Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher played a big game of poker in free agency last summer, ultimately coming away with a full house by signing Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the two biggest names on the market.

Fletcher, with a reshaped roster in part because of those two signings, is looking at a much different game this summer with free agency starting on July 5 and the cash flow around the NHL not in as much abundance due to the decreasing salary cap.

"There's going to be a game of musical chairs here over the next few weeks," Fletcher said after Sunday's draft, in which Minnesota trading two restricted free agents, Cal Clutterbuck and Justin Falk, for what amounted to young prospect Nino Niederreiter and a sixth-round pick.

Fletcher was answering a question based on what Minnesota might do when it comes to defensemen in free agency, perhaps the biggest question on the team after the Wild decided to release and buy out the final two years of Tom Gilbert's contract and still needs to re-sign restricted free agent Jared Spurgeon.

After buying out Gilbert, Minnesota has about $6.4 million in salary-cap space -- Gilbert's buyout frees up $4 million -- and the Wild will be looking for defensemen. But Fletcher isn't likely to play the big cards he did in free agency last year. Fletcher might just fold in the early hands to see if he can capitalize later.

"There's going to be players that don't get contracts, and we'll see from there," Fletcher said. "We'll see if guys are willing to take two-ways, see if guys are willing to come on pro tryouts. I think that there's going to be some opportunities to look at some different things this year. We'll see. But I don't want to have eight one-way defensemen, that's for sure. We want a little more flexibility and that's part of what we did (Sunday)."

In adding Niederreiter, Fletcher possibly took on more money depending on if Niederreiter plays in the NHL next season, but the flexibility with Niederreiter's two-way contract is Fletcher's biggest concern and focus right now.