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Minnesota Wild mailbag: Harding, draft and an outdoor game

Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher is taking phone calls to set up the opportunity to make a trade during the draft.
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

I received a few questions about the Minnesota Wild through Twitter, Facebook and email. I will answer those questions in this article.

If you have a question about the Wild, submit it on Twitter to my handle (@JGuntherExaminr), on my public Facebook page or email it to me through the “submit a note” link in my profile by clicking on the Minnesota Wild Examiner link to the left.

What is Josh Harding’s future with the Wild?

As of right now, he is on the Wild’s roster. I believe he will play in 2014-15, but beyond that, I don’t know. He fully practiced with the Wild during the playoffs. I don’t think he would have done that if he weren’t playing this season.

He is in the final year of a three-year contract that, according to he will get $2.1 million and carries a $1.9 million cap hit. It is a very reasonable contract, but his illness forces the team to use a roster spot on a third goaltender.

If the Wild make a trade in the first round of the draft, is it more likely to be up or down?


For the Wild to move up they would have to get into the top six or seven to make it worthwhile. To get that high from No. 18 will be too much for the Wild to handle. They do not have a second round pick, so likely it will cost a player and No. 18 to make the move. That isn’t going to happen.

The mid-to-end of the first round is so convoluted that someone will have a prospect available at 18 as the 7-12 best player on their board. In that case, the Wild should be able to move down and accrue a couple additional picks, including one in the second round, and still get a player they want.

The Wild have been denied an outdoor game again. Your thoughts?

It would be cool to have the souvenir, but otherwise, I am not looking forward to having to cover a Wild game at TCF Bank Stadium or Target Field. I just find it hard to believe that spectators have a good experience at them. The seats are farther away from the action and rest of the crowd.

They are still very popular, but I don’t get it.

(Star Tribune beat writer Mike) Russo blogged (Monday) that (Kyle) Brodziak and (Niklas) Backstrom are on the trading block. What can the Wild likely get for them?

Starting with Brodziak, his value will be much greater to the Wild if he plays for one season and let him leave as a free agent next summer than what they can get for him. If he could bury his scoring chances, he could be an MVP candidate. However, he cannot score and has drawn the ire of most of the fan base.

The other things he does on the ice do not deliver the fanfare scoring does. He is a right-handed shot that can win draws and is one of the better penalty killers in the league.

Brodziak should not be traded, unless they get a too-good-to-be-true offer, despite his flaws. He may be a bit overpaid, but the Wild have the cap space to keep him this season. They can then let him go next offseason.

Backstrom is a trickier situation. He is another guy that the team can absorb the overpriced cap hit for two more seasons. Where his situation is different from Brodziak’s is that his removal from the roster could be an addition by subtraction. The Wild need the roster space with Darcy Kuemper set to receive a one-way contract and, as stated earlier in this article, Harding coming back.

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