The speedy Mitchell, 29, scored five goals and 12 assists in 103 games with the Wild, including one goal in 58 games this season. Stuck on the fourth line for two seasons, Mitchell asked to be traded, sources say, although he denied that Tuesday.
“This will be an opportunity for Torrey to go to Buffalo and play a bigger role, and hopefully reignite his career,” Fletcher said.
Most importantly, the Wild created more flexibility next season. Mitchell made $2.5 million in salary next season with a $1.9 million cap hit.
“That was very significant,” Fletcher said.
Moulson is in the final year of his contract with a $3.133 million cap hit.
A rental? Maybe not
Whether the trade was a “rental” will depend largely on how Moulson plays and how far the Wild goes.
“We’re open-minded,” Fletcher said.
It’d be ironic if Moulson plays so well that the Wild opts to re-sign him rather than potentially pursue Vanek.
“I don’t have anything set in stone for me,” Moulson said. “I’ll obviously take it day-by-day, but the Wild are obviously a great team and I just hope that I can be a part of this team going forward and winning a championship — I think that’s everyone’s goal.”
Moulson, McCormick and Bryzgalov are expected to arrive by Thursday’s practice. The Wild next plays Saturday at Dallas.
It’s clear Fletcher felt Wednesday was a good day.
“Any time you’re paying second-round picks for good hockey players, to me, it’s a really good move,” Fletcher said. “We’re very comfortable with the gamble.”