Minnesota Wild At The 2011 NHL Trade Deadline: Rumors, Needs And Expectations

In the first third of the season, just about everyone was calling for the head of Wild coach Todd Richards. Now the Wild are playing like a machine, and their stats have all the signs of a well-coached team: strong power play and penalty kill, low goals-against, and good face-off percentages. They're good, they're just not great, and a quick look at the team's would-be goal scorers shows that.

Mikko Koivu's injury (out several weeks) certainly doesn't help. Minnesota is in the same position as much of the Western Conference, where a bad few days leading to the trade deadline could mean the difference in decision making. Still, the Wild have plenty of holes to fill.

Should they decide to sell, they also have desirable veteran UFAs to offer. Which will it be? Even if the Wild continue to win, they're not in a position to make a huge gamble. However, something's got to give to help the team's scoring-by-committee issue.

Status: On The Bubble

Need: Scoring forwards

Players In Trade Rumors: John Madden, Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Brunett

Prediction: The Wild shed one of their veteran UFA contracts but don't see enough offered in return for major shake-ups

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This story was written by Mike Chen.

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