Fletcher working the phones but says no Wild deal is imminent

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 27, 2014 - 12:54 AM

Success has made team an attractive destination, which the GM said will help in courting talent.

Chuck Fletcher: GM says better perception of his team means the Wild can be patient dealers.

– Between a quick jaunt to New York City for Thursday’s Board of Governor’s meeting and prepping for the NHL draft Friday and Saturday, General Manager Chuck Fletcher has spent the majority of this week with his phone pressed to his ear.

He has talked trade with a number of teams and talked to “several agents” about pending free agents in advance of the market opening Tuesday. On the trade front, Fletcher said Thursday night nothing was imminent, but the man who has a history of draft-day dealing said that could easily change and that there were a couple of scenarios he wanted to talk to his staff about.

As for the free-agent interview period, Fletcher said: “What’s become clear to me is more players are interested in talking to us now than what would have been two or three years ago. The perception of our team has changed. People believe if they come to Minnesota they’re going to have a chance to be on a competitive team that’s trying to win a Stanley Cup.

“That’s great to hear. It shows we’re going to have opportunities every year to be a player in the free-agent market. We weren’t always that way. Where I’m going with that is I think we can look for the right fit. If it’s not there, we can be patient. If some of these guys want really long-term deals … who’s to say we can’t do something better this year via trade or next summer via free agency?”

Fletcher hasn’t talked to any pending free agents directly (he has gone through their agents), but he expects to talk to a few in person or on the phone before Tuesday. Two free agents the Wild has interest in are Minnesota residents Thomas Vanek and Matt Niskanen, sources say. If Fletcher wanted, he could meet with either Sunday or Monday. If Vanek wants to play in Minnesota, he will have to agree to a short-term deal, sources say.

“In a lot of situations, term is a big issue for us,” Fletcher said. “We have some cap space obviously, but we want to be careful with what we do with it.”

Fletcher anticipates an active trade market leaguewide this weekend. Some big names could be traded, including Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler, Ottawa’s Jason Spezza and Winnipeg’s Evander Kane. Reportedly, the Wild’s not on Kesler’s trade wish list, and it seems hard to believe the Jets would trade Kane within the division. Regardless, it would take a lot of assets and young players to acquire a big name.

“If you can sign a guy in free agency and not give up a top young player or pick and get that person for a comparable role, why wouldn’t you do that?” Fletcher said. “I’m not saying we wouldn’t trade a young player, but we’re not looking to move our young players. I’m not anticipating any big blockbuster right now.”

One player the Wild continues to shop is right-shot center Kyle Brodziak. This could explain one reason why Fletcher is still trying to re-sign right-shot center/winger Cody McCormick.

“We’ve had good conversations with his agent, and I believe we have a chance,” Fletcher said. Defenseman Clayton Stoner is expected to test the market, which is why the Wild has contacted Willie Mitchell and other rugged defensemen, sources say.

Matt Moulson, Ilya Bryzgalov, Nate Prosser, Dany Heatley and Mike Rupp aren’t expected back.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
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
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
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