The days in a Wild sweater could be number for some of the names you’ve become familiar with the past few seasons. The NHL Draft is a time for trades, and this year could be a shake-up year for Minnesota, despite owner Craig Leipold’s claims that he would only hire a GM that would not tear down the roster.
Nino Niederreiter, Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle all have had their names in trade talks, according to a report from Mike Russo in The Athletic.
Zucker is a restricted free agent, meaning his price tag could influence things. A built-in raise for Zucker and fellow RFA Matt Dumba could wipe out a lot of the cap room the Wild will have this summer.
Coyle and Nino, meanwhile, already have a bit more security. Coyle is under contract for this upcoming season and next; Niederreiter is inked through 2022.
The Wild hired new GM Paul Fenton this offseason to replace Chuck Fletcher. All three of the players in question were acquired under Fletcher’s charge — Nino in a trade and the other two in the draft. Leipold said before he hired Fenton that any GM candidate who suggested tearing down the roster and starting over would not be considered.
Trading any of the players in question would not necessarily be a “tear-down,” but it could be a signifcant move for the cap-tight Wild. Maybe the draft will spur some action. Stay tuned.