The Minnesota Wild have had a pretty quiet trade history, but today we begin our series with the 5th best and worst trade in Wild History.
As I’m writing this, four years ago today (June 29th, 2016) in the span of 20 minutes two trades shocked the NHL. The Oilers traded Taylor Hall to the Devils for Adam Larsson. Exactly 20 minutes later P.K. Subban was traded to Nashville for Shea Weber. After seeing these trades it got me thinking, what were the Minnesota Wild’s best and worst trades in their franchise history? Today we will be covering the fifth-best and worst trades in their 19-year franchise history.
Best Honorable Mention #1
Fenton hinted at a possible rebuild when he traded a top 6 winger in Nino Niederreiter, three days later Fenton sent a solid depth center in Charlie Coyle to Boston for a young Ryan Donato.
As Brandon says in his article, “Donato is only 23 years old, and in the eyes of many, is still a developing NHL player who is skilled and can play anywhere in the forward lineup”.
Being that Donato is still young and improving he could put together some strong NHL seasons and find himself in the top 5 best trades in Wild history.
Best Trade #5
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This was the second-ever trade in Minnesota Wild history and it was a big one. Minnesota didn’t give up too much to acquire their future star net-minder in Manny Fernadez.
Fernadez at the time was on a very good Stars team, who already had an all-star goalie by the name of Ed Belfour. So, Fernadez didn’t see much time in net. Putting up an 11-8-3 record with a 2.13 GAA is not bad for a backup goalie, but never saw Manny’s full potential until he came to Minnesota.
In his first season with the new expansion team, Fernadez posted a 19-17-2 record with a .920 SV% and a 2.24 GAA. After a rough 01-02 season, Manny went on to put up four very solid seasons with the Wild before finishing his career in Boston.
He played 260 games for the Minnesota Wild with a 113-102-28 record, a .914 SV%, and a 2.47 GAA. Lastly, he was a big piece in beating the very strong Colorado Avalanche team in the 2002-2003 playoffs. Also, helping the Wild reach the conference finals.
Manny Fernadez and Dwayne Roloson were the first two solid Wild net-minders in their team’s history, so only trading a 3rd and a 4th round pick for Manny is a pretty darn good trade.
Worst Trade #5
Look, I get what former GM Paul Fenton was trying to do. It made sense to trade Niederreiter, the Wild needed a shakeup. At the time Nino only had 9 goals and 14 assists for 23 points in 46 games with the Wild before being traded. With an AAV of $5,250,000 million, and 23 points in 46 games as a top 6 winger, his production was simply not cutting it for the Wild.
In 26 games for the Hurricanes, Rask only managed to pick up 1 goal and 5 assists for 6 points. The 26-year-old then played 23 games in a Wild uniform, recording 2 goals and 1 assist for a whopping 3 points. Rask used to be a first-line center for the Canes, but he all of a sudden just fell off the table.
What makes this trade so bad is the salaries, but also the production. When Nino was traded I figured it was a salary dump, but perhaps we’d get a good return. Well, I’ll let you decide. Rask makes $4,000,000 Million for the next two years. Being that he was a healthy scratch for a little less than half the 2019-2020 season, many Wild fans look back on this trade and wonder if Fenton could’ve done it differently like at least get a draft pick in the trade. CapFriendly did the math for us all, it would cost the Wild $1,333,333 Million for the next four years to buyout Rask’s deal. This would save the Wild around $2,666,667 Million. So is that worth it?
Let me know who you think grabs the number four spot on the Wild’s Best and Worst trades list.