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Buying out Heatley might not be an option for Wild

Jun 18, 2013, 9:51 AM EDT

Dany Heatley AP

The Minnesota Wild’s cap situation isn’t dire, but they don’t have a lot of wiggle room with the ceiling lowering to $64.3 million. That’s problematic because they still need to ink a number one goaltender.

Using one of their compliance buyouts on 32-year-old forward Dany Heatley would be the quickest fix given that it would create $7.5 million in cap space, but that might not be an option, according to the Star Tribune.

The problem is that this summer’s first window for buying out a contract opens 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final and closes on July 5. Heatley is recovering from a torn labrum and would need to be medically cleared before he can be bought out.

“We have a few different ways we can get to the cap,” Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said. “We have options, but some things are easier done than others.”

With that in mind, it’s believed that defenseman Tom Gilbert is on the trading block and might even be an alternate candidate to be bought out.

Like Heatley, Gilbert only has one season left on his contract. Buying out Gilbert would save the team $4 million in cap space after he recorded 13 points and had a minus-11 rating in 43 games in 2013.

The team might also shop forwards Devin Setoguchi, Kyle Brodziak, Zenon Konopka, or even the rights to soon-to-be restricted free agent Cal Clutterbuck.

“I’ve had a lot of conversations with teams and we’re taking as many calls as we’re making,” said Fletcher. He’s expecting trade discussions to heat up on Wednesday when the league’s GMs meet in Boston.

There’s also a chance that Heatley will be healthy when the next buyout window opens after the arbitration period, but that one’s a little more complicated. Even if Heatley is medically cleared by that point, they can only take advantage of that opportunity if they take one of their restricted free agents to arbitration.

Either way, addressing the team’s needs while staying under the cap will be a challenge, but Fletcher isn’t too worried.

“There are a lot of teams that are in worse shape than we are,” he said.

  1. greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:30 AM

    I get that Heatley makes 7.5 million, but why on earth would you buy him out now? He’s got 1 year left, which would make any sense to buy him out now.

    I can’t see too many teams having interest in Heatley or Gilbert at their current contracts. So trading them isn’t an option either.

    Like I’ve said all along, have a team give Clutterbuck an offer sheet. If it’s a mere 100,000 more than what he’s making now, gives the Wild a 2nd round pick, which is something they don’t have (either this year or next as it was moved to Buffalo).

    Brodziak and Setoguchi are the candidates in my eyes to be bought out. Brodziak isn’t near what we was resigned for. He’s the typical guy who cashed in a on good contract year.

    Also, I’d give Konopka away for whatever a team wants to give up. He’s a no talent hack who takes horrible penalties, often at horrible times. Sure he’s good at fighting, but big deal, since with the new visor rule, fight isn’t going to be around much longer anyways.

    • rsmaggiemae - Jun 18, 2013 at 2:08 PM

      Buy out Heatly ASAP need the funds for other players… Bouchard should go at 4,5 mil a year….
      Get rid of many of the non productive players from last year.
      Need another goalie Bernier?????\
      Hopefully can get Vanek next year as he lives here in the off season.

      ‘I would rather watch a upcoming young team than has beens or those that dont produce. however if you have a confident coach and I dont think we do, the players on your team will have confidence…
      At least the young players give 100 percent in a game where I dont see that in many of the Wild players…
      They just dont have the desire to play..
      Wild better fashion thier team after the Hawks …, as next year wont be a picnic in our division.,.,,.

      I am not a Yeo fan at all… hate to see all the other coaches get hired now…

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 18, 2013 at 5:30 PM

        Bouchard is already gone, he’s a UFA this summer.

        If you buyout Heatley this summer and then over pay for a free agent this summer, there is zero chance you get Vanek next year. If you want Vanek, you need to let Heatley play out his contract and not resign him next summer when Vanek could be available.

        We know the Wild are building something, but next year they aren’t Cup contenders either. Playoff team, probably. I don’t see the use of using the amnesty buyouts on players who have 1 year left. I’d look at Brodziak first who’s making 2.83 million the next 2 season.

      • rsmaggiemae - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:24 PM

        I understand what you are saying, but I just am not a fan of Heatly…
        I never have been… He is not the player of a few years ago….
        I did not see much scoring from him this year at all.
        With the cost of season tickets going up 5 percent for the upcoming season,
        its hard to watch what happens on the ice.
        Hardly anything..
        There are only a few players who give 100 percnet each game and we know who they are..
        Many people disagree with my viewpoints, but i assume they only go to a few games a year and watch the rest at home…
        i HAVE invested in our hockey teams since the late 1960’s have always purchased season tickets, pro, both college men and women and high school.
        So I spend tons of money on hockey, parking, eats and whatver…It gets very frustrating to watch the Wild go down the tubes almost every game but the biggest blow was the Edmonton game when Yeo stuck out his chest like a peacock and put in his 4th line againST Edmontons 4th line and we lost 6-1
        I left the game after the first 3 minutes and gave out seats to someone in nosebleed section
        That s one reason I am not a YEO fan, there were quite a few other games where his decisions cost the game….
        But the biggest blow was Fletcher trading Leddy to the Hawks and now
        Hackett and Larrson and a 4th round draft pick way too much for Pomanville,\
        just my opinion

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:12 PM

        The only thing I agree with you is that Heatley is a shell of his old self. However, why ruin what the Wild have started to build because you can buy out a player that makes 7.5 million this year. Why not wait a year and lose that cap hit next year, when its most likely a better free agent class, including as you’ve mentioned Vanek?

        Yes, Yeo blew the Edmonton game, however coaching only can take you so far. At some point the players could have shown up. Nobody showed up that game, including the guy I can’t stand in Konopka who dropped the gloves :22 in.

        The part your dead wrong is are the 2 trades.

        Did you know, it wasn’t Fletcher that pulled the deal that sent Leddy to Chicago? It was Leipold, who pulled that trade off. It’s been reported as that as well. Leipold desperately wanted to make the playoffs, and the only way to get what people thought was a good defenseman was to give up something (Leddy). Only problem is Barker couldn’t skate.

        It’s also been reported Leipold pulled off the Pominville trade. However, I agree on making that trade. Look at what the Wild gave up. Hackett, who fell out of favor in Houston when Kuemper out played him for the majority of the season. It’s not like Pominville was your typical trade deadline acquisition. Pominville is signed through next season, not this season like most trade deadline trades. Not to mention Buffalo is paying part of his contract so the Wild could make this trade and stay under the cap. Most trade deadline deals involving a player like Pominville (and their contract expires after the season), often require a prospect (Larsson) and a 1st round pick. So basically your paying Buffalo a prospect you have soured on and a 2nd round pick for an extra year and them paying part of his salary.

        If Dustin Brown doesn’t cheap shot Pominville in the head with an elbow, does his play change anything for you? He was their most productive player when he got here. If you can resign Pominville next summer, its a good trade. Don’t forget Pominville is coming from Buffalo, where it’s no secret the Wild want to sign Vanek next summer. Who’s Vanek’s best friend in Buffalo? It’s Pominville. It wasn’t the first time the Wild traded for someone’s friend in order to lure a big time free agent. Why do you think the Wild traded their best defensive defenseman to a division rival, who was out of the playoff race (Nick Schultz) for Gilbert, who everyone wants amnestied today? His childhood friend is Zach Parise and he played at Wisconsin with Ryan Suter.

    • rsmaggiemae - Jun 20, 2013 at 2:21 PM

      It does not make any difference who traded Leddy or Pomanville, they did it…
      I guess I am just sooooooooooo frustrated that the Wild,although I know they have much talent in Des Moines just cant seem to fit the right players together.
      i heard a rumor and that is what this is, that there have been talks to get Kessel from the Leafs and a friend of mine in Edmonton has said that there is talk of the Oilers letting go some of thier top young talent as they want shea weber… but i doubt if that will ever happen but who knows????

      • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 22, 2013 at 1:20 AM

        Of course it makes a huge difference. If Fletcher’s boss is telling him to do something, are you going to say f— you to your boss? doubt it

        they do have a ton of talent, and it’s not going to mature over night. they are still 2 seasons away from being a legitimate cup contender. playoff team again next year for sure.

        I’m sure 29 other teams have interest in Kessel as well. I don’t see how Edmonton is going to take on Weber’s massive new deal.

        Vanek is the one who they are going to go after next off season. Which is why it makes little sense to dump off Heatley now. Vanek can probably be had for the same price as Heatley’s contract. Just like Parise and Suter, Vanek has wife ties to the area here. If you don’t think that has any influence on where they sign, your dead wrong.

  2. mrpinkca - Jun 18, 2013 at 11:54 AM

    Lockout Karma coming to roost in St. Paul?

  3. rebekah319 - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:06 PM

    Right that’s it seriously?? Things like this just make me laugh…..

  4. homegrowntalentmn - Jun 18, 2013 at 1:14 PM

    Bye bye gilbert!!

  5. vstar1us - Jun 18, 2013 at 3:25 PM

    As the Wild look to sell off some players and worry about trying to sign Backstrom who is 35 yrs old what is he going to give the team that he didn’t give last year! He had a lot of wins, but look at the teams he had wins against and look at the teams he fell apart against.
    Fire storm sale is never a good ideal , my team is the Wild but I think they will have a hard time to compete because they only play 50% most of the Wild players forgot how to play after the signing of the Big 2!
    Wild have talent, they just lack coaching leadership I would shop team captain and promote Z.P. to the C sweater.
    I would also unload they coach.

  6. rebekah319 - Jun 18, 2013 at 7:21 PM

    Shop the team captain? Give the “C” to Zach? Because changing captains does anything but insult the person who rightly so has earned that C and has been here forever because that is the right thing to do I mean seriously? Wild fans are the only ones that ever think crazy ideas which becomes very funny. Also watching this team all my life its not about leadership or coaching its about getting support from the other guys on the team for one and then getting more productions from the others. TEAM SPORT! I shrug off all the shop the captain and take the C away because its all dumb and not logical!

    • greatminnesotasportsmind - Jun 18, 2013 at 10:50 PM

      If you watched 10 seconds of a Wild game, you’d know Parise IS the captain of this team. It’s definitely not Koivu who only wears the “C.” Parise is the one who ever says anything that remotely sounds like a captain. It is Parise’s team.

      • lordfletcher - Jun 19, 2013 at 9:29 PM

        Koivu wears the C
        Parise is the offensive C
        Suter is the Wilds best player and their back end C
        Zucker is the future C in my eyes if he continues to develop.

  7. tomcreanshair - Jun 19, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    The Leddy/Barker trade was just a vehicle to get rid of Jonsson’s contract.

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