If you’re a Wild fan dying to know what the Wild’s going to do before the April 3 trade deadline, here’s the answer to two of your questions: Will Niklas Backstrom or Matt Cullen be traded? “Oh God, no,” said General Manager Chuck Fletcher. “Backy’s been outstanding. He’s our No. 1 goalie. Cullen’s been a big part of our team. That’s the type of guy every team in the league wants to add for a playoff run.” With a big laugh, Fletcher continued, “We’re trying to win, too, so why can’t we keep them?” Will the Wild make a splash? “I would like some of our young players to get experience and learn how to play in tough situations,” Fletcher said. “We can’t hide them. They have to go through the process at some point. You can’t just skip it and all of a sudden have these mature players that are just going to come in and play like veterans.” In 2005-06, Anaheim, with Fletcher as an executive, played rookies Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Dustin Penner. They got valuable experience and a season later, the Ducks won a Stanley Cup with the trio making significant contributions. Fletcher doesn’t want to make moves at the deadline that would lessen the roles that Wild rookies Jonas Brodin (top-pair defenseman), Charlie Coyle (first-line right wing) and Jason Zucker (playing second-line left wing before an injury opened the door for Pierre-Marc Bouchard to reestablish himself) would have if the Northwest Division-leading Wild makes the playoffs. “If they can get this experience, it’ll make them and our team better down the road,” Fletcher said. As for Cullen, 36, and Backstrom, 35, they’re in the last years of their deals. That always leads to trade rumors two weeks before the deadline because the common theory is teams want to get something for a player they may lose for nothing in the summertime.
Wild made moves early, so could be quiet before trade deadline
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Mar 20