Minnesota has been hovering around the Western Conference’s wild-card positions practically all season. The Wild went into the Olympic break with an adequate if not entirely comfortable cushion over Dallas and Phoenix for the first wild-card spot.
After making big free agent splashes to bring in Zach Parise and Ryan Suter in the summer of 2012, one would assume the time for the Wild to win is now, which could influence the team to be a significant buyer at the deadline. The Wild have been linked to many of the top names available, but it’s unclear how much substance there is to those rumours. It’s worth noting that the Wild will improve from within shortly after the Olympic break with the return of captain Mikko Koivu, who has been out since the beginning of 2014 with a broken right ankle.
Click player positions to see depth chart
Areas to address
Priority number one is likely bringing in a goaltender. The Wild were rumoured to be interested in Ryan Miller, before the Team USA goaltender was dealt to St. Louis. Whether the Wild have the resources, or even the sheer desire, to make a move for another goaltender remains to be seen.
The team could also use general depth up front and on the blue line. The team has been linked to Thomas Vanek this season, who seems destined for a divorce from the Islanders. He would fit nicely on Minnesota’s second line.
Possible trade targets
Jonas Hiller, Anaheim Ducks
Jaroslav Halak, Buffalo Sabres
Thomas Vanek, NY Islanders
Olli Jokinen, Winnipeg Jets