Are Minnesota Wild Looking to Trade for Jaroslav Halak or Brian Elliott?

The Minnesota Wild are currently in talks with Niklas Backstrom who will become an unrestricted free agent on July 5th.

Apr 23, 2013; Saint Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom (32) makes a save in the first period against the Los Angeles Kings at the Xcel Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

While the Wild are looking to keep Backstrom around for a while longer, there is no doubt that he will soon need a replacement.

If the Wild cannot reach an agreement with the aging Backstrom, GM Chuck Fletcher could test the trade market to see what goalies would be available.

While the Vancouver Canucks have been waving Roberto Luongo around like some sort of carnival prize, no one is willing to take on his contract for their asking price.  Surely the Wild would pass given the cost of just Zach Parise and Ryan Suter.

The Los Angeles Kings have also been shopping Jonathan Bernier, but again the asking price is so high that no one has been a serious contender.  Should the Kings decide to lower their price, the Wild could make an offer, but do they have what the Kings would want in return?

Another option could be the Anaheim Ducks as it appears that Jonas Hiller‘s days in the pond are numbered.  Viktor Fasth showed that he is ready to take over the reigns and with the depth of the goaltending in Anaheim Hiller will be the odd man out.  The Wild seem to be in the business of building a team that can compete for the cup, the real question will be if Hiller could be a part of that equation.

The Buffalo Sabres are shopping Ryan Miller, but the hefty contract may also prove to be too much in Minnesota.  Miller has also shown that he might not be the best guy to have in the locker room as of late.

So while there are a number of goalies on the trade market, the Wild have many options.  Their best option though may lie in St. Louis.

After the emergence of youngster Jake Allen, there are difficult decisions that need to be made within the Blues organization.

 

Mar 24, 2013; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; St. Louis Blues goalie Jaroslav Halak (41) guards his net against Calgary Flames during the third period at the Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Jaroslav Halak seems to be dealing with injury after injury and may not want to be part of the Blues any longer.

Brian Elliott is as streaky as a glass window cleaned with dirty water.  When Elliott is hot though, he is one of the best in the NHL.

The Blues are willing to move either of the two if the price is right, but you have to think that GM Doug Armstrong would like to move Halak and his $3.75 million dollar cap hit.  Halak’s actual salary in 2013-14 will be $4.5 million, which may actually be more important to the Blues.

The so-called budget Blues are looking for a way to retain their defensive and offensive core and the first place they will look to cut spending is in the crease.

One player that the Wild have that could be of interest to the Blues is Devin Setoguchi.  With a cap hit of $3 million and a salary of $3.25 million, Setoguchi could help bolster the Blues offensive numbers on a budget.

Both Halak and Setoguchi have one year remaining on their respective deals.  While the Blues would surely like to obtain a player who will be with the team longer, Setoguchi’s 222 career points in just 384 games, or 0.58 points-per-game average, would be a welcomed addition in St. Louis.

Mar 30, 2013; St. Paul, MN, USA; Minnesota Wild forward Devin Setoguchi (10) against the Los Angeles Kings at the Xcel Energy Center. The Wild defeated the Kings 4-3 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Add to his point production his size.  Coming in at six foot and 200 pounds, Setoguchi has the size that the Blues are looking for.  With smaller players such as Jaden Schwarz and Ty Rattie quickly climbing the ranks, the Blues will need to add size to their roster.

So what do you think Blues fans?  Could Armstrong and Fletcher look to make a deal this offseason?  If so, would Setoguchi and Halak be involved in the trade?  Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

LET’S GO BLUES!

-Alex Hodschayan

Topics: Brian Elliott, Devin Setoguchi, Jake Allen, Jaroslav Halak, Jonas Hiller, Jonathan Bernier, Roberto Luongo, Ryan Miller, St. Louis Blues, Viktor Fasth

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  • Jmg303

    Just me:

    A healthy Halak is not a goalie I’d want to battle.

    An Elliott at the right time is also not a goalie I’d like to battle.

    Seems a little odd to trade that within the division if that’s what you’re going to do.

    I’m still not sold on an Elliott/Allen tandem, and I think Halak’s injuries AND attitude issues are overblown simply because of the shortened intense season that thrust them both in the limelight.

    I just don’t think goaltending is the main area of focus at the moment. I realize that’s an unpopular opinion, but there ya are.

    • Alex Hodschayan

      I tend to agree that I am not keen on an Elliott/Allen tandem. That is, unless the Blues are trying to get a top draft pick in the 2014 NHL Draft…

      I think Goaltending is a big issue for this team though. Since they have trouble scoring, they need near perfection in net. I don’t think Halak can handle the style of play in St. Louis, but he shouldn’t necessarily be sent packing without getting about goalie in return. Thanks for sharing.

      • Jmg303

        Is your hope a Miller acquisition? I can see a few teams vying for his services (Pittsburgh, Philly in particular). Who would be the other options outside of him? Just curious.

        • Alex Hodschayan

          I think you will also have the Panthers looking at him if they can’t get Luongo. The Wild could also be a suitor depending on what happens with Backstrom. I am not that big on Miller. If this was 2006 I would be really hoping, but I don’t he has what it takes anymore.

          Honestly, I would like to see the Blues try to grab Jonathan Bernier. I think he will be great as a starter and would be an improvement at a low cost. I would love to keep Halak, but his cap hit is a little too high for my liking.

          • Dashley R

            After signing Backstrom, do you think they are still going to be looking for another goalie?

          • Alex Hodschayan

            Doubtful, but the Blues could look to the Flames. They already pulled off one big deal with them and with Kipper retiring they are in need. Edmonton could be an option too. I know Armstrong really wants to pick up a first round pick and would love to have Edmonton’s.

          • Dashley R

            I would be so pumped up if he could pull a trade like that off.