26 June 2009

Wild Draft Preview...

Draft Tonight...

So should be a more exciting than usual draft tonight. There are three legitamite choices for the New York Islanders as they have the #1 choice.

(Read USA Today Draft preview here).

For our beloved Wild this is a tough draft. The Wild drew the #12 pick overall, but currently have no more picks until #99 (4th round). Given that I suspect the Wild may opt to trade down to get more picks.

Wild Trade Rumors...

As far as trade rumors go Shepard and Harding are definatly the heavist names in trade rumors right now. My suspision is if anyone gets dealt it'll be Shep. He's still young, but has been in the NHL a few years and I think teams might be willing to take a chance on him. He might be dealt for a 2nd rounder.

In a different year Harding might have been dealt, but there are a glut of Free Agent goalies this summer, which probably makes it easier to keep Harding in the fold, but at the same time makes him less valuable in the trade market this summer, and I would say less susceptable to RFA poaching that he might be otherwise. I imagine Harding would only be interested in signing a 1 year qualifying deal this summer because I'm sure he'd like to test the market next year instead of continuing behind Backstrom. Harding is probably more valuable in a trade next March at the deadline than he is this summer.

Lastly, I'll point out that the Wild seem to be creeping up in Dany Heatley Trade Rumors. Heatley requested a trade from the Ottawa Senators a few weeks ago. Heatley comes with 5 years remaining on his contract at $7.5M each. This on the surface seems like a solution to losing Gaborik, but the Wild would have to give up even more in a trade and I don't think the Wild should pay what the Sens are reportedly asking (2 prospects and a high pick). Plus this is now the second time Heatley has demanded a trade in his career (Atlanta), I think this is just replacing the injury prone with a problem of a different sort.

Personally I think the Wild Could just let Gabby walk and enjoy their newfound $7.5M in cap space. Here's a list of free agents there's a lot of ways to get two decent players for $7.5M. And the Wild really need to have more than one line's worth of scoring threats.

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