|A rare sight in 2013-14: Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom. Photo: Ann Heisenfelt/AP|
- For the first three games this season, the Wild have had Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom at 100%. In the 56 games that have followed, either Harding and/or Backstrom have been injured and unable to suit up for the Wild. If the team were to bring in an outside goaltender, they would be giving a bit more stability to the position, as its resembled more of a revolving door in net so far this year.
- Should the team go get a new goaltender, they would be undoubtedly getting one with far more playoff experience than the goalies on the roster. Niklas Backstrom has 11 games of playoff experience, and Josh Harding has five. The goalies who may be available via trade (Ryan Miller-47 playoff games, Tim Thomas-50, Martin Brodeur-205) have a little more experience when it comes to the postseason, which would be a big boost for a young Wild team.
- Lastly, if the Wild go out and get a goaltender before the trade deadline, it would perhaps allow Niklas Backstrom to have surgery on that lower body injury, which has been ailing him all year. Obviously, you would like to have Backstrom in the lineup, but the fact he is still having lingering issues with this injury is concerning. And what good would it to have an injured goaltender in between the pipes for you?
- As the deadline approaches, the goalie market is pretty thin. There are only a few decent goalies available via trade, making the price for said goaltenders very high. Do the Wild really want to give up good assets (high draft picks, prospects) for a player that would only be a rental to close out the year? The said assets are better off being used to acquire a player at a different position. They also certainly aren't bringing in a goaltender who is under contract past this year, due to the fact they already have Josh Harding (one more year) and Niklas Backstrom (two more years) still under contract past this year.
- Darcy Kuemper has been stellar in net for the Wild since being handed the reins in early January. While he is still very young (23 years old), the Wild should take this opportunity to see whether he can handle the load of being a number one goaltender in the final weeks of the season. Trading for a goaltender kills the chance to see whether or not Kuemper can handle the number one goalie job.
- The Wild only have $1.14M in cap space right now (according to Capgeek). At the deadline, that would come out to $5.74M in deadline cap space. If they were to bring in a goaltender with a higher salary, they would have to give a significant salaried player back in return, unless the other team was willing to eat part of that player's salary. A big chip off the salary block would be Dany Heatley, but lets be honest, no one wants to take that on right now. With the decreased salary cap this year, and the fact so many teams in the league are pushing the cap, it will be very difficult to get a trade through given that low cap.
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