(Updated) Just before the 2 p.m. trade freeze, sources say the Wild traded pending free agent Kim Johnsson and the rights to 2009 first-round pick Nick Leddy to the Chicago Blackhawks for 23-year-old former No. 3 overall pick Cam Barker, a talented two-way defenseman who has two more years left on his contract at almost $3.1 million per.
The Blackhawks were going to have to trade Barker this summer to get under the salary cap. They'll have to make some more moves, too, I am told, and the Wild still has interest this summer in center Patrick Sharp.
This 100 percent means, I am told by sources, that the Wild is trying to re-sign Marek Zidlicky before the March 3 trade deadline -- probably way sooner. Term is the only stumbling block right now. Trading Leddy was made easier by the influx of defensemen in the system -- Marco Scandella, Tyler Cuma, being the main two, and the long-term future of Brent Burns. The Wild, I am also told, was very concerned about Leddy's development at the U.
Barker had a career-high 40 points last year.
Wild assistant GM Tommy Thompson, reached in Vienna on a scouting trip: