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