Minnesota Wild questions get answered — at least some
Michael Russo of The Athletic (mailbag): Again and again, the questions keep coming. Russo tried to answer them as best as he could.
One of the big inquiries focused on Kirill Kaprizov. This became a bit of a two-parter. Burning a year of the entry-level deal was not optimal but Kaprizov would have stayed in the KHL another season. That could not happen. The good news is that the forward is expansion exempt. That is important for the Wild.
Also, starting your goaltending prospect in the restart was not prudent and Bill Guerin agreed as Alex Stalock was utilized in the play-in round against the Vancouver Canucks. Buyouts were asked about to and it seems Minnesota explores that option only if it frees up a roster space or two — for a goalie or forward.
A few other tidbits focus on helping Mats Zuccarello as Kaprizov could be an ideal linemate. Also, trading Alex Stalock would only return a mid-round pick at best while going after a Jacob Markstrom is off the radar.
Some more questions answered…
Michael Russo of The Athletic: Trade options and free agents carry intrigue. Matt Dumba rumors persist and Russo insists that the return would have to be substantial even at this stage. Because of circumstances, Dumba and Jared Spurgeon must be protected due to no-move clauses. Jonas Brodin could be exposed as well depending on Minnesota’s expansion protection scheme. Brodin feels like the defenseman more likely getting dealt because of “defensive value”.
The prevailing thought exists that Minnesota does not pursue a big-time free agent but one never says never.
Will Bill Guerin draft a true number one center? Minnesota has not done so in its 19 years of existence. Do not expect one this year either. Guerin fishing for a player like Sean Monahan will be a given but Minnesota does not have a center to entice Calgary. The package would have to be substantial.
The feeling is Kaapo Kahkonen plays in the NHL in 2020-21. Will he be a starter or 1B? That remains to be seen.
Guerin pursuing a trade for Zach Parise again in the offseason will not surprise anyone either. Either way, it should be an interesting several months for the Minnesota Wild.