba, on the other hand, is not exempt from the expansion draft. At 22 years old and putting up 11-23-34 last year, his stock is on the rise as well. He’s not on the Spurgeon level, but he could get there soon.

Now all this suggests that the Wild would be smart to protect both Spurgeon and Dumba and expose Brodin/Scandella. It’s a tough pill to swallow for them, to lose perceived good defensemen for nothing, but it’s the cost of doing business in an expansion draft. But if a team comes in offering a good hockey deal for one of these four defensemen, Minnesota likely needs to think long and hard.

All this said, I personally don’t think the Rangers and Wild match up very well when it comes to trades. The Wild are going to need expansion draft exempt players, something the Rangers simply can’t offer. Futures might be a good deal, but Minnesota is a win-now team, so it’s tough to say if they’d take such a deal. Minnesota is certainly another team to keep tabs on in June, though. As I love to say, prepare for carnage.

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  • While many won’t like it, I would have to do JT for Dumba, as Dumba fits a position and role we just do not have at the moment. Maybe we get them to throw in a 4th rounder to sweeten the pot a little. They are about the same age, but between Dumba and Skjei, we will have 2 defenseman who will be around for 7+ years. Not too shabby.

    Wingers are easier to replace. If you want to make it Stepan instead of JT, it really doesn’t solve Minny’s problem.

    • “If you want to make it Stepan instead of JT, it really doesn’t solve Minny’s problem.”

      No it makes it worse on a number of levels. First means another forward they’d have to protect. Two more importantly, it makes their cap situation worse.

      They are currently sitting at around $11 million in cap room to sign to sign 6 forwards, 4 of them RFA’s, and at least 2 defenseman, 1 RFA. Of those RFA’s, Neideritter, Hula, and Granlund are most likely not going to be too cheap.

      Removing Dumba’s roughly $2 million cap hit but taking on Stepan at roughly $6 million, decreases the available cap room to around $7 million to still sign 8 players to field a complete lineup, and those 3 RFA’s are going to eat a huge chunk of that.

      Due to the cap reasons, I don’t see Minnesota as a good trading partner for us. I see them trying something Brodin (high $$) and a mid-range pick for a Buch (low $$ and exempt), Klein (easily bought out) and a low range draft pick. And that would be highway robbery

    • Why do you talk like that? No offence but if we’re looking into plausible trade scenario’s then what you speak of has as much possibility next to the fans who want to see everybody get traded. I don’t like what you “hope” to see or care because for 1. I think that’s a low possibility and 2. Gorton will most likely use Stepan as the top asset out of the forwards to get what needed to be fixed on this team.

      I always thought there was some smoke to JT’s name of being on the trad block in the near future and especially during the recent deadline when the GM’s came calling out of the blue. Now I think the management and AV know that they need to keep him this season to really test out what kind of player they have.

      • Let me rephrase my statement:

        Due to the cap reasons, I don’t see Minnesota as a good trading partner for us. I see them ~~Minnesota~~ trying something ~~like~~ Brodin (high $$) and a mid-range pick for a Buch (low $$ and exempt), Klein (easily bought out) and a low range draft pick. And that would be highway robbery ~~if we said yes to it just to “fix” the defense~~.

        See between the ~~ ~~ lines for clarification.

        • That’s a foolish scenario because Buch isn’t getting traded for many reasons starting with the highway robbery that you stated. My original reply wasn’t to you but my point from that comment goes into the same category of asking one question. Why do you think that Gorton would actually sacrifice a name from the new core? I bet Gorton would hang up the phone after hearing Brodin and Buch’s name.

          • I don’t think he would either. I agree with you.

            I’m just trying to view it from the other sides perspective and get people to think about theirs.

            “If I were Minnesota, who on the Rangers could I trade for that offers me relief from my issues?”

            Some people just throw names together and don’t look at the weakness or strengths of the trade partners are. Overall I see us and Minnesota as poor trading partners because anyone that we can offer them for anyone they are willing to give up falls into two categories:

            A- Minnesota doesn’t want what we offer cause it means they have to expose someone else they’re not willing to lose (IE- a non-protected forward or defenseman)


            B- We’re being offered options that are barely better than what we have, and means we have to expose someone we’re not willing to lose. (IE- Brodin or Scandella)

  • it was the night before Christmas… I mean the Expansion Draft… and all through the blogs not a rumor was stirring…




  • Can someone provide a definition for “good hockey deal.” Washington’s GM used this euphemism regarding an Ovechkin trade. But I don’t precisely “get” it.

    • Why would Minnesota do this?

      The reason stopping a trade like this is expansion. Minnesota already has 7 forwards to protect. Trading for Hayes gives them 8 forwards to protect and opens them to losing even better players than either Brodin or Scandella.

      They execute this trade they in turn then have to expose Hayes, because they HAVE to protect Parise, Koivu, Pominville and Suter. That leaves Staal, Coyle, Granlund, Niederreiter, Spurgeon, Brodin, Scandella and Hayes to be protected. 3F and 1D. You have an additional 5 forwards and 2 defenseman to protect. Impossible.

      Please, don’t tell me any of those names would be a “throw in” either.

      • John

        I could be wrong, but due to Hayes coming off of an ELC, he can be protected, so this would not be an issue???????????

        • No.

          No matter what team he’s on, Kevin Hayes must be either protected or exposed. He meets all exposure requirements.

          That’s to say that if the proposed Dumba for Hayes were to happen, Minnesota would have to either expose or protect Hayes.

          We have to either expose him or protect him. He is not protected in any manner.

        • Sorry, Walt, but only rookies are auto-protected.

          I found this on the NHL’s site, hopefully it helps.

          “Rookie Qualifications
          To be considered a rookie, a player must not have played in more than 25 NHL games in any preceding seasons, nor in six or more NHL games in each of any two preceding seasons. Any player at least 26 years of age (by September 15th of that season) is not considered a rookie.”

  • I think the route you are suggesting is unwise for Minnesota. It makes much more sense for Nashville. The difference is that Nashville has to risk one of four defensemen while the Wild need to risk two of five. If they trade Brodin, they just lose Scandella and vice versa. The only way out is to deal both guys — giving up both to avoid losing one. The only good way to solve this problem with a deal is a deal with Las Vegas.

    Pre-draft deals should involve teams with a single player in their draft pool clearly more valuable than the others.

    • Nashville is protecting 8 skaters (4 d) while Minny will chose the 7-3-1 option. It has as much to do with forward depth as it does depth on D.

      Minny relies much more on their forward depth and can ill afford to lose players they would be unable to protect if they chose the 8 skater option.

  • You move the twins at all cost even if a full retention and buyout are needed.
    You trade Stepan to Carolina for Faulk
    Sign Shatty
    Resign Smith
    Sign Thornton

    If Fast or Grabner gets picked up by LV then Gorton should offer Dallas a pick for Roussel to keep up with the productive 4th line. If Oscar gets picked up then you go full force for Boyle with the idea of giving him Fast and Grabner.
    Use the top pick on a forward instead of a D man because with the right execution our D core could be all hands and one of the fastest groups and especially in the East.
    Smith- Graves, that Czech kid ect… Our PP could have Shatty on one and Mcd with Faulk or whoever Stepan could haul over on the 2nd one. That top 4 is faster than Nashville’s imo and could do damage in a system like under AV with the depth we already have.

    • how much are you playing Shatty, Smith, and Thornton that you can carry this roster while buying out both Staal and Girardi? doesn’t seem like you would be able to carry a full roster.

    • As Tony and I discussed, the likelihood of Carolina taking on Stepan’s contract is not up there. There is a very high chance that the ownership group will sell the team. Stepan would if I recall correctly, instantly becoming the highest paid player in Carolina, or be similar to Jordan Staal.

      Past that point, Dallas is not rebuilding. Why would they trade Antoine Roussel to us for only a pick? That would weaken the Dallas line-up in an already competitive Central Division. Nor do I anticipate Brian Boyle leaving Toronto, as they can afford to pay him short-term while the younger kids are cost-controlled. They can offer him significantly more than we can.

      Brendan Smith is most likely going to cost in the range of $3.9 to $4.5 million dollars plus term. That is most assuredly not a 3rd pairing contract.

      Nor should we want anything to do with Joe Thornton. Thornton is visibly starting to struggle in the slower paced Western Conference. His point shares are way down, his RelCF% is way down, and he’s coming off knee injury. Those should all be huge yellow and red flags to GM’s.

      • John

        And big Joe is getting long of tooth, while we are trying to get younger. I agree 100% with your post!!!!!!!!!

      • If for some reason Stepan is traded for a D man, I could see taking on Thornton for $4M per as a replacement. He and Nash have had chemistry in the past. Plus you have to assume that Oscar is taken by LV.

        • I agree that they did show chemistry. But to counter that:

          Thornton is showing signs of struggling with the up-tempo pace. The Western Conference is still slightly slower and larger than the East, and he still showed troubling signs regarding this.

          His Goals per Game, Assists per Game, Points per Game were all way down. Even lower than the 48 game lockout season. As were his Point Shares and his RelCF%.

          And while I agree that he never was a graceful, smooth or “fast” skater, he’s starting to make our Wonder Twins look like Mike Gartner reincarnated.

          I’d stay away. Discretion can be the better part of valor sometimes.

          • If Thornton and Nash made up the 3rd line, would you still be against it?


  • Can someone provide a definition for “good hockey deal.” Washington’s GM used this euphemism regarding an Ovechkin trade. But I don’t precisely “get” it.

  • I can hope for a great deal, but that may not happen. That’s how I feel about this expansion draft, so I’ll just hope that we rid ourselves of the Twins, Klein, and Daisy. If we can do this we get a ton of cap relief, can sign the kids (RFA) to their contracts, and have more than enough to keep Smith, and whomever we go after that will fill our needs. Jeff, the ball is in your court!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Sal

        Man do I hope your wrong on this, it would drive me nuts. If that would be the case, it would prove to us all that JG is gunning for the lottery pick next year!!!!!!!!

  • Minny’s cap is a mess. Making a trade would be difficult unless the Rangers can get a steal by getting a D man and someone like Neiderreiter.

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