(update) Before the draft began, word leaked from the draft floor that former Gophers defenseman Keith Ballard and a prospect was traded to the Vancouver Canucks for Steve Bernier, Michael Grabner and a first-round pick.
Earlier in the day, a source close to Ballard said he fully expected to be traded and it would be a team "on the West coast."
This was a contract dump -- not just a salary dump. Ballard has five years left on a contract that pays him $4.2 million a year. Most importantly, he had a no-trade clause that kicked in July 1.
The draft is the Panthers' time. They've traded for Roberto Luongo and traded Roberto Luongo. They've traded Olli Jokinen in the original Ballard deal. They've acquired Tomas Vokoun and traded Nathan Horton. They've traded the No. 1 overall pick twice. They traded for Trevor Kidd. They've traded Rob Niedermayer for Val Bure and Jason Wiemer.
This is just off the top of my head. There's more.
As for the Wild, Chuck Fletcher's got his paws in a lot of things, but it's still unclear if anything of any trade sort would happen tonight. He had long conversations with Chicago and Ottawa on the draft floor, and sources say there is a deal on the table that could happen with Boston. It would bring a forward and a defenseman to Minnesota for a defenseman, with the Wild taking on more of the salary.
I'm still trying to dig to find out names. I don't want to speculate yet, and it would be speculation because my source would not give me the names. Another source told me this is just one trade on the table of many trade talks, so this could be something the Wild just won't execute on.
Fletcher did at one point huddle with assistant GM Brent Flahr and director of pro scouting Blair MacKasey for a long talk.
Update: Tyler Seguin goes No. 2 to Boston, so now the B's have tons of centers. I was told all week the Wild's not interested in Marc Savard, and I was told tonight by somebody close to Savard that he wouldn't waive his no-trade to come to Minnesota.