3 players the Wild could easily trade before the deadline

The NHL trade deadline hits at 2 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 25.
Publish date:
Charlie Coyle (left) with Eric Staal (right)

Charlie Coyle (left) with Eric Staal (right)

Wild general manager Paul Fenton has reportedly been given the "green light" to make trades at the deadline, according to Micheal Russo of The Athletic.

Even though Minnesota is holding down the last wild card spot in the Western Conference by the narrowest of margins, it appears ownership is ready to shake things up.

Other than Zach Parise and Ryan Suter's no-movement clauses, everyone is theoretically on the table. Here's three players who I believe stand the best chance to be dealt by the Monday, Feb. 25 deadline.

Eric Staal

Staal is on an expiring contract and playoff teams always need centers. Think of it like pitching in baseball, you can never have enough of it.

When you consider his position, playoff pedigree and veteran leadership there's no doubt a contender would love to have him. 

The Winnipeg Jets are on record that they'd relinquish a first-round pick for a center. 

But is Staal worth it? 

He has 17 goals on the season – a far cry from his 42-goal campaign last year – and has zero since since the All-StarbBreak. He's even admitted to reporters that the trade deadline buzz has gotten to him a bit.

Then again, this same Wild team two years ago, albeit under different leadership, that gave up three draft picks for Martin Hanzel. So, it might not be too far-fetched to see a team pay something similar.

Charlie Coyle

Coyle's been an evergreen trade candidate for years now. Every season it seems a team or two is interested, most notably the Boston Bruins. It doesn't hurt that Coyle is a native of Massachusetts when connecting him to Boston.

Plenty of fans in the State of Hockey have grown frustrated with Coyle not taking the next step offensively. 

At 6-foot-3 and 220 pounds, Coyle has the body to be an imposing figure on the ice but has never been able to repeat a 20-goal or 50-point season.

However, his contract is team-friendly and paying $3.2 million to him next season isn't bad for the Wild, but it also makes trading him that much easier for interested teams.

Maybe a fresh start could do Coyle wonders and because he's not an impending free agent, the Wild could get back a decent return like a legitimate prospect or an every line NHL player.

Eric Fehr

He might seem boring and you might even being asking: "Who the hell is Eric Fehr?" But guys like these get moved all the time.

Just like centers, playoff teams love having options on the fourth line. 

While a seasoned fourth liner won't net you a return that'll send fans to the pro shop to buy a jersey, trading him on an expiring contract is worth the equivalent of a lottery ticket.

You may as well see what happens. 

Plus, it's not like Fehr is carrying the Wild to victories. You can move on, let him play for a cup contender and let someone from the minors come up and take his spot.

No harm, no foul.


If I were Fenton, Matt Dumba, Luke Kunin and Jordan Greenway would be the only guys who I wouldn't deal. 

All three players are under the age of 24 and their best years are ahead of them.

Dumba's game continues to excel despite being injured this season. He was leading all defensemen in goals (12) before his season-ending pectoral injury and is a monster on the power play.

Kunin and Greenway were well regarded prospects who are finally getting their legs underneath them in the NHL.

Greenway will finish with double-digit goals (currently has nine) in his first full season and Kunin has captain material written all over him. He was a captain at the University of Wisconsin and for Team USA at the World Juniors Tournament in 2017.

Anyone else who wasn't mentioned: Jason Zucker, Devan Dubnyk, Jared Spurgeon and Jonas Brodin, among others, could all be in play by the time the trade deadline – and the NHL Draft – rolls around.

The Wild aren't hanging banners for playoff participations, and it appears that a shakeup is imminent with Fenton and owner Craig Leipold on the same page.

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