After the NHL’s 2013 season trade deadline came at 2pm this afternoon, Minnesota Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher could be a little more honest with the media about the injury to his prized second line center Matt Cullen. According to Fletcher, Cullen’s lower body injury is more serious than he led on, which is understandable considering you don’t want to reveal your whole hand of cards to a potential trading partner. If Darcy Regier had known the Wild’s need for a second line center, the price for Jason Pominville may have been a lot more that it actually was.
With Cullen out, Minnesota will likely be forced to make another call to Houston, considering his replacement is now on his way to Buffalo as I write this. As such, I wouldn’t be surprised to see 2010 9th overall pick Mikael Granlund receive his second call-up of the season. Considering we’re in the final stretch of the season, if Cullen is out much longer, Granlund could very well be up with the big club for good. This will very likely be the case as there is no longer a restriction on roster space for the rest of the season and, even if you include Pominville in the roster right now, Minnesota is currently sitting at 12 healthy forwards.
Until Granlund gets the call, fellow rookie Charlie Coyle will likely center Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Devin Setoguchi on the Wild’s second line once Pominville arrives. One thing is for sure, the acquisition of Jason Pominville makes for four incredibly gritty and talented offensive lines for Minnesota. This team is deep—very deep—and is about to take the Western Conference and the NHL by storm.