Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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Nystrom traded to Dallas Stars for future considerations

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild player moves Updated: October 12, 2011 - 3:54 PM

Updated with Nystrom, Fletcher quotes (By the way, I'll be hosting a live chat at startribune.com Thursday at 2 p.m.)

Eric Nystrom has been traded to the Dallas Stars for future considerations, the team announced. As mentioned on yesterday's blog, re-entry waivers would not cut it for the Stars' salary-cap issue. They needed $1.2 million in salary to get to the floor.

Now they get $1.4 million in each of next two years. Wild doesn't have to pay a cent.

The Stars' woes began the other day when Sean Avery was officially reassigned to the Connecticut Whale.

After the Rangers sent Avery to the minors, the $1.9 million portion the Stars were picking up came off their cap. That put them dangerously close to going below the floor. With Adam Pardy coming off long term injury relief, the Stars needed to send Tomas Vincour and his 800K to the minors. So the Stars had to make a roster move to add close to $1.2 million to stay above the $48.3 million floor.

So they couldn't take Nystrom at half of his $1.4 million. They needed the whole portion.

To get Nystrom on the roster, Philip Larsen will be reassigned.

Oh, and like the Petr Kalus trade in May, the future considerations in actuality is nothing. They tried for Jamie Benn. Didn't work out.

Simply, the Wild get out of the $2.8 million they owe him and the Stars get to the floor. Crazy league.

“I think everybody accomplished what they wanted to accomplish,” said Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher. “I’ve said it a few times. Eric is an NHL player. This trade gives him the opportunity to get back into the league, so it’s a good thing from his perspective. Prior to the trade, we had 15 forwards on our NHL roster. So it makes sense from our perspective as well.”

Nystrom, who talked this afternoon with Kent Youngblood, was booking it to the airport.

“This is a great opportunity to close this chapter and move on to a new team and a new start,” he said. “We all know this is part of the game. It came down to numbers.”

Nystrom said he’d already been in contact with people in Dallas. He didn’t know yet what his role would be. But he wasn’t worried too much about specifics yet. “I’m just excited,” he said. “I just want to get a fresh start and play hockey again. I’ve been bouncing around. I haven’t been skating. I’m just going to (go to Dallas) and play hard. The rest of that stuff will take care of itself.”

As for his time in Minnesota? Nystrom said he knew things didn’t work out the way either he or the team wanted when he was signed in the summer of 2010. But there are no hard feelings on his end. “They have a plan,” he said. “And they didn’t think I fit in the picture. They wanted to go with younger guys. But there was a team (in Dallas) where I fit in with what they are trying to do. That’s how things work out.”

That said, Nystrom said is looking forward to his first return to Xcel Energy Center. “I have it marked on the calendar,” he said of the Jan. 21, 2011 game.
 

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