NHL trade deadline: Are the Minnesota Wild in on Halak, Brodeur?

Bruce Bennett

The Minnesota Wild are clinging to a wild-card spot, but things are getting competitive. Will they make a move to shore up their goaltending?

The Minnesota Wild are in fourth place in the Central Division, and is clinging to the first wild-card spot with 73 points, six points up on the second wild-card holder Dallas Stars. The Wild will probably make the playoffs and probably won't catch the Blues or the Avalanche in the standings, but there's nothing wrong with fixing a need before the playoffs.

The Wild's need right now? Goaltending.

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Despite his very best efforts to play through multiple sclerosis, Josh Harding is on the injured reserve for the forseeable future. Niklas Backstrom has slipped - his 3.02 GAA and .899 save percentage aren't up to Harding's numbers, nor are they up to current back-up-cum-starter Darcy Kuemper's (2.20 GAA, .924 SV%). Kuemper's holding down the fort, but if the Wild have another goaltending emergency like they did last season at the start of the playoffs, they're in trouble.

This is where the trade deadline comes in - specifically, a couple pending UFA goaltenders. Jaroslav Halak is being shopped by the Buffalo Sabres right now for some more draft picks, and could very well be on his third team in a week. That third team may be the Minnesota Wild. Halak would be a solid pick-up for them, though having him back in the Central Division may give the Blues fits for the next time they see Minnesota.

The other pending UFA goaltender that the Wild are sniffing around may be harder to imagine.

Brodeur in a Christmas jersey that isn't the Devils'? Perish the thought! It's hard to wrap your head around on a few levels. Brodeur only has a .900 SV%. He also may retire at the end of the season, which means the Wild wouldn't have a chance to re-sign him.

And seriously? Brodeur needs to retire a Devil. My 10-year old self demands it.

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