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Chuck Fletcher is going to need to add scoring

Jan 11, 2012, 10:37 AM EDT

Chuck Fletcher AP

Fixing a team is a hard job, especially when there’s an obvious need. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher is in that unenviable position with Guillaume Latendresse out with a concussion and Pierre-Marc Bouchard out indefinitely with the same thing.

Fletcher tells Michael Russo of The Star Tribune that with great uncertainty on when or if he’ll get Latendresse or Bouchard back, it’s time to dip into the trading pool head first┬áto find guys that can put the puck in the net.

“It’s hard. Most teams that have goal scorers and point producers want to keep them,” said Fletcher, on how tough it will be to find reinforcements. “The majority of teams are still in the playoff hunt, so there’s just not a lot of these type of players that move during the season.

“Obviously we’ll see if there’s external solutions. … My job’s to look at ways to improve our team and I’ll continue to try to do that.”

To do that and get guys that can help the Wild return to the playoffs might prove awfully difficult. To get something useful you have to give something and the one area Minnesota has choice pieces is with their prospects.

The catch here is that Fletcher likely wants no part of giving up guys like Charlie Coyle or Jonas Brodin to get a big scorer. The downside here is that the Wild don’t have a lot to offer in a trade outside of those prospects which makes goalie Josh Harding become the most marketable guy to trade.

Does a team in need of goalie help (Tampa Bay?) have the offensive players to make it work for Minnesota? There’s the rub.

  1. dremmel69 - Jan 11, 2012 at 10:53 AM

    Wild might be victims of their early season success. Heading into the season, I don’t think anyone would have guaranteed a playoff birth with a new coach and a roster low on scoring talent.

    There is no benefit to trading away prospects so that we can sneak into the playoffs this season. Stay the course and take your lumps this season. Develop the prospects, don’t trade them. Steady progress always beats quick fixes when a team is rebuilding.

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      I hear what you’re saying but if they can trade Harding or Backstrom (no chance makes too much $$$ but I would rather have Harding in net) plus a prospect “like” Phillips for someone who can score now and has another year on their deal, I say pull the trigger… As long as they keep Granlund, Coyle, Brodin and Zucker, I’ll be happy

      • dremmel69 - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:12 PM

        I am with you on that. Use the goal tending surplus to bring in talent. You could get quite a bit in return but timing is everything. Might be worth waiting until the Wild can line up multiple bidders as the season grinds on.

  2. finfan88shark - Jan 11, 2012 at 11:32 AM

    Do they have any injured players? Because I am sure Sharks GM Doug Wilson would be willing to trade away offense (the little we have) to Fletcher for another injured Wild player.

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Jan 11, 2012 at 12:43 PM

      HAHA. I’ll take Logan Couture for PMB and Zidlicky :) I’ll tell Fletcher to get on the horn with Wilson asap

  3. davebabychreturns - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:45 PM

    Tough position for Minnesota to be in; I don’t know if Fletcher is of the same view but it’d be hard to swallow the idea of trading away picks and prospects for players at a time where he probably figured they would be working on retooling their roster and building from within.

    I would guess the Wild’s best bet would be to pursue a couple of guys out of the motley crew of players with expiring contracts on the few teams with basically zero chance at a playoff spot; guys like Vinny Prospal out of Columbus or Alex Ponikarovsky in Carolina, maybe Nik Hagman in Anaheim (or is Jason Blake close to returning)?

    Probably the best case scenario if they don’t want to unload some huge asset is to take a shot at acquiring Ales Hemsky, I guess.

    In any event I don’t know how confident the Wild are with Matt Hackett as their backup, but I hear it is open season on goaltenders and I think being one of the few teams able to roll with their backup is an advantage they really should hold onto..

    • gbiscottagecheesefatties - Jan 11, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      Columbus needs a goalie and a trade of Vinny for Harding makes sense…. The guy I want the Wild to go after is Bobby Ryan, he is available and his contract is beautiful. Throw whatever you want at him, I don’t care (kinda). If they are interested in Harding like they should be, I would push Harding, Coyle and this years first + third round picks

  4. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jan 11, 2012 at 1:59 PM

    We are not Stanley Cup contenders this year. No need to trade away the assets we have for only this year. If a move is to be made, its one of the 3 goaltenders (backstrom has a ntc). Zach Parise will be here next year.

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  1. J. Harding (1746)
  2. C. Price (1695)
  3. M. Staal (1647)
  4. A. Ekblad (1581)
  5. J. Giguere (1545)