Today we will go over the 4th best trade and the 4th worst trade in Wild history.
Today we will be covering the Wild’s best trades in their 19-year franchise history, but also their worst. We will be keeping this mini-series going with the Wild’s 4th best and worst trades in their franchise history.
If you missed the 5th best and 5th worst trades you might want to check it out before reading the fourth’s.
Fourth Best Trade in Franchise History
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Islanders GM Garth Snow had his eyes set on young defensemen Calvin de Haan and knew he most likely wouldn’t be available when it was the Islanders’ turn. So, former Islanders GM Garth Snow and former Wild GM Chuck Fletcher made a trade. This allowed Snow and the Islanders to move up 4 spots, which they used to draft shut-down defender Calvin de Haan.
Meanwhile, the return Fletcher got was pretty good. At the time acquiring a 16th overall pick, a 3rd-round pick, and a 7th-round pick for the 12th overall pick probably wasn’t so intriguing to Wild fans, but Fletcher and his scouts did a great job with the return.
Fletcher drafted a solid young defender in Nick Leddy who, never played a single game for the Wild but turned out to be a great selection and a great defenseman in this league.
Fletcher used the 2009 3rd-round pick to draft top goaltender prospect, Matt Hackett. Which, he later on packaged in a deal to acquire forward Jason Pominville.
With the 7th-round selection at pick 181st, Fletcher took Erik Haula. Not many 7th-round picks make it to the NHL let alone become a solid NHL’er. With the Wild, Haula scored 42 goals and had 47 assists for 89 points in four seasons, before being taken in the Vegas Expansion.
Fourth Worst Trade in Franchise History
Many of you may be thinking how does this rank number 4? Well, Fletcher made some poor trades much worse than this. Like said before, Fletcher took a gifted defender in Nick Leddy but never gave him a chance to play for the Wild.
I still struggle to understand this trade to this day. I tried to put myself in Fletcher’s shoes to see if I could find any worthwhile reasoning. Fletcher believed Leddy would’ve taken 1-3 years to develop and that was too long for the Wild. Fletcher wanted an NHL ready defender and someone who could play in our top 4 with Burns.
Here’s the thing though, Cam Barker wasn’t really anything special. Barker was a former 3rd overall selection back in 2004 by Chicago, where he played 200 games recording 80 points. So, I came to the conclusion that the only possible thought Fletcher had was that if Barker came to Minnesota to play with Burns and Zidlicky he would have a fresh start and turn his career around.
Unfortunately for Fletcher, his plan backfired. Leddy turned out to be a very good defender for the Blackhawks and Barker only managed to record 7 points in 19 games for the Wild. He followed that up with only 5 points in 52 games for the Wild in the 10-11 season. Barker then played two more seasons before he left the NHL to play in different International Leagues, at the age of 26. Barker played 25 games with the Oilers in 2011-2012 and 14 games in 2013 with the Canucks, then the 2004 3rd overall pick struggled to make an NHL roster.
Let me know who you think grabs the number three spot on the Wild’s Best and Worst trades list.