Do’s and Don’ts: A Comprehensive Guide for the Minnesota Wild

SAINT PAUL, MN - NOVEMBER 29: Zach Parise #11 celebrates his goal with teammates Eric Staal #12, Jared Spurgeon #46 and Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild against the Ottawa Senators during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on November 29, 2019 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)
SAINT PAUL, MN - NOVEMBER 29: Zach Parise #11 celebrates his goal with teammates Eric Staal #12, Jared Spurgeon #46 and Ryan Suter #20 of the Minnesota Wild against the Ottawa Senators during the game at the Xcel Energy Center on November 29, 2019 in Saint Paul, Minnesota. (Photo by Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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With the Regular Season Complete but the Play-In round still ways away, here’s a checklist of things the Minnesota Wild should and should not do.

DO’s

#1 – Do Sign Brodin to a Long-term deal

Minnesota Wild, Jonas Brodin #25 (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild, Jonas Brodin #25 (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

Signing Brodin long-term is a must. I think a perfect contract for the Wild would look something like a six-year extension at around 6 or 6.5 million. Get it done.

#2 – Do Look For a Trade Partner for Mats Zuccarello

Minnesota Wild, Mats Zuccarello #36 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild, Mats Zuccarello #36 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Listen, Mats Zuccarello’s contract is bad but Zuccarello is a solid player still. I wonder if the Wild would be willing to retain 2-2.5 million, Zuccarello at 3.5-4 million may just be a tradeable contract. I think the Wild need to at least explore this option due to needing an open roster spot. Zuccarello finished the season with 15 goals and 37 points, he just doesn’t fit with the Wild. It is important to note that Zuccarello has a NMC so he would have to accept the trade. If there is no market for Zuccarello at around half price than he could be a potential buyout candidate.

#3 – Do Give Donato More Ice Time

Minnesota Wild, Ryan Donato #6 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild, Ryan Donato #6 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Ryan Donato finished the season with 14 goals and 23 points meanwhile playing primarily on the fourth line averaging just over 10 minutes of ice time. This is partially why I said try to find a trade partner for Zuccarello because that opens up a spot for Donato. Donato’s underlying numbers are good, he is only 24 years old and has given a glimpse of who he might become. I honestly would bet that Donato could become a solid top 6 forward if given a bigger role with more ice time. Donato has been very flashy at times with his wicked backhand and smooth hands, he looks to be a solid part of the Wild’s future assuming he doesn’t become a victim to the Wild’s depth chart.

Don’ts

#1 – Don’t Trade Brodin For a Number One Center, Trade Dumba

Minnesota Wild, Jonas Brodin #25 and Matt Dumba #24 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild, Jonas Brodin #25 and Matt Dumba #24 (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

It will be a tough decision for General Manager Bill Guerin on who to trade for a number one center, should he explore that option. I believe both Brodin and Dumba will be elite through their prime, so it isn’t an easy decision. There are a couple of reasons why I think we must keep Brodin over Dumba.

First and foremost, Brodin’s defense, positioning, footwork, and skating is next to none. While Dumba has a powerful shot, he has received a lot of criticism for his defense. I think Dumba is replaceable, however, Brodin is not.

Second, the emergence of Carson Soucy is important to note because I believe he can step into Dumba’s spot without leaving a huge hole defensively.

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Third, it is important to note that the Wild acquired Calen Addison in the Jason Zucker trade. Calen Addison is an offensive defenseman who is a powerplay specialist who will most likely be a second pairing defenseman.

Lastly, when Dumba’s contract ends, he will be looking for an expensive contract. If Dumba ends up being the defenseman who was on pace for 30 goals before his injury, then he will be looking for a long term contract, something similar to Jared Spurgeon’s extension. Brodin is not replaceable but I believe Soucy and Addison will get the job done. Who knows? Maybe Menell, Belpedio, or Gordeev turn into something.

#2 – Don’t Buyout Devan Dubnyk, Buyout Victor Rask.

Minnesota Wild, Victor Rask #49 (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild, Victor Rask #49 (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images) /

The Wild had the worst goalie tandem in the NHL this year. Devan Dubnyk and Alex Stalock had a combined -44.13 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx) and .900 SV%. But next season, 2020-2021 regular season is Dubnyk’s last year on his contract, it would just be easier to let his contract go or retain part of it and see if he is tradeable. Victor Rask is the best and only logical buyout candidate as he has two seasons left at 4 million with little to none offensive production. According to CapFriendly, it would cost $1.33 million over four years to buyout Rask.

#3 – Don’t Trade Parise

Minnesota Wild, Zach Parise #11 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild, Zach Parise #11 (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

I never understood this because it doesn’t make sense and I don’t think we could get a good enough return for it to be worth it. However, if a trade surfaces that you can’t reject than that’s completely different. I wouldn’t just settle and trade him to trade him. Moral of the story, don’t trade to trade and don’t settle with a little return that makes you shake your head afterward.

Brandon Quast goes in-depth why not to trade Parise- Story Here.

The Most Important of All – Do Make Marcus Foligno Captain

Minnesota Wild, Marcus Foligno #17 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Minnesota Wild, Marcus Foligno #17 (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

Marcus Foligno has become a fan favorite in Minnesota since his arrival, he has all the leadership qualities and who doesn’t like the Moose?

It is clear that Foligno is the leader amongst the team and not only is he a top defensive forward in the NHL but he is a hard worker and his specialty is being incredibly physical, whether it’s clean hard forechecking or being the residential successful hockey boxer like when we saw Foligno fight Joel Farabee.

The one thing that stood out to me was that he may be a hard-hitting forward you don’t want to mess with but he is truly a good person and can be quite a softy. At the end of the fight with Farabee, Foligno could have had one more punch but he resisted which displayed the type of person he is, a genuinely kind person who cares about his team.

Why do you think Foligno was the one to lead the Born to be Wild video that was created (which has sadly been taken down because the Wild only bought a ten-day license for the music, BUT Fox Sports North has Three Stars of the Video)?

He is a true leader and the best moment of the season was when Foligno was given the hero of the game helmet but then gave it to Dubnyk and explained “we’re family in here” because it was Dubnyk’s first game back due to taking care of his wife and kids.

In the words of Eric Staal, Truly the best of the year.

Has a bit of that Mark Johnson Miracle feel to it, eh?

It’s not hard to see the leadership qualities Foligno has and I think a lot of Wild fans including myself will be disappointed if the Moose doesn’t get the C.

All stats are from Evolving Hockey, NHL.com and CapFriendly

Disagree with any part of our checklist? What do you want to see happen? What are some of the essentials for the Minnesota Wild in your eyes?  Leave a comment or tweet at us @FSGonePuckWild