After a fun opening to this series, in the second installment of Blockbuster, we pitch a trade that would bring Center help to the State of Hockey.
Contrary to the first part of this series, we talk about a trade that would almost certainly help the Wild down the middle for years to come. Again, the likely hood of these happening are slim but we’ll give this one the edge since it involves the current needs on the Wild, so let’s get started!
With this deal, the value being exchanged may not be too far off as both the Canadians and Wild are fulfilling each other’s needs. Of course, the Canadians may even ask for more in this deal, since Nick Suzuki was stellar before the Habs were eliminated in round one of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Cole Caufield fell into the lap of the Canadians at the 2019 NHL Entry draft after Paul Fenton and the Wild passed on him.
Again like in part one, the Habs could use a defender and it’s doubtful they would pass on the talented right-handed Matt Dumba.
Ryan Donato is a throw-in this deal because he could be a center and can fill the void left behind by Domi and Suzuki’s departure, not to mention, Donato has a ton upside when he is in the lineup and that upside is something the Habs could benefit from if Donato mixes in the Habs system well.
Khovanov and Boldy are thrown into this deal for value purposes. Khovanov is a player the Habs just might take a liking to with his electric style of play in the QMJHL and now is currently signed in the KHL for the upcoming season. Matt Boldy, the former 12th overall selection in 2019 is a player Montreal can sit on for a while and see how he develops at Boston College.
For Minnesota, this trade would fulfill a desperate need, the need for depth down the middle. With Domi and Suzuki in the fold either one could be a 1C or 2C and that’s great news for the Wild since that’s where the need is most right now. With Domi, the Wild get a gritty rugged center that’s played some big minutes in Montreal and has developed quite nice since being drafted 12th overall in 2013.
Nick Suzuki showed his worth this past season in the NHL posting 13 goals and 28 assists in 71 games during the regular season. In the views of some, he may remind fans of Zach Parise with his playstyle and complete comprehension of the game.
It was during the post-season where Suzuki showed what he was made of where he put up 4 goals and 3 assists in 10 post-season games for the Habs. Some might say he’s going to be a solid playoff performer and that’s something the Wild will need down the road as they continue to build.
More from Gone Puck Wild
- Defenseman Matt Dumba signs one-year contract with Arizona
- Minnesota Wild reach agreement with Brandon Duhaime on one-year contract
- Minnesota Wild receive mixed grades for picks in NHL Entry Draft
- Minnesota Wild draft heavy on centers and home-state selections
- Minnesota Wild open regular season at home against Stanley Cup Finalist
Now as far as what the lineup may look like with Domi and Suzuki in, lets hypothetically say Mikko Koivu retires, Eric Staal is moved and Alex Galchenyuk isn’t re-signed, thus the lineup could be:
A few things need to be justified with this lineup, Domi and Suzuki are interchangeable as your 1C and 2C, Suzuki paired with Kaprizov could be absolute thunder and lightning combined with a vet like Parise to mentor them both. The 2nd line consisting of Kunin, Domi, and Fiala is quite the wrecking ball 2nd line, with Kunin already a gritty but skillful player and combining that with another in Max Domi could make way to let Kevin Fiala have the puck more and generate success as a line.
The final part of this trade includes goal-scoring winger Cole Caufield which the Canadians took picks after the Wild took Matt Boldy. Just as everyone is going to roll their eyes and think why are we getting another winger when our lineup is full of wingers?
The short answer is that in a few years we may see the departure of a few wingers, most notably Zach Parise and it could be an absolute lock to see Caufield take his place.
Is this trade realistic or a reach? Montreal almost certainly wouldn’t want to ship out two young Centers and a high octane scoring prospect. This prospective trade does address the Wild’s center depth and build for the future, it would be hard to imagine Bill Guerin talking to his old pal Marc Bergevin and Max Domi not being a part of the conversation.