The fourth, and probably most controversial player readers will disagree with me on is Eric Staal. After playing his 1,000th game and scoring his 1,000th point with the Wild, the Thunder Bay Ontario native has reborn his career in Minnesota. Staal currently leads the Wild with 38 points in 50 games this season. If there was one thing that Paul Fenton could’ve done right it would’ve been to trade Staal last season and then re-sign him back in the offseason.
Currently, Staal is our #1 center on a team that lacks scoring center depth. Would moving Staal handcuff the Wild and show we’re in true “tank mode?” Yes, but I also think that Staal could be a centerpiece on any team not only looking to make a deep run but also looking for an offensive center on a cheap 3.25 million cap hit this season and next (per capfriendly.com). Staal can make great passes on a whim and still has the muster to rifle one into the top corner. To the right team, I think Guerin could get a decent haul for Staal. I would say somewhere in the ballpark of a couple of picks and a decent prospect. I would think at least a 1st round pick and maybe a conditional 4-5th round pick along with a top third prospect. I would hate to see Staal go, but the Wild aren’t getting any younger, and he’s not a player that’s going to contribute to our next playoff run.