With the 2013 NHL trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET April 3, Eye on Hockey will examine whether each team is a buyer or seller at the deadline, and who each team should look to sell or receive by the deadline.
Buyers or Sellers
How about neither? The Wild seem like the type of team that would probably be best served to do nothing at all.
More on that in a minute.
It's actually been pretty quiet on the Wild front, and that probably won't be changing much even as they stay in the playoff hunt.
When the team was struggling early in the year upcoming free agents like Matt Cullen, Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Niklas Backstrom (as well as Devin Setoguchi) popped up, but with the Wild back into the playoff mix (and the division race) it doesn't seem like general manager Chuck Fletcher is in any hurry to deal any of them.
"Oh, God, no," Fletcher told Mike Russo of the Star-Tribune this past week when asked if players like Backstrom and Cullen could be moved, before adding “We're trying to win, too, so why can't we keep them?”
Fletcher also seemed to suggest that the Wild don't want to do anything that would take playing time away from their young players who are currently getting big minutes like Jonas Brodin, Charlie Coyle and Jason Zucker.
And that's why it might be best for the Wild to just stay the course at the deadline this year.
After their offseason spending spree that saw them add Zach Parise and Ryan Suter expectations were sky high in Minnesota, but it was still a team that had some flaws and seemed to be a borderline playoff team. Through the first 30 games the Wild have been better than that after a slow start, and now find themselves in a tight race with the Vancouver Canucks for the top spot in the Northwest Division.
But I'm not sure they're ready to be big-time buyers yet, either. They already did their big buying last summer and they don't seem to be at the point in their development as a team where it makes sense to be overpaying for rentals at the deadline and giving up young assets that they can still control at a cheap price.
Stay the course, see where this roster gets you this year and how the young players develop, and go from there in the offseason after seeing what holes you still have.