The Minnesota Wild have made a bold move and paid a price ahead of the trade deadline.
The Wild announced Sunday evening that they have acquired Martin Hanzal and Ryan White, and a fourth-round selection in this year’s NHL Draft from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for a first-round pick this year, a second-round pick in 2018, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2019, and minor league forward Grayson Downing.
That’s quite a haul of draft picks for the Coyotes, currently in the midst of a rebuild. Arizona also retains 50 per cent of Hanzal’s salary in the deal.
For the Wild, leading the Central Division by three points in their first season under coach Bruce Boudreau, they get a towering center in Hanzal, who stands six-foot-six-inches tall and 226 pounds. He has 16 goals and 26 points in 51 games for Arizona this season.
White has 171 penalty minutes combined between this season and last. He has seven goals and 13 points in 46 games this season.
The Wild have received elite goaltending from Devan Dubnyk. They’re one of the highest scoring teams in the league, right up there with the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. In conversation with reporters on Sunday, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher made a point of saying he wanted to add depth and size to his group of forwards leading up to the deadline and this move certainly does that.
“I think the message that they (the players) sent to me is they believe we’re a team that can compete and contend and I think this was the appropriate response from management and ownership,” said Fletcher, per the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
“You never know what the future holds. But I know our team believes that we have a chance, and hopefully this message is appropriate for how well they played this year.”