The Minnesota Wild have inquired about Carolina goalie Cam Ward, according to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune.
And according to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman, they’re not denying it.
But is that a path GM Chuck Fletcher should go down?
True, the Wild have serious issues between the pipes — issues that may end up costing them a playoff spot.
And yes, Ward could be had for next to nothing, given the not-going-to-the-playoffs Hurricanes would surely love to be rid of his contract, which features a $6.3 million cap hit that runs through next season. The ‘Canes might even be willing to assume some of that hit. They’d be foolish not to consider it.
The only problem for the Wild? It’s sort of a big one. Ward isn’t a very good NHL goalie, and save for a few spurts here and there (he’s actually been in decent form recently), hasn’t been for a while now.
This season, among netminders that have played 1,000 or more minutes, the 30-year-old former Conn Smythe Trophy winner ranks 24th out of 28 in five-on-five save percentage, only slightly better than Darcy Kuemper, who ranks 27th.
We’d like to say we had a brilliant idea for Fletcher; alas, we don’t. He’s in a tough spot. Jhonas Enroth, another goalie that’s been linked to the Wild, hasn’t exactly been lights out in Buffalo. Though, at the very least, his cap hit is only $1.25 million and he’s not under contract past this season.
The best plan, as hard as it might be for frustrated fans to accept, may just be to gamble that one of Kuemper or Niklas Backstrom can figure it out.
The Wild host Nashville on Saturday.