It appears new general manager Bill Guerin is ready to put his stamp on the Minnesota Wild.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, Guerin is looking to acquire a top-six centre to boost his team's roster. Dreger said on Insider Trading Wednesday that the Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins are two of the most aggressive teams currently in the trade market.
"Yeah, Minnesota and Pittsburgh when I look at teams that are eager to get something done," Dreger said. "You’ve got a rookie GM in Billy Guerin who is now general manager of the Minnesota Wild and he’s willing to be aggressive but he’s also a realist. He wants a top centre. Or a second-line centre.
"How do you acquire that piece? The Minnesota Wild have an abundance of wingers. They’ve got a good draft pile in terms of prospects, and they also have a good picks list as well. So, he’s willing to use all of that as bait. But, again, he’s also careful knowing that the market just doesn’t throw a player like that out there."
The Wild currently have Eric Staal, Mikko Koivu, Joel Eriksson Ek, Victor Rask and Luke Kunin on their roster at centre. Ryan Donato spent time earlier in the preseason at centre, but has since been moved back to the wing.
Guerin was hired last month after the team fired Paul Fenton, who has highly active in the trade market during his one year as general manager. Fenton acquired Rask, Donato and Kevin Fiala via trade in-season and added Mats Zuccarello on a five-year contract in free agency. He traded away long-time players like Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle and Mikael Granlund.
Fenton also attempted to acquire Phil Kessel from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a June deal that reportedly would have sent Jason Zucker and Rask the other way, but Kessel refused to waive his no-trade clause to join the Wild. Fenton, who signed Zucker to a five-year contract extension in 2018, also attempted to move the 27-year-old forward at the trade deadline, but a deal with the Calgary Flames fell through.
According to CapFriendly, Minnesota has $4.96 million in cap space for this season.