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Wild want a big-time goal scorer; Fletcher willing to make trades

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The puck won't drop for months but expect the Wild to be active now that the NHL Draft and free agency are nearly here while trade winds blow league wide.

As league's go, the NHL is one of the busiest when it comes to trades and Star Tribune Wild insider Michael Russo writes that teams are already shopping with the Wild in mind. Specifically, Russo points to teams showing interest in backup goalie Darcy Kuemper and the Wild's young defensemen (likely Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin, etc.).

Meanwhile, teams are shuffling rosters and making deals in advance of Friday's NHL Draft. Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher indicates that he'll make a move when it's right including the addition of a big-time goal scorer.

Minnesota finished 18th in the league with 213 goals last season.

How would Steven Stamkos looks in Wild colors? He's only 26 and he's already scored 312 career goals. He could become a free agent on July 1.

"We're doing all we can to sign him," Tampa Bay GM Steve Yzerman told Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times. "I can't force him to sign a contract with us if he doesn't want to. If he wants to go to July 1, he has that right."

The other top forwards expected to become free agents are Milan Lucic, Loui Eriksson, David Backes and Andrew Ladd, according to Bleacher Report.

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The NHL's two-day draft begins Friday. The league will release it's 2016-17 schedule later today. We already know the Wild open on the road Oct. 13 at St. Louis and their home opener is Oct. 15 against Winnipeg.

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