Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher has made a big difference when it comes to proactive trades, but it sounds like he’s doing his best not to react in the wrong way to a spate of injuries.
The walking Wild wounded keep growing, yet he’s trying to keep a cool head for now, as he told ESPN.
“Every time you have injuries, you can’t just run out to the market and pull the trigger to fill the hole that’s been created,” Fletcher said. “Sometimes you can do it, but you can’t go out and force things. The first look always has to be inside your group and hopefully there’s opportunity there for players to either move up in the lineup or players to get called up and play. You can’t always look to the outside.”
One can see the motivation to throw down the gauntlet, though, especially with Jason Zucker joining a list of players who are dealing with significant issues including Matt Cooke and Ryan Carter.
While the Wild are on a roll in large part thanks to Fletcher’s decision to pull the trigger and trade for Devan Dubnyk, they’re still on the outside looking in on a playoff spot. They’re four points behind the Calgary Flames (wtih a game in hand) and seven behind the Winnipeg Jets (though with three more games than them). They barely lead the likes of the Los Angeles Kings and Dallas Stars atop the bubble outside the wild card ranks, too.
Considering all the moves Fletcher has made at previous deadlines, there comes a point when those investments must pay off. It sounds like he’s going to give them a chance to do so before rolling the dice once more.
The Wild face a team that may relate to their buffer scenario (only in the East) in the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.