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-   -   Michael Russo: Wild's Fletcher has his work cut out for him (http://hfboards.hockeysfuture.com/showthread.php?t=784368)

GopherState 06-08-2010 11:47 AM

Wild's Fletcher has his work cut out for him
 
Russo raises a couple of good points (which have been discussed ad nauseam). He's right about the Wild needing to do something given the growing apathy fans are having for the team and their amazing penchant for mediocrity, but his solution is controversial; namely advocating the trading of Burns due to the need to shake things up.

Quote:

So that leaves three defensemen -- Brent Burns, Nick Schultz and 2008 first-round pick Tyler Cuma.

There's no doubt the Wild is shopping Schultz. He's a quality matchup defenseman and beloved by teammates, but his $3.5 million salary-cap noose around the team's neck is only rivaled by injured Pierre-Marc Bouchard's $4.08 million and Backstrom's $6 million.

Schultz is respected around the NHL, but with four more years at $3.6 million annually, it won't be easy to trade him.

The Wild might have to seriously consider trading Burns, but only if the price back includes significant pieces like that long-coveted center or top-six winger.

There are several reasons this makes sense. First, he's coming off consecutive injury-plagued seasons, most notably to his head. Second, he's two years from unrestricted free agency, and as all Wild fans know, his agent, Ron Salcer, isn't the easiest man to negotiate with (see Gaborik, Marian). And third, other than Mikko Koivu, whose contract the Wild will try to extend this summer, Burns is the one asset the Wild owns that could attract a big return (Backstrom and Martin Havlat have no-trade clauses).

Article here. What do you think?

this providence 06-08-2010 11:56 AM

At this point, it'd be a mistake to trade Brent Burns. His value on the whole is low after missing significant time last season. However, during the last few weeks you could tell things were starting to come back for him.

If your true intention is to trade Brent Burns, right now is not the time. He's got two years left on his deal, so let him bring his value league wide back to the point where you're going to have some legitimate offers and numerous teams in the mix. You could move him at the deadline or next offseason with that type of approach.

Let's be honest here, there's not much out there in a trade for Burns that's legitimately going to turn the tide of this team. Most fans know this team's situation is pretty bleak at present. Moving one of their very few favorites at low(ish) value probably isn't going to do much in the way of garning much more positive attention. At 25 years old, Burns is probably one of the few guys you want to build around. Not jettison looking for a quick fix.

Kari Takko 06-08-2010 12:04 PM

I've been driving the "Trade Schultz" bus for a while now. I think he's a good player, and I like his game, but carrying his contract is next to impossible with a mistake contract like Bouchard's.

I worry about trading Burns any time I think back to the 07-08 season. He's capable of being a top-10 d-man, but if we can get a comparably-aged top 6 forward, then trading Burns would be prudent.

GopherState 06-08-2010 12:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by this providence (Post 26190103)
Let's be honest here, there's not much out there in a trade for Burns that's legitimately going to turn the tide of this team. Most fans know this team's situation is pretty bleak at present. Moving one of their very few favorites at low(ish) value probably isn't going to do much in the way of garning much more positive attention. At 25 years old, Burns is probably one of the few guys you want to build around. Not jettison looking for a quick fix.

This is pretty much how I feel; however at the same time no one (and I mean NO ONE) is untouchable. Minnesota is not in a situation where they can be picky, but any deal needs to be done with the vision of getting out of mediocrity.

this providence 06-08-2010 12:27 PM

The thing is, though. If you're going to blow things up and move a building block like Burns, why stop there?

I'd say move every other desirable piece and truly rebuild. They'd get a hell of a return on Koivu if they moved him. Not to mention that team would be down right awful and they'd get good draft picks as well.

I think Fletcher just needs to pick a direction and go with it. At present, I think the best option is to just stay the coarse. Play out the next year or two and move the movable pieces at the deadline. In that time period, they'll get out from under some of those strangling contracts. Once that happens, in theory the Wild should have some options to play around with and possibly be on the upswing. They just need to find a way to hold onto to their valuable assets, continue to mine the UDFA market, and hopefully things pan out.

Jarick 06-08-2010 12:54 PM

If you can get something big for Burns, it makes sense. He's going to be a UFA in two years, and to this point has only had one really good season under his belt. I don't necessarily think that's blowing everything up.

this providence 06-08-2010 01:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jarick (Post 26190920)
If you can get something big for Burns, it makes sense. He's going to be a UFA in two years, and to this point has only had one really good season under his belt. I don't necessarily think that's blowing everything up.

But at the same time, what are you realistically going to get for him in a trade at this point? I'd say it's a good bet that player likely doesn't have the upside, combined with the youth and contract situation that Burns currently has.

This is just my opinion, but trading Burns for an upgrade up front really isn't going to take this team above and beyond where they're currently at. If you're building this team looking ahead, I think Burns is probably one of the best players in the organization that you could build around. I'm not so sure that the player you'd get for him in return would have that same type of billing.

Again, I'm not completely against trading Burns. I just don't think now is the time to do it. He's on a good deal with two years left. If anything, you've got to let him build back some equity before attempting to move him.

BigT2002 06-08-2010 01:21 PM

If this is what he is going to write about, can we get paid to do his article :biglaugh: I think we've been discussing this for the last 3 months

Jbcraig1883 06-08-2010 02:44 PM

I tend to agree with the providence. While I don't know what the offers would be for Burns, I'm not too optimistic that it wouldn't be a lateral move for offense which I would argue wouldn't make us better both short-term and long-term. I agree that he is probably the best asset we have short of Koivu but a big, mobile defenseman that has his hands is better than a top 6 forward. It's a risky thing, considering he could get injured and then we could lose out on obtaining assets. But, I still feel the reward is greater than the risk.

With the above said, the draft will be a crazy day. I think the top 10 will see a few picks like Campbell and possibly a Russian or two, which might see teams trading up, down, etc. I do think that the Wild will be active...the thing that worries me is that I hope the trades that are made either put us towards a rebuild or follow what Philly did instead of just continuing towards mediocrity, which has been our point and Russo's. The problem with us trying to do what Philly did was our lack of assets to get Hartnell, Timmonen, Briere, Upshall (someone feel free to refresh my brain on who else they acquired during that offseason).

firstroundbust 06-08-2010 03:17 PM

Here's my concern with Burns, despite it looking like he was back on track late in the year.

My fear is that we keep the guy, and all we will see is flashes of what he could become; not what he WILL become. Like, in the sense, that he can't put it all together into one package.
He should, in theory, be a top pairing guy because he's got the sense, the skillset, the skating, and the size...but he still lacks that toolbox to put it all together, and keep his play at a high level.

That being said...he's so dynamic, and gives us a presence on the blueline which we would lack otherwise, that maybe that sort of tantalizing potential is just too good to trade away.

Jarick 06-08-2010 03:30 PM

To be more clear, what I meant was Burns has upside, but he also isn't 21 anymore. He's been in the league for seven years now, and he's two years away from free agency. At some point, upside is replaced by track record.

We've seen Burns has all the tools to be a dominant defenseman, but he hasn't put them all together consistently. And I totally give him a pass for the last two years due to the position switching, concussions, and new system. Hell, he's my favorite player on the Wild and by far the most talented.

But I'm also aware that his value may still be high based on potential but will soon plummet if he has another bad year, especially being closer and closer to free agency.

What are the odds Burns is a guy we build around? He's definitely a great player, but so many question marks. And it's entirely possible that he rips it up for two years and walks away from the team for nothing (probably not too likely considering he's got a giant Wild tat on his back and seems to genuinely like it here).

Back to the main point, Backstrom, Havlat, and Zidlicky have NTC's. Schultz is very much a trade target, but doesn't have the best contract. Bouchard's contract and injury severely hurt his trade status. Miettinen and Kobasew have little to no value at their cap hit. There's way too many goalies on the market to get a big return for Harding.

So if we're offered a good young player and a higher pick for Burns, maybe it's not a bad idea to take it. Maybe we get a sure thing second liner and someone who can help the club in a few years. We've got 3-4 quality defensive prospects who can come in over the next couple years, and getting younger and more skilled up front would be huge.

Bottom line, I'm not advocating the trade, but it's probably the best option to get scoring help, and it's not really a bad idea at all.

this providence 06-08-2010 03:49 PM

I think we all know it fairly obvious we need scoring help in the worst way. But at the same time you may be gaining production on the front end, it stands to reason you're losing a good bit of it on the back end.

There isn't a defenseman in the organization that can effect a game like Burns does. Zidlicky is what he is. Relying on Barker is going to be hit or miss. Outside of that, they're working with a solid but unspectacular core. It's hard to envision players outside of Zidlicky and Barker contributing much to the offense. And for me, that's where I start to worry about moving Burns.

I just don't see the need or point of making a splash this offseason. I think you've just got to play this season on it's own merits and see where you stand next season. Making moves in an attempt to create an excitement for the fan base isn't what I want to see. I want to see a long term direction more than anything. If that means having a boring offseason and season, so be it.

Jbcraig1883 06-08-2010 04:11 PM

Just something to add...

Why not see how Cuma/Scandella/Prosser do this year? If they struggle in Houston (perhaps one of them makes the pro team), then Burns is even more important to the Wild's future. If the above are having a solid year and Burns is still inconsistent, then trade him at the deadline...

This will be the first offseason since 06-07 he is healthy, certain that he will be playing defense and knows fully well what the coach wants out of him. Let's see what he can do.

se7en 06-08-2010 04:45 PM

so I'm in a bad mood today. I'm on 19 straight days of work without a day off & I'm getting bitter So I apologize in advance in my mood is reflected in my post...



As far as Burns goes, and anyone else on the team for that matter. Trade them if the oppurtunity to get a good return is there. I love Burnsey too and it would suck to see him in a different jersey but there's no reason to be sentimental now... Let's face it, the Wild suck, yes we have flashes, we have players with potential, but that's nothing if we're not going anywhere with the pieces we have. The important thing is that we have a GM that I trust right now. I believe that any big piece he would move is in our best interest long term. As much as I love certain players on our team, I'm willing to let any one of them go right now...

After the Marian Gaborik fiasco, I can't imagine any players departure being any worse then that one because at least we'll get SOMETHING in return...

Long story short, think of it this way, How many Cup championship teams so far have needed Brent Burns to win a cup? How many teams have needed anyone from our team to win a cup!? None of them... So in other words, as much as we prize some of our players, and as much as they could contribute to an eventual cup team, my point is that NO ONE on our team is the end all be all of hockey & no one we lose is going to break this team at this point... There's numerous combinations of players out there that can make a cup worthy team, so giving up Burns for example, isn't going to hurt our chances any more then it helps them...

My point is that is that if Fletch sees a solid oppurtunity, I say he takes it even if that means trading away a fan favorite. We'll live. If the player accels elsewhere, good for them! If I watched Burnsey lift a cup for another team next year I'd still be proud of him. We need to right this ship and I'm open to anything that will make that happen right now...

GopherState 06-08-2010 05:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by se7en (Post 26194373)
so I'm in a bad mood today. I'm on 19 straight days of work without a day off & I'm getting bitter So I apologize in advance in my mood is reflected in my post...



As far as Burns goes, and anyone else on the team for that matter. Trade them if the oppurtunity to get a good return is there. I love Burnsey too and it would suck to see him in a different jersey but there's no reason to be sentimental now... Let's face it, the Wild suck, yes we have flashes, we have players with potential, but that's nothing if we're not going anywhere with the pieces we have. The important thing is that we have a GM that I trust right now. I believe that any big piece he would move is in our best interest long term. As much as I love certain players on our team, I'm willing to let any one of them go right now...

After the Marian Gaborik fiasco, I can't imagine any players departure being any worse then that one because at least we'll get SOMETHING in return...

Long story short, think of it this way, How many Cup championship teams so far have needed Brent Burns to win a cup? How many teams have needed anyone from our team to win a cup!? None of them... So in other words, as much as we prize some of our players, and as much as they could contribute to an eventual cup team, my point is that NO ONE on our team is the end all be all of hockey & no one we lose is going to break this team at this point... There's numerous combinations of players out there that can make a cup worthy team, so giving up Burns for example, isn't going to hurt our chances any more then it helps them...

My point is that is that if Fletch sees a solid oppurtunity, I say he takes it even if that means trading away a fan favorite. We'll live. If the player accels elsewhere, good for them! If I watched Burnsey lift a cup for another team next year I'd still be proud of him. We need to right this ship and I'm open to anything that will make that happen right now...

The Oilers needed Roloson to give them a run to the Stanley Cup finals and technically the Blackhawks needed Johnsson (provided they win the Cup).

hockeyfan125 06-08-2010 05:19 PM

3.6 is a standard cap hit for a reliable top four guy. Don't see the issue w/ Schultz? Trading Burns would be foolish - selling low is never a good idea.

se7en 06-08-2010 05:43 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by GopherState (Post 26194583)
The Oilers needed Roloson to give them a run to the Stanley Cup finals and technically the Blackhawks needed Johnsson (provided they win the Cup).

Hearsay... Johnsson played what, 10 games for the Hawks? If that? And hasn't played since... If the Hawks win, his name won't even be on the cup. I don't consider that being an intergal part of the team. They're showing right now that they don't need him...

As for Roloson, yes, that is a valid argument EXCEPT, they didn't win the cup, I said Championship teams, or in other words teams that won it all. But yes, he did give them a solid miracle 8th seat run...

These are still moot points for what I'm getting at tho. I just meant that we can't over value Burns, or anyone on our team for that matter. My real point is that we don't know yet who's going to make us a solid contender, it's just as likely that trading Burns away can get us to a cup faster then keeping him.. It's all speculation, I'm jut saying that I don't think he should be considered off limits...

*Again, keep in mind, I'm not saying trade him for a bag of pucks! I'm saying if Fletch finds a quality return for him it may be in our best interest. I don't want to be precieved as saying "let's get rid of him just to get rid of him!" I'm simply saying let's keep our options open and try to look at this objectivly...

Quote:

3.6 is a standard cap hit for a reliable top four guy. Don't see the issue w/ Schultz? Trading Burns would be foolish - selling low is never a good idea.
See the above last paragraph... I want to say again, ONLY & I mean ONLY if Fletch see's a quality oppurtunity in a trade for Burns. Burnsey still has potential and potential can equal a solid return. Wonder if we wait another season & Burns gets another concussion & never plays top 4 d-man again, or even worse he spends his days with PMB watching from the press box. Then we'd all wish we would have traded him. (Don't you wish we would have traded PMB away before last season instead of giving him 1 more shot!?) Now let's say we trade him & he has a stellar year for someone else but we now have a solid center or new sniper winger & we're in the play-off hunt all season, would you really be that bitter that he's gone?

Fletch isn't an idiot, I'm just saying if a solid return is there, pulling the trigger may be in our best interest regardless if he's a fan favorite or not. We'd all be smiling and happy if the trading of Burns brings us a 30+ goal scorer. Even more so if one of our young D-crops steps up & fills in nicely in Burns spot...

It's all speculation, I'm just saying lets keep all options open for now.

BuddyMcCormick 06-08-2010 05:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by se7en (Post 26195098)
Hearsey... Johnsson played what, 10 games for the Hawks? If that? And hasn't played since... If the Hawks win, his name won't even be on the cup. I don't consider that being an intergal part of the team. They're showing right now that they don't need him...

As for Roloson, yes, that is a valid argument EXCEPT, they didn't win the cup, I said Championship teams, or in other words teams that won it all. But yes, he did give them a solid miracle 8th seat run...

These are still moot points for what I'm getting at tho. I just meant that we can't over value Burns, or anyone on our team for that matter. My real point is that we don't know yet who's going to make us a solid contender, it's just as likely that trading Burns away can get us to a cup faster then keeping him.. It's all speculation, I'm jut saying that I don't think he should be considered off limits...

*Again, keep in mind, I'm not saying trade him for a bag of pucks! I'm saying if Fletch finds a quality return for him it may be in our best interest. I don't want to be precieved as saying "let's get rid of him just to get rid of him!" I'm simply saying let's keep our options open and try to look at this objectivly...



See the above last paragraph... I want to say again, ONLY & I mean ONLY if Fletch see's a quality oppurtunity in a trade for Burns. Burnsey still has potentil and potential can equal a solid return. Wonder if we wait another season & Burns gets another concussion & never plays to his potential then we'd wish we would have traded him. Now let's say we trade him & he has a stellar year for someone else but we now have a solid center or new sniper winger & we're in the play-off hunt season, would you really be that bitter that he's gone?

Fletch isn't an idiot, I'm just saying if a solid return is there, pulling the trigger may be in our best interest regardless if he's a fan favorite or not. We'd all be smiling and happy if the trading of Burns brings us a 30+ goal scorer. Even more so if one of our young D-crops steps up & fills in nicely in Burns spot...

It's all speculation, I'm just saying lets keep all options open for now.

Well if you want to exclude Roloson, you could easily place Broduer in 94-95, '99-'00 and '02-'03 as an essential part to the NJ Devil's cup wins.

se7en 06-08-2010 05:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MinneWildSota (Post 26195200)
Well if you want to exclude Roloson, you could easily place Broduer in 94-95, '99-'00 and '02-'03 as an essential part to the NJ Devil's cup wins.

Now I'm confused... Brody never played for the Wild so I'm not seeing the connection... Am I missing something?

GopherState 06-08-2010 06:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by se7en (Post 26195098)
Hearsay... Johnsson played what, 10 games for the Hawks? If that? And hasn't played since... If the Hawks win, his name won't even be on the cup. I don't consider that being an intergal part of the team. They're showing right now that they don't need him...

Something like seven or eight games before receiving another concussion. I meant technically because the Hawks felt like they needed him as a rental to make a run; however as we now see that's not the case.

BuddyMcCormick 06-08-2010 07:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by se7en (Post 26195236)
Now I'm confused... Brody never played for the Wild so I'm not seeing the connection... Am I missing something?

Yes. They are both goalies :D

I guess I read too much into both of your posts than I should have, or rather not far enough.
I took it as teams that needed players. Not teams that traded for players that they needed.
My apologies.

rynryn 06-08-2010 07:12 PM

agree with providence that if we're going to sell off burns, we might as well get rid of Koivu, too. unless of course we get some star power back for Burns--which I doubt given his value is on the lower end right now.

mnwildgophers 06-08-2010 10:29 PM

I can't see us trading Burns this offseason, but I do see us trading Schultz and Harding this offseason. I have a feeling both will be gone. I think that Burns should be moved for the correct package, but I doubt any GM would overpay enough for us to give up Burns.

nickschultzfan 06-09-2010 09:39 AM

Let's not trade a Dman. We'll make a hole by filling another.

The cap next year will be around $58.8 million. If Stoner is the #6 Dman, and we bring in another cheap #7, our entire blueline will be less that 17.5 milllion cap hit. Despite all the Schultz haters, that is actually low for a blueline. And considering that it's actually a good line, that is great news.

The issue has, and will be, our forwards. And right now, the only solution is UFAs.

Option 1: (Healthly Bouchard) Sign Kovalchuk (8m/year) (while trading Miettinen for a cheap 4th line forward). We have the cap space. Get it done. Bouchard becomes a center.

Option 2: (Heathly Bouchard) Sign Plekanec (5m/year) and Jokinen (3.5m/year) (while trading Mittens for a 4th liner). Bouchard becomes Jokinen's RW.

Option 3: (Unhealthly Bouchard) With 4 million more in cap space, you go for gold. Trade away Mittens for 4th liner. Try to sign Kovalchuk (with 7.75 m/year cap hit, 10 years)and Plekanec (4.75 m/year, 6 years) to a very long term deals. If you can get those cap hits to those numbers, you will still have 0.5m - 1m cap space, depending on which bottom liners you use.

Option 3: (Nuclear Option) Get Backstrom to waive no-trade clause. Use all the cap space to sign big UFAs and get somebody back in trade.

saywut 06-09-2010 10:26 AM

I really don't get why people think we have a good blueline.
Zidlicky - Fringe top-4/PPQB
Burns - Top-4, but has never played top-pairing quality consistently
Zanon - Complimentary top-4 at best
Schultz - Same as Zanon, though is worse in our coaches books
Barker - Fringe-NHLer living off his draft hype and high production for 1 year on a stacked team
Stoner - Should be our #7 given his contract

And based on that, we simply can't move Burns, as he is our only hope to get elite play out of this season.

We're definitely not getting Kovalchuk or Plekanec, and I highly doubt Jokinen. But keep on saying it if it makes you feel better...


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