Minnesota Wild winger, J.T. Brown has found himself waived, having been deemed as the odd man out.
Earlier this season, we suggested that J.T. Brown offered at least some degree of value as a trade chip for the Minnesota Wild. Even if you pick up a sixth or seventh round pick, it’s still potentially a return compared to the risk of the waiver wire.
Either way, the decision has been made after being a healthy scratch on multiple occasions and then being that much in the dog-house of Minnesota Wild head coach, Bruce Boudreau that Brown only saw three and a bit minutes ice-time in the over-time loss to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Not even managing four minutes for no obvious injury-driven reasoning suggests that Brown is not a favourite of his coach nor is he being given the opportunity to prove himself.
Whilst there is potential that the Minnesota Wild are being clever and diminishing the appear in picking him up before waiving him and making him available to the Iowa Wild, there’s every chance that J.T. Brown simply doesn’t have his coach’s trust.
Unfortunately, as a player on a two-year deal albeit only earning $687,500 against the cap, he needs to have some tangible skill; whether it be his offensive production, his back-checking or otherwise. He isn’t being given the ice-time to demonstrate any of these.
Any team looking to acquire him, whether by trade, or by waiver claim is reliant on past performances; namely the fact he impressed with the Tampa Bay Lightning over five seasons ago. Hence, why it seems likely he goes unclaimed from the Minnesota Wild.
Now, looking at the positives; should J.T. Brown clear waivers and be assigned to the Iowa Wild, there’s every chance he can pick up some of the offensive slack left by the departure of Justin Kloos‘ departure to Anaheim’s affiliate, the San Diego Gulls.
All in all, it’s a strange decision in some senses to send J.T. Brown down to the Iowa Wild, but also a decision driven by the imminent return of Eric Fehr from injured reserve and the recent waiver acquisition of Anthony Bitetto.
Perhaps Minnesota Wild General Manager, Paul Fenton has a better idea of the bigger picture but right now it’s a case of risking an able NHL fourth-line player that hasn’t really been given a decent look by his coach.