In what is to be a busy off-season, the Minnesota Wild need to make a lot of decisions. One decision that should be simple is parting ways with forward Victor Rask.
Victor Rask was acquired by former General Manager Paul Fenton in a January 2019 trade that saw the Wild trade beloved Nino Niederreiter to the Carolina Hurricanes.
At the time, Rask wasn’t performing to task in Carolina, only posting one goal and five assists in 26 games for the Canes’. The trade would have provided a spark to Rask but unfortunately it wasn’t what it lived up to be as Rask would only score two goals and one assist in 23 games with the Wild.
Reasons to part with Rask
One key reason to part with Rask is simple, he’s not the elite center that you would want to play alongside rookie of the year finalist Kirill Kaprizov.
Rask however would put up his best numbers in Minnesota playing alongside Kaprizov, potting 10 goals and 13 assists in 54 games during the regular season.
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Not being the elite center the Wild so desperately desire is one thing but another is his mediocre play. In the dot, he would rank last amongst the regular centermen on the Wild with a faceoff percentage of 45.4%.
One other reason Wild fans would love to see Rask parted with is his weak defensive game. It was evident several times this season when opponents would score. Rask simply couldn’t keep up with covering the man.
How the Wild could part with Rask
There’s a couple different ways the Wild could move on from Rask –
Trade:– Of course Bill Guerin could offer Rask up around the league to see if any team would take a flyer on the center. It might take finding a team that needs center depth and possibly offering up a sweetener in the trade in order to get Rask off the books.
Expansion: It’s already more than likely that Rask would be left exposed by the Wild for the Seattle Kraken to select in the expansion draft next month.
Again, it may have to be a side deal worked out by Bill Guerin and Kraken GM Ron Francis in order for Seattle to take Rask as opposed to others that the Wild may leave exposed.
Buyout: Last but not least, a buy-out could be inevitable, it would only be a last resort if the latter two don’t work out. The buyout would only cost the Wild $2,666,668 against the cap over the next two seasons but more importantly, Rask would be off the roster.
It is clear that the Wild need to address the issue at center and the first domino that needs to fall is Victor Rask. After that, it could be fair to say that the next domino to fall is perhaps acquiring a desired top center the Wild so desperately need..
And there are options to explore there as well.