The shot across the bow. The maritime version of a warning shot as a way to encourage another ship to change direction or stop altogether. When the Minnesota Wild chose to deal 24-year old Tyler Graovac to the Washington Capitals for a 5th round pick in 2018 suddenly fans across the State of Hockey began talking about how the organization might be swinging a lot of deals with the NHL Expansion draft on the horizon. Or is this move going to be it? Either way, the speculation is growing more and more intense with each day as we get close to the release of the protected lists for the 30 NHL teams.
More on what it it could mean in a bit. Graovac provided a few glimpses that he may be a late-round steal after the Wild drafted him in the 6th round (191st Overall) but at times he struggled to stay healthy. With the arrival of Head Coach Bruce Boudreau, Graovac just couldn’t seem to win his trust even while playing 4th line minutes and thus he was sent back to Iowa. In Iowa, he had a hard time getting on track and he probably looked at the rest of the Wild’s prospect pool and figured he was going to lose out in the numbers game so he asked for a trade and luckily Minnesota was able to swing a deal. As a person who has followed Graovac since his Ottawa 67’s days, I wish him the best of luck in the Capitals’ organization.
I had written earlier about about the Wild making trades and at this point Wild Twitter is exploding with all kinds of hot takes and rumors. Especially with one of the supposed Wild’s targets being dealt as the Tampa Bay Lightning traded Jonathan Drouin and a 6th round pick to Montreal for prospect defenseman Mikhail Sergachev and a conditional 2nd round pick in 2018. Other rumors had Minnesota looking to deal a blueliner (and possibly another prospect) to the Habs for Alex Galchenyuk. Most of the rumors are just that and everyone is hoping their team can make some great deal but at the end of the day only a few clubs will be able to make that claim. It seems unlikely rumors like these are going to take place now that Montreal has pulled the trigger on Drouin.
Galchenyuk is a talented young center, who due to a knee-injury he sustained during his draft year I had hoped he’d slip to the Wild back in 2012 but it didn’t happen as Montreal took him 3rd Overall. Would he fit with the Wild? I think he’d be a nice addition, but he has struggled to stay healthy and while he’s 23-years old with lots of promise it does make him a bit of a risk. Especially when you know you’ll have to pay him (as he’s an RFA) as he’ll be looking for a pretty hefty raise. The Wild already have a lot of juggling to do if they’re going to re-sign its own RFA’s in Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter.
On Saturday, the league be releasing the protected lists for the league’s 30 teams and we are sure to learn about a variety of more moves at that time. So going into the release of this list what should the team do?
What the experts are saying now…
Either way the fans are certainly talking, just see for yourself.
And just because its too funny to leave out.
No matter what it should be a very interesting next 3 weeks!