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Minnesota Wild acquire scorer and grinder at the deadline

Matt Moulson (26) scores a goal for the Buffalo Sabres against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Matt Moulson (26) scores a goal for the Buffalo Sabres against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

The Minnesota Wild did not stand pat at the trade deadline Wednesday.

General Manager Chuck Fletcher was not expecting to make a move, but was able to create cap space and keep all the team’s prospects.

The Buffalo Sabres were looking to move pending unrestricted free agent forward Matt Moulson and draft picks were an option new General Manager Tim Murray was willing to accept.

So Fletcher dangled a couple second round draft picks and apparently disgruntled right wing Torrey Mitchell.

Reports surfaced, first by John Vogl of The Buffalo News, just before the 2 p.m. central deadline that the Sabres and Wild completed a trade.

Mitchell and agent deny his request to be traded, but Michael Russo of the Star Tribune cited sources within the Wild organization to the contrary. Fletcher did not confirm or deny it.

Either way, Mitchell’s $1.9 million cap hit for next season shifts from the Wild to the Sabres along with a second round draft pick in 2014 (previously acquired from the Winnipeg Jets) and a second round draft pick in 2016.

In return, the Wild got one of the top goal scorers expected to be moved during the day along with a gritty, depth forward.

Moulson, a 6-foot-1-inch, 200-pound 30-year-old winger, has 17 goals and 21 assists in 55 games for the Sabres and New York Islanders. He is a sniper that was traded earlier in the season as part of the blockbuster deal that sent former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher Thomas Vanek to Long Island.

The other component, Cody McCormick, is a 6-foot-2-inch, 224-pound 30-year-old forward who has committed more penalties than goals scored. He is a depth forward with experience and adds toughness to the roster.

The Wild’s lines could be be:

Zach Parise-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville

Matt Moulson-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle

Matt Cooke-Kyle Brodziak-Nino Niederreiter

Dany Heatley-Erik Haula-Justin Fontaine

Cody McCormick, Stephane Veilleux, Mike Rupp and any other forward the team calls up the rest of the season are the extra forwards

The Wild became a much scarier and deeper team than they were a day ago. The Wild look much more capable of making a deep playoff run.