Around the league of late, there’s been some intriguing one-for-one trades. The Minnesota Wild have some players that may benefit from a change of scenery; one of those, Nino Niederreiter could very well be an option for a one-for-one trade.
Ignoring the Dylan Strome deal recently, that the Minnesota Wild may well have missed a trick on, there have been a couple of other trades of late. Ryan Spooner and Ryan Strome swapping teams, as well as Carl Hagelin and Tanner Pearson. Nino Niederreiter represents a chance for the Wild to move on and make a deal of their own.
In Nino, they have a player that had high expectations but arguably isn’t living up to them. He found himself demoted to fourth line duties in their most recent match-up, and whilst this seemed to bring some life, it may well be a little too late.
The Minnesota Wild might actually be wise to properly consider moving on from the Swiss forward.
A 26-year old player with a ceiling of around 50 points is nothing to be sniffed at, but with a cap hit of $5.25 million, it may well be a challenge to find buyers.
Looking around the league for players on comparable contracts for one-for-one swap deals, it’s relatively slim pickings in terms of players that might actually be available.
The obvious option would be Mika Zibanejad, but it seems unlikely that a rebuilding New York Rangers is willing to swap a twenty-five year old center for Nino Niederreiter‘s contract, especially seeing as Mika has 21 points in 25 games this year.
Tomas Hertl of the San Jose Sharks might be a more reasonable bet given the Sharks will likely look to free up some space to sign Erik Karlsson in the summer. A straight-up swap for Nino wouldn’t affect them too negatively, nor the Minnesota Wild.
You could also see the Wild picking up a late-round pick as an additional piece if that trade were to occur, given the slight extra salary they’d take on.
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There’s one name out there that I actually wouldn’t mind seeing a straight-up swap for and that’s Derek Stepan.
He’s a Minnesota-born player and is able to produce at a comparable rate. More importantly, he’s a center and could be a strong option to step up should the Minnesota Wild not be able to retain Eric Staal.
The only concern here though would be the additional cap hit of over $1 million. The Arizona Coyotes would need to add an additional contract from the Wild for this one to pay-off.
I’m not sure that Nino Niederreiter is truly on the trading block, but if he is, his age and the fact his contract term isn’t totally unreasonable make him quite the asset.
There are players out there on comparable contracts and we’ve seen in the past plenty of players have thrived when they move away from a certain environment.
Maybe the Minnesota Wild isn’t best for Nino Niederreiter anymore. Maybe he can’t improve any further here and they should cut their losses.
Why not at least investigate the possibilities? There’s most certainly some decent names out there; it’s just whether they’re available or not.