Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: Wild will get calls on Burns' availability

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Last update: June 24, 2011 - 1:35 PM

Whether it was Dustin Byfuglien last year or big names such as Chris Pronger and Roberto Luongo in previous years, the NHL entry draft is often about the size of the splash.

Thursday was more like a tidal wave.

The Philadelphia Flyers got the trade ball rolling by sending 30-goal scorer Jeff Carter to the Columbus Blue Jackets and captain Mike Richards to the Los Angeles Kings on the eve of Friday's entry draft at Xcel Energy Center.

The trades were precursors to the Flyers signing goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to a reported nine-year, $51.5 million contract, but they were also reminders to NHL players everywhere that they need to keep their heads up and their ringers on when draft day comes around.

Wild defenseman Brent Burns, the subject of many trade rumors, isn't fretting. But you also know he won't keep his cell phone too far from his hip pocket Friday.

"I don't have any reason to be on pins and needles," said Burns, 26, who scored a career-high 17 goals and 46 points and made the All-Star Game for the first time last season. "I've been here a long time, I love it here, I feel comfortable here, but I also feel very comfortable in my game and what I can bring and I know I'm going to get better and better every year.

"I think I made a lot of steps last year and I know I'm going to make a lot more steps next year. Wherever that may be -- I hope it's in Minnesota -- but I know I'm going to be a big part of any team that I'm a part of."

Burns can become an unrestricted free agent next summer. So like captain Mikko Koivu last year, this is the summer the Wild must decide whether to sign Burns long-term or potentially trade him.

Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher was expected to talk again with Burns' agent Thursday. Burns can't sign an extension until July 1, but Fletcher needs to know now whether or not Burns' contract demands are something the Wild's willing to entertain.

While Fletcher is under no time constraint to trade Burns, it's also harder to trade a player such as Burns once teams start spending their free-agent dollars July 1. So Burns knows to be on guard Friday.

In the meantime, the Wild owns six picks heading into this weekend's two-day draft, starting with the No. 10 pick Friday. This will be assistant GM Brent Flahr's second in charge of the Wild's draft table -- the first looking like a success with the selections of forwards Mikael Granlund, Brett Bulmer, Johan Larsson and Jason Zucker.

The price to move up so far has been significant, so the Wild's expected to take the best forward or defenseman on its draft list at No. 10 or look to move back a few spots if it means adding another first-rounder or a second-round pick it doesn't currently possess.

"I don't want to move back 10 spots because I think it drops off," Flahr said. "But we're prepared to pick or maybe trade up or back if something comes out of the blue. The good thing is what we were hoping for last year, it appears we got.

"We still have a ways to go, but we've added some depth up front, some skill and speed, some character and grit. All four guys either met or exceeded expectations."

As is often the case with draft picks, the Wild has to wait for Granlund, Bulmer, Larsson and Zucker to enter the system. That will require patience from everybody.

"Even on our side, sometimes you want to rush these kids," Flahr said. "But it's not fair. They have to be ready physically and, more than anything, mentally. It's a tough league, it's a grind and it can eat you up."

When one considers the strides prospects Colton Gillies, Marco Scandella, Matt Hackett, Cody Almond, Casey Wellman and others made in Houston last season, there are signs a foundation is being built.

The Wild is using the draft-and-develop model. Fletcher points to the Detroit Red Wings as a model franchise.

"They're very patient with the players they draft," Fletcher said. "Rarely do you see a Red Wings prospect rushed to the NHL.

"If some organization has a player spend one year in the American League, you might see Detroit have that player play two or three years in the American League. Their year-to-year success gives them the luxury to be more patient with prospects. But they understand how to develop them. That's what we want to do."

Building more depth would also give Fletcher more flexibility to swing deals. One reason the Wild would consider trading Burns is because he's the one tradable asset that could land an impact forward and other valuable pieces.

The Wild had been talking to the Flyers about Carter, but Columbus simply had more to trade. The Wild was never in on Richards, again because of the lack of assets.

Some viewing the Wild from afar see Fletcher making strides in developing the youth quotient of the organization.

"You can take any general manager in the Hall of Fame and make him the GM of the Minnesota Wild -- and I'm not slamming Dougie [Risebrough] because he's a good friend -- but rebuilding a team takes time and people need to be patient," Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke said.

"You get lucky sometimes where it's quicker than other times. But it's not an easy thing. You can't wave a magic wand. When you're a farmer, there's a lot of work where ... there's no visible signs of anything until you harvest.

"There's a lot of steps that go into it until finally you get a product that you're proud of. It's no different here. There's some hard work that goes into this. The fans aren't going to see the fruits of that labor right away."

  • NHL DRAFT

    6 tonight, 10 a.m. Saturday • Xcel Energy Center

    TV: VS. and NHL Network

    Wild in first round: Pick No. 10

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Toronto - LP: D. Hutchison 2 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 5
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 2 FINAL
Miami - LP: N. Eovaldi 1
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 10 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 2
Boston - WP: J. Kelly 3 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: M. Gonzalez 2
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 0 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: V. Worley 1
Chicago WSox - WP: J. Danks 10 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: N. Karns 5
Cleveland - WP: C. Kluber 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: A. Swarzak 2
Detroit - LP: R. Porcello 2 FINAL
Kansas City - WP: J. Guthrie 5
Seattle - LP: H. Iwakuma 3 FINAL
Houston - WP: C. McHugh 8
Los Angeles - WP: C. Perez 8 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Turner 5
Texas - WP: S. Tolleson 2 FINAL
LA Angels - LP: H. Street 1
Philadelphia - LP: M. Gonzalez 6 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Doolittle 8
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: I. Kennedy 8
Arizona - LP: W. Miley 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: C. Bergman 8
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: L. Lynn 2
San Diego 22 FINAL
Buffalo 10
Dallas 34 FINAL
St. Louis 31
Washington 34 FINAL
Philadelphia 37
Houston 17 FINAL
NY Giants 30
Minnesota 9 FINAL
New Orleans 20
Tennessee 7 FINAL
Cincinnati 33
Baltimore 23 FINAL
Cleveland 21
Green Bay 7 FINAL
Detroit 19
Indianapolis 44 FINAL
Jacksonville 17
Oakland 9 FINAL
New England 16
San Francisco 14 FINAL
Arizona 23
Denver 20 FINAL
Seattle 26
Kansas City 34 FINAL
Miami 15
Pittsburgh 37 FINAL
Carolina 19
Chicago 9/22/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 9/25/14 7:25 PM
Washington
Columbus 4 FINAL
Carolina 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Washington 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Calgary 1 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Edmonton 0 FINAL
Calgary 1
Old Dominion 45 FINAL
Rice 42
Troy 0 FINAL
(12) Georgia 66
Georgia Tech 27 FINAL
Virginia Tech 24
Eastern Mich 14 FINAL
(9) Michigan State 73
Iowa 24 FINAL
Pittsburgh 20
Bowling Green 17 FINAL
(19) Wisconsin 68
Maryland 34 FINAL
Syracuse 20
Tulane 13 FINAL
Duke 47
Hawaii 12 FINAL
Colorado 21
Marshall 48 FINAL
Akron 17
North Carolina 41 FINAL
(23) East Carolina 70
Army 21 FINAL
Wake Forest 24
Virginia 33 FINAL
(20) BYU 41
(6) Texas A&M 58 FINAL
SMU 6
Rutgers 31 FINAL
Navy 24
Central Mich 10 FINAL
Kansas 24
Utah 26 FINAL
Michigan 10
Florida 21 FINAL
(3) Alabama 42
Louisville 34 FINAL
FIU 3
Fla Atlantic 19 FINAL
Wyoming 20
Indiana 31 FINAL
Missouri 27
San Jose St 7 FINAL
Minnesota 24
Texas State 35 FINAL
Illinois 42
Massachusetts 7 FINAL
Penn State 48
Georgia State 14 FINAL
Washington 45
Appalachian St 20 FINAL
Southern Miss 21
(14) Miss State 34 FINAL
(17) LSU 29
Northern Ill 14 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Middle Tennessee 17 FINAL
Memphis 36
Utah State 14 FINAL
Arkansas State 21
Miami-Ohio 24 FINAL
Cincinnati 31
Idaho 24 FINAL
Ohio U 36
Ball State 23 FINAL
Toledo 34
(13) So Carolina 48 FINAL
Vanderbilt 34
(4) Oklahoma 45 FINAL
West Virginia 33
Ga Southern 28 FINAL
South Alabama 6
UNLV 14 FINAL
Houston 47
Miami-Florida 31 FINAL
(21) Nebraska 41
New Mexico 38 FINAL
New Mexico St 35
Clemson 17 FINAL
(1) Florida State 23
California 45 FINAL
Arizona 49
San Diego St 7 FINAL
Oregon State 28
(2) Oregon 38 FINAL
Washington St 31
Louisiana 9 FINAL
Boise State 34
Texas Tech 9/25/14 6:30 PM
(24) Oklahoma State
Appalachian St 9/25/14 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
(11) UCLA 9/25/14 9:00 PM
(15) Arizona State
Middle Tennessee 9/26/14 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fresno State 9/26/14 7:00 PM
New Mexico
Texas-El Paso 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(25) Kansas State
Tennessee 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(12) Georgia
Vanderbilt 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Kentucky
Wyoming 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(9) Michigan State
Northwestern 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
TCU 9/27/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Iowa 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Tulane 9/27/14 11:00 AM
Rutgers
So Florida 9/27/14 11:00 AM
(19) Wisconsin
Colorado State 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Western Mich 9/27/14 11:30 AM
Virginia Tech
Maryland 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Indiana
Akron 9/27/14 12:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Bowling Green 9/27/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Arkansas 9/27/14 2:30 PM
(6) Texas A&M
Kent State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Virginia
Western Ky 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Navy
Minnesota 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Michigan
Wake Forest 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Louisville
FIU 9/27/14 2:30 PM
UAB
(1) Florida State 9/27/14 2:30 PM
NC State
Miami-Ohio 9/27/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Colorado 9/27/14 3:00 PM
California
Louisiana Tech 9/27/14 3:00 PM
(5) Auburn
Texas 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Kansas
Temple 9/27/14 3:00 PM
Connecticut
(16) Stanford 9/27/14 3:15 PM
Washington
TX-San Antonio 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
South Alabama 9/27/14 4:00 PM
Idaho
Cincinnati 9/27/14 5:00 PM
(22) Ohio State
Rice 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Southern Miss
Missouri 9/27/14 6:00 PM
(13) So Carolina
Boise State 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Air Force
North Carolina 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Clemson
Central Mich 9/27/14 6:00 PM
Toledo
Troy 9/27/14 6:00 PM
ULM
New Mexico St 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(17) LSU
Memphis 9/27/14 6:30 PM
(10) Ole Miss
Duke 9/27/14 6:30 PM
Miami-Florida
Texas State 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Washington St 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Utah
(8) Notre Dame 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Syracuse
(7) Baylor 9/27/14 7:00 PM
Iowa State
UNLV 9/27/14 7:00 PM
San Diego St
Illinois 9/27/14 8:00 PM
(21) Nebraska
Oregon State 9/27/14 9:30 PM
(18) USC
Nevada 9/27/14 9:30 PM
San Jose St
Chivas USA 0 FINAL
Toronto FC 3
Toronto 40 FINAL
Brt Columbia 23
Edmonton 23 FINAL
Hamilton 25
Calgary 15 FINAL
Montreal 31
Ottawa 32 FINAL
Saskatchewan 35
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which local pro team are you most excited about?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close