According to The Athletic’s Michael Russo, the Minnesota Wild may be patient when it comes to moving Matt Dumba, but the team is still keeping an eye on the market and is more than willing to trade the defenseman if the right deal presents itself.
As it stands now, Russo notes the one team who might have interest is the Florida Panthers. There was a potential deal brewing between the two teams at the NHL Entry Draft that ultimately never materialized, but the Panthers are the organization remaining that Russo believes still might be ready to swing a trade.
According to Russo’s report, the proposed Wild and Panthers deal would have centered around this year’s first-round pick — one the Panthers used to select Anton Lundell. Because Florida coveted the player, they chose not to make the deal in order to draft him. But, could a deal still be done? Russo thinks so, but he’s not sure the value in any return is at its highest right now.
That’s because so many teams have potentially removed themselves from the Dumba conversation. Russo notes:
Vancouver never seemed really interested. I don’t get the sense the Wild have interest in Calgary’s Sean Monahan. I don’t see a trade to be made with Winnipeg because the Jets don’t have the centers. Ottawa wasn’t interested despite the ability to add Dumba for a bunch of futures. Toronto moved on when it knew it wasn’t getting Alex Pietrangelo. Vegas got Pietrangelo. St. Louis signed Torey Krug when Pietrangelo priced himself out of there.
That leaves the Panthers who Russo thinks has now only offered up a prospect.
Russo Believes the Wild Should Wait
Saying that Dumba could be used to grab a bigger piece, the scribes notes that it might benefit Minnesota to wait until Sasha Barkov potentially shakes loose… or at least knows for sure he won’t.
He has two years left on his contract before he becomes an unrestricted free agent. With how disappointing the Panthers have been (they haven’t won a playoff round in 24 years), is he going to sign long-term? At some point soon, new GM Bill Zito must get in front of him and ascertain that. If not, he could wind up on the trading block.
Clearly, the Wild would love to land Barkov since he’s the superstar center the team has been looking for. And, because Dumba is the Wild’s biggest trading chip, should they move him in a deal for someone or something else, should Barkov’s name come up in trade, the Wild will regret the decision to be impatient.
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