On Monday, we ran a poll for our Twitter followers asking “Who do you want to see the Wild acquire this year?” By a 3 to 1 ratio, New Number 1 Center crushed New Number 1 Goalie. Today, we look at potential candidates.
The two biggest issues the Minnesota Wild had this season were substandard goaltending and a lack of quality top centers. I see two pretty reasonable explanations for this outcome. One explanation could be that the Wild have lacked a younger, quality, top two line center for quite some time, and could desperately use an upgrade at the position, and that need is larger than getting a new starting goalie.
The other explanation is that the goaltending had an abnormal off-year and will return to form in the next season, so perhaps that need isn’t as important. I don’t think this holds any water though. The goaltending tandem had a poor season this year and Father Time is undefeated. A resurgence would be fairly unexpected at 32 and 33. Who knows though? The goalie position is a finicky thing. Stalock played very well toward the NHL postponement.
Back to our Center Position Predicament, the only real way to get that sort of talent is by drafting a blue-chip prospect, giving up a King’s Ransom in a trade, or paying a premium out on the open market. Even still, the Free Agent has to choose you, and the time and effort invested in trying to get the prized player may be all for naught and could miss out on addressing other needs.
To start, let us dive into the UFA market to see if we could resolve our need at center.