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Report: Wild GM Fletcher talked to Sabres about Halak, but price too high

Mar 4, 2014, 10:01 PM EDT

2012 NHL Entry Draft - Rounds 2-7 Getty Images

When it came to adding depth to their group of goaltenders, Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher chose Ilya Bryzgalov over other candidates out there for two main reasons: price and flexibility.

That’s based on a report in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, with Michael Russo reporting Fletcher had discussed Jaroslav Halakacquired from the St. Louis Blues last Friday – with the Buffalo Sabres.

From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Fletcher had been talking to Buffalo about Halak, but the price would have been a prospect and/or draft pick. Also, Bryzgalov is much cheaper, so theoretically, this gives Fletcher the opportunity to make more moves by Wednesday’s 2 p.m. trade deadline if he so wants. The Wild can add roughly $3 million in players without giving up salary.

Fletcher acknowledged that was a big part of it. He called Bryzgalov’s cap hit and salary “manageable,” that the Wild wasn’t willing to trade young players or higher picks in this type of situation and this allows him to maybe be more active later today or Wednesday.

The Wild picked up Bryzgalov, the charismatic puck stopper, from the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, the day before the NHL’s trade deadline.

There had been reports swirling that the Wild were actually going to pull off a deal for New Jersey Devils great Martin Brodeur. However, another report from the New York Post suggested the Wild were expected to get Halak instead of Brodeur.

  1. slaugin - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:18 PM

    My fantasy team could really use a playoff contender to trade for Halak

  2. strictlythedanks - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Good work fletcher, it was not worth overpaying for the mediocre halak.

    • guitarhunterdude - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:28 AM

      Halak’s a good goalie, but I’m guessing Buffalo was asking for one of Coyle, Granlund, Nino or Brodin for him, which is way too much when we already have a good starter in Kuemper. Better to get a cheap backup and keep riding Darcy.

  3. lordfletcher - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:32 PM

    well not breaking news by any means but yes, the best part of this deal may be yet to come. Everything Fletcher has done as GM in the last 3 years has been a 1-2-3 step plan. He is always moving something as its the beginning piece to another trade of some sorts.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see him do something tomorrow but that is only if the price goes down. Luckily for the GM’s that are buying now, the value of first round picks is always high but the class isn’t “projected” to be as great / good as others.

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Mar 4, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      the question would fletcher even trade another first round pick after shelling out last years to buffalo for pominville?

      • lordfletcher - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:48 AM

        I don’t think so… but it would have to be for something great.

        A name that I love and understand he is not being shopped is Jeff Skinner. Skinner offers the top 6 exactly what it needs. Vanek is someone I really do not want for multiple reasons. Skinner would be expensive but Carolina should entertain all offers as clearly, they need to improve.

        I would offer Coyle / Dumba and maybe tweek that a bit, could interchange a first rounder, or the 2nd from Winnipeg, maybe even Zucker. I don’t want to give up on Coyle, but for Skinner, seems to be a slam dunk.

        back to your question, I doubt he does trade his first as it is incredibly not wise to lose 1st in back to back years, but if the Wild do not feel a 1st in this years class around 15-25 doesn’t carry the same weight as it usually does, I say ship the pick to bring in someone young and very talented. long ramble over :) happy trade day

  4. 19cbd87 - Mar 4, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    Giving any combination of Heatley, Zucker, Brodziak, and the 2nd round pick from the Jets to the Islanders should get Vanek in a Minnesota jersey

    • greatmiamisportsmind - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:01 AM

      Why would the Islanders honestly take that deal? Heatley who is only a name now, Brodziak isn’t anything special, other than a guy who got overpaid for having one good season. The only real thing would be Zucker and 2nd round pick.

      I’m guessing the Islanders will at least get a 1st round pick and at least another pick or prospect without having to take on the other garbage.

    • jazz11001 - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:03 AM

      Not Zucker. He is so close to being a stud in this league. Heatly you would have a hard time getting a bag of pucks for.

      • guitarhunterdude - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:30 AM

        Zucker has show nothing outside of speed, hands of stone and complete defensive ineptitude. Two big, pretty goals do not a stud make.

      • jazz11001 - Mar 7, 2014 at 12:19 AM

        I said close, every time he is up he makes a difference. The comment was more in favor of trading Heatly and keeping the speedy Zucker. He will be a 30-40 pointer in the NHL

  5. wildfan247 - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    I understand trying to bolster the offense for a good playoff push but giving up pick(s) and prospect(s) to bring in Vanek doesn’t make sense when all signs are pointing to him coming here via free agency.

    • hockeydon10 - Mar 5, 2014 at 8:53 AM

      Wouldn’t you guys also have to shed salary to get Vanek? If that’s the case it makes even less sense if there is that much confidence he’ll go to Minny this July.

      Anaheim seems a more likely destination. They have the space and are really making a push for the Cup this year. Getting another goal scorer would only help them out.

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