Michael Russo's Sunday Insider: Fletcher not a seller

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 19, 2011 - 11:19 PM

The Wild general manager is balancing this season's playoff pursuit with a quest to protect prospects for the future.

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jolsenFeb. 20, 11 3:52 AM

Should be sellers, get what you can for bruno or mitts. They are not the players that control the wilds destiny to finish an 8 seed and be eliminated in five games. This team would not have finished better than an 8 seed with Koivu, now without him forget it. Burns has great value right now, I would love to see the wild acquire some offensive talent for Burns. Look what some teams have been getting for guys like Kaberle and Johnson. Fletcher knows what to do, follow my advice Chucky, SELL!

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mgalaforetFeb. 20, 11 6:35 AM

Sounds like Fletcher has been working more on potential excuses than trying to make this team better. Russo, explain to me how a Kaberle (Burns) for an AHLer (six games in, prospect), a first rounder and a second rounder, would not have helped this team? Unless he gets another concussion, Burns is going to be too high priced (on perception) when Salcer comes a-knockin. Just barely making the playoffs, if at all possible, is not going to help one's draft position. Heh Fletch & CL, just think what the energy would have been like at the X come draft day with all the pics we could have had in the first two rounds!!! I guess the million-dollar gates this year are more important than next year, and the year after...

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mrblueskyFeb. 20, 11 7:59 AM

In Fletch I trust. This is a talented, very smart man. How does losing a top 10 defencman get us into the playoffs? I have always believed that you support the leader, or go somewhere else.

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mgalaforetFeb. 20, 11 8:18 AM

Mr Bluesky, trusting your leaders worked out real well in Iraq, Afghanistan and with DR, didn't it. Also, since when is Burns a top-ten defensemen? In your eyes maybe, but the rest of the league? If he is viewed that way, Salcer with view it that way, and the Wild would have to pay-up for a guy that you don't build a team around. If he is viewed that way, then now is the time to get rid of him. BTW, how is he doing since the All-Star break? Not a single goal.

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jeff4649Feb. 20, 11 8:39 AM

Look people, if this team does make the playoffs and they have everyone healthy with this goaltending they become dangerous. Who do you think the top seed would rather play; the Wild or Calgary? Besides as of this morning they are within 3 points of finishing 4th in the conference. Fletcher is correct, you don't deal high picks or prospects for rentals and you wait for Lats to get healthy. If that happens this team is one I wouldn't want to face in April. If they don't make the playoffs oh well it's been a great season and you continue building through the draft and free agency. Besides, the cap space has it's own value this summer. I do love the negativity from some of the posters as usual!

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schmidty2goFeb. 20, 11 8:52 AM

It's clear that Det, Van and SJ are the cream of the division this year now that SJ has started putting it together. So you have to get to the 5th seed to not play one of them. Since 1980 only three teams of 120 in the 7th or 8th seed have ever made it to the finals...none of them won it. (.025%) Let's be realistic of our chances, we are already playing playoff hockey and then we lose Mikko. Unless you are a legit contender (which we are not), you move your UFA's and try to keep moving forward. That way you are protecting the future with more picks and prospects and if you make the playoffs... bonus. Having the five UFA's on this roster after Feb. 28th is a lost pick/prospect that delays the "re-stocking" process that much longer. Yes, you wait as long as you can on a guy like Bruno and now Madden, but for the other three you move them... cause you have too.

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schmidty2goFeb. 20, 11 8:59 AM

You have to move Mittens, Jose and possibly Kobasew now. As I have said about Kobasew, Fletcher should already be looking to give him an extention at a haircut because he was hurt, but enough so he will want to be here and prove his 20-goal history. Maybe a 2yr deal at $1.75m each year which gives the Wild an extra $500,000 to work with. If he won't, then you trade him and bring up Robbie Earl to take his place. Next you trade Mittens (and fill in his slot with Lats)... easy decision and for whatever you can get for him. Lastly, you move Jose and bring up Khodbin. Yes, there is always the risk with Backs getting hurt but you can't waste selling the diamond Fletcher found and there are Contenders looking for a back-up (Det, Phi, Was, etc). And then with Bruno and Madden, you wait until next Friday to see where you are at and then make the tough decisions... but in my opinion you have to move them if we aren't IN the 5th seed at that point.

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mikeandmikeFeb. 20, 11 9:13 AM

There are definite sellers and could be big time sellers. The Wild are teetering on making the post season and Chuck Fletcher is a Fletcher and what do Fletchers do? Trade hockey players. The Wild should listen to all offers and wheel and deal especially if Koivu is out. I am sure they'll make some noise before Feb 28th deadline.

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hockeyfan20Feb. 20, 1110:15 AM

mygalaforet: How is this year's draft class? I don't disagree that stocking up on draft picks is a good thing...but you also need to have a good idea of the quality of the draft. We have seen teams throwing around high draft picks for decent, but not great players. I've also read some things that the draft this year is not very deep in top level prospects. I guess what I'm getting at is that you have an All Star defenseman in one hand or a dissappointing first round pick (we've seen our share of those around here already) and a low first and second round pick in a weak draft. I'd prefer to keep the All Star defenseman.

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bobo72Feb. 20, 11 4:13 PM

While we're not sellers, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Kobasew, Miettinen, or Theodore traded. The return may well have more value than each player can contribute by remaining on the roster. Really, if you can get a second rounder for Theodore, knowing Khudobin's in the pipeline, aren't you REALLY going to say no? And the other two are the difference between this team making the playoffs and it missing the playoffs.

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