Skip to main content

Below average goalie play has Wild on the ropes; trade rumors?

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Darcy Kuemper's brutal stretch of play continued Tuesday night as he allowed a soft goal in overtime of a 4-3 loss to the San Jose Sharks.

The goal, described by Michael Russo of the Star Tribune as a 43-foot shot from above the left circle, was one that head coach Mike Yeo wasn't pleased with.

“We’re not in a position where we can have anybody be below average, and it always starts and ends with goaltending,” Yeo said. “It’s a tricky one trying to be sensitive to his confidence, but that goal in overtime can’t go in.”

This embed is invalid

Kuemper's save percentage is a very mediocre .902, good for 53rd in the NHL. His backup, Niklas Backstrom, is actually worse. The veteran's save percentage is .896, good for 60th in the league, according to

Here's a look at Kuemper's past 10 games, showing the result of the game and the number of goals he's allowed.

  • Dec. 3: 2-1 win over Montreal; 1 goal allowed
  • Dec. 5: 5-4 loss to Anaheim; 5 goals allowed
  • Dec. 11: 2-1 loss to San Jose; 2 goals allowed
  • Dec. 20: 6-5 loss to Nashville; 3 goals allowed
  • Dec. 23: 5-2 loss to Philadelphia; 4 goals allowed
  • Dec. 29: 3-2 win over Winnipeg; 2 goals allowed
  • Dec. 31: 3-1 loss to Columbus; 2 goals allowed
  • Jan. 2: 3-1 win over Toronto; 1 goal allowed
  • Jan. 3: 7-1 loss to Dallas; 4 goals allowed
  • Jan. 6: 4-3 loss to San Jose; 4 goals allowed

On the new Wild Xtra site, one of the main topics being opined on fans is if Kuemper is the worst goalie in the NHL.

Poor goaltending has the Wild six points out of the playoff race. But what can they do to improve the position? Russo has some ideas:

"Pressure’s on GM Chuck Fletcher here. Josh Harding’s not coming back. That’s obvious. Backstrom is likely unmovable. Kuemper can’t be sent to the minors without waivers, and he’d be claimed for sure.

"So either you continue to ride this instability out and have it maybe cost you this season or you trade for a goalie and probably have to keep three on the active roster. And, how much of an asset can you really give up for said goalie when there’s no assurance a goalie saves your season? Even Yeo admitted in a different context after the game, “There’s a lot of points that we’re leaving out there right now, so that’s disappointing.'"

Sportsnet's Elliot Friedman reported earlier this week that Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher has denied interested in trading for Buffalo Sabres goalie Jhonas Enroth. Friedman said it's a move that "makes a lot of sense" for Minnesota, pending what they would have to give up.

This embed is invalid

Next Up

lightning, storm

Isolated severe weather in Minnesota on Tuesday and Wednesday

Definitely not a slam dunk either day, but the chance is there.


Driver ejected in fatal crash on Shepard Road in St. Paul

The driver of a Dodge Ram was ejected and died at the scene.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 10.02.59 AM

North Dakota's only abortion clinic relocating to Minnesota

A GoFundMe set up to help the clinic make the move to Minnesota has surpassed its $500,000 goal.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 12.37.03 PM

Deadly vehicle fire on Interstate 94 west of Fargo

The victim's age and name have not been released.

flickr - gov tim walz - mn senate dfl

Overturning Roe v. Wade won't do a 'damn thing' to prevent abortions, Walz says

Gov. Tim Walz signed an executive order Saturday meant to protect abortion access in the state and people who come from out of state seeking one.


Man crossing Highway 13 in Burnsville fatally struck by driver

The victim is a 31-year-old man from Prior Lake.

Screen Shot 2022-06-26 at 7.50.33 AM

4 shot near Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis

The shooting happened around 11 p.m. Saturday.

Screen Shot 2022-06-25 at 7.55.28 PM

Charges: Cop feared for his life during struggle for gun with suspect

Allen Denzel Oliver-Hall has been charged with second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon.

Burnsville, Minnesota - May 2019 (2)

Shootout near Erik's Bike Shop, Lunds & Byerlys in Burnsville

Police say youths were shooting at each other on Saturday afternoon.

minnesota river

Fishermen find body floating in Minnesota River in Shakopee

The body was found upstream from Minnesota River Heritage Park.