Wild will get calls on Burns' availability

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

The Wild could be among the teams looking to deal this draft weekend, with Brent Burns sure to draw interest.

hide

There have been rumors that the Wild could trade defenseman Brent Burns (right) this weekend. Burns is entering the final year of his contract.

Photo: Mark Humphrey, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

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

Philadelphia 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Phoenix 12:00 PM
New York
Portland 6:00 PM
New Orleans
Utah 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Atlanta 7:00 PM
Houston
San Antonio 7:30 PM
Dallas
Indiana 8:00 PM
Denver
Milwaukee 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Arizona 3:00 PM
Los Angeles
Colorado 6:00 PM
Buffalo
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
Toronto
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Montreal
Washington 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Tampa Bay 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Florida 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
NY Rangers 6:00 PM
Carolina
Chicago 6:00 PM
Columbus
Nashville 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Calgary 9:00 PM
Vancouver
St. Louis 9:30 PM
San Jose
VA Commonwealth 41 2nd Half 16:34
Cincinnati 23
Charlotte 31 2nd Half
Georgetown 38
SMU 34 2nd Half 18:38
Michigan 27
Louisville 29 2nd Half
Western Ky 24
Mount St Marys 0 1st Half 19:41
American Univ 0
Abilene Christian 0 1st Half 18:22
Boise State 0
UMass Lowell 5 1st Half 17:22
Duquesne 5
South Alabama 0 1st Half 20:00
IUPUI 0
Ohio State 5 1st Half 17:20
North Carolina 7
Massachusetts 0 1st Half 19:40
Providence 0
Syracuse 12:00 PM
Villanova
Citadel 3 1st Half 17:37
Virginia Tech 3
Belmont 12:30 PM
Fairfield
St Bonaventure 1:00 PM
Binghamton
Montreat 1:00 PM
Campbell
Delaware 1:00 PM
Fair-Dickinson
South Florida 1:00 PM
Florida State
Vanderbilt 1:00 PM
Georgia Tech
SC State 1:00 PM
Houston
Missouri 1:00 PM
Illinois
Truett-McConnell 1:00 PM
Jacksonville
Toledo 1:00 PM
McNeese State
Elon 1:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Drexel 1:00 PM
Penn State
St Francis-PA 1:00 PM
Rutgers
Albany 1:00 PM
Yale
PSU-Beaver 1:00 PM
Longwood
Eastern Ill 1:05 PM
Indiana State
Indiana 1:30 PM
Butler
Marshall 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
Lafayette 2:00 PM
Kansas
Oral Roberts 2:00 PM
Memphis
Western Mich 2:00 PM
Northwestern
Delaware State 2:00 PM
Oregon
Fla Atlantic 2:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Arkansas Tech 2:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
Howard Payne 2:00 PM
Texas-Arlington
UMBC 2:00 PM
Kennesaw St
St Josephs (IN) 2:05 PM
Chicago State
Eastern Mich 2:05 PM
Missouri State
UCLA 2:30 PM
Kentucky
UC Davis 3:00 PM
Air Force
Houston Baptist 3:00 PM
UC Riverside
Davidson 3:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
USC Upstate 3:00 PM
Miss State
NC Central 3:00 PM
Miss Valley St
Illinois State 3:00 PM
Murray State
Louisiana 3:00 PM
Northwestern St
Oakland 3:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Detroit 3:00 PM
Rhode Island
Presbyterian 3:00 PM
UT Martin
Monmouth 3:00 PM
Wagner
Southern U 3:00 PM
Wyoming
Iowa State 4:00 PM
Drake
Wake Forest 4:00 PM
Florida
High Point 4:00 PM
James Madison
Texas Southern 4:00 PM
Michigan State
New Hampshire 4:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Northeastern 4:00 PM
Santa Clara
Huston-Tillotson 4:00 PM
Texas State
Purdue 4:15 PM
Notre Dame
Prairie View 4:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Xavier 5:00 PM
Auburn
Bluffton 6:00 PM
Akron
NJIT 6:00 PM
Central Conn St
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Columbia
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Dayton
Iona 6:00 PM
George Mason
Valparaiso 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Texas A&M 6:00 PM
Kansas State
Morgan State 6:00 PM
Manhattan
Saint Josephs 6:00 PM
Marist
East Carolina 6:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Richmond 6:00 PM
Pepperdine
La Salle 6:00 PM
Towson
Incarnate Word 6:05 PM
UMKC
CS-Bakersfield 6:30 PM
Idaho State
Iowa 6:30 PM
Northern Iowa
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Long Beach State 7:00 PM
Texas
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
TCU
SE Missouri St 7:30 PM
Arkansas
Lehigh 8:00 PM
Arizona State
New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Oklahoma 8:00 PM
Washington
Utah Valley U 8:00 PM
Weber State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
St Edwards 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
NC State 8:30 PM
West Virginia
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
Gonzaga
Fresno State 9:00 PM
Pacific
Montana State 9:00 PM
Portland
Ball State 9:00 PM
San Diego St
South Dakota St 9:05 PM
Utah State
Stanford 10:00 PM
BYU
Utah 10:30 PM
UNLV
Nevada 3 3rd Qtr 2:30
Louisiana 10
Utah State 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Livingstone 38 2nd Half
UNC Greensboro 42
Loyola-Chicago 32 2nd Half 20:00
Dartmouth 27
Georgia Tech 29 2nd Half 15:28
St Francis-NY 28
Auburn 31 2nd Half 18:16
St Johns 40
East Tenn St 28 2nd Half 17:14
Jacksonville St 22
Western Mich 38 2nd Half 18:00
Detroit 26
Cal-Irvine 25 2nd Half
Wright State 41
Gardner-Webb 29 2nd Half 15:31
Kennesaw St 29
(7) Stanford 0 1st Half 18:00
(11) Tennessee 2
Alabama A&M 4 1st Half 15:45
Ole Miss 13
Central Michigan 0 1st Half 20:00
(1) South Carolina 0
Nebraska Omaha 0 1st Half 20:00
Creighton 0
FIU 0 1st Half 20:00
Western Carolina 0
Houston 6 1st Half 15:41
Nicholls 4
St Thomas Aquinas 2 1st Half 18:20
Army 0
St Bonaventure 2 1st Half 18:36
Niagara 0
Texas State 0 1st Half 20:00
Stetson 0
George Mason 12:05 PM
ULM
Grambling 1:00 PM
Kansas State
Missouri 1:00 PM
Wake Forest
Robert Morris 1:00 PM
Cornell
Air Force 1:00 PM
Abilene Christian
Hampton 1:00 PM
James Madison
American Univ 1:00 PM
MD-Eastern Shore
Texas Southern 1:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Tenn Tech 1:00 PM
NC A&T
Presbyterian 1:00 PM
NC Central
Penn 1:00 PM
Drexel
Lipscomb 1:00 PM
Xavier
Vermont 1:00 PM
Green Bay
Charleston Southern 1:00 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Ohio Christian 1:00 PM
Akron
Jacksonville 1:00 PM
Murray State
(17) Rutgers 1:00 PM
Iona
Indiana 1:00 PM
Oakland
Indiana State 1:30 PM
SMU
Denver 1:30 PM
Purdue
TX-San Antonio 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
UCF 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Campbell 2:00 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Florida A&M 2:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Northwestern St 2:00 PM
Jackson State
Lehigh 2:00 PM
Arizona State
Valparaiso 2:00 PM
SIU-Edwardsville
Toledo 2:00 PM
Southern Ill
Liberty 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Wofford 2:30 PM
North Florida
Montana State 3:00 PM
Washington St
Marshall 3:00 PM
(22) West Virginia
Morgan State 3:00 PM
Chattanooga
Northeastern 3:00 PM
Harvard
Furman 3:00 PM
(15) Georgia
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(9) Baylor
Ohio U 3:00 PM
Massachusetts
Prairie View 3:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
High Point 3:00 PM
(12) Nebraska
Winthrop 3:05 PM
Wichita State
William Jewell 3:30 PM
UMKC
Louisiana Tech 4:00 PM
Utah
Southern Utah 4:00 PM
Gonzaga
Hawaii 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
San Jose St 4:00 PM
San Francisco
CS-Northridge 4:00 PM
San Diego State
Norfolk State 4:00 PM
East Carolina
Saint Peters 4:00 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Arizona 4:30 PM
Stephen F Austin
Northwestern 4:30 PM
Eastern Illinois
Oral Roberts 5:00 PM
Wisconsin
Florida Atlantic 5:00 PM
New Mexico St
La Salle 5:00 PM
Georgia State
(16) Oregon State 5:30 PM
Nevada
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Villanova
Delaware 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 6:00 PM
Tennessee St
Saint Louis 6:30 PM
Utah Valley U
Washington 7:00 PM
UC-Riverside
Pacific 7:00 PM
Long Beach St
Old Dominion 7:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Austin Peay 9:00 PM
Montana
Lewis-Clark State 9:00 PM
Idaho
(21) Miss State 9:30 PM
Illinois-Chicago
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: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close