Jason Zucker’s two near trades have drawn some attention as it’s not very often that deals that fall through make it out in public. Nonetheless, that’s the situation that the Wild face which could make for some awkwardness if Zucker is still with the team for training camp. Despite that, GM Paul Fenton told Michael Rand of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that while he’s disappointed that the talks were made public, he doesn’t think it will be an issue for either side:
I don’t think that it should be out there. As far as my relationship with Jason and his agent, we have no problem with it. They understand that it’s part of the business and that the end of the day, Jason is part of the Minnesota Wild. He’s going to be part of our process going forward. Can things change? Yeah, it can change with everybody. It can change with everyone on our roster.
The 27-year-old is coming off of a quiet season that saw him collect 21 goals and 21 assists in 81 games, well off his numbers from a year before (33-31-64). It was after that career season that the Wild gave him a five-year, $27.5MM deal, one that could be a little on the high side if his numbers don’t improve. Zucker is eligible for a ten-team no-trade clause on July 1st so if there is a trade to be made, it’s one that could be sooner than later.
More from the Western Conference:
- The Predators and Brian Boyle’s agent have had brief discussions regarding the center potentially returning to Nashville next season, reports Adam Vingan of The Athletic (subscription required). The Preds added Boyle in a midseason trade as they looked to load up for the playoffs and he was a fixture on their fourth lone for the stretch run. He scored five goals in 26 games with the team while splitting time between playing down the middle and on the wing. Boyle’s agent Rick Curran indicated that there is mutual interest in getting something done but that nothing is imminent at this time.
- Oilers head coach Dave Tippett is hoping to see his new team prioritize forward depth over blueline depth this offseason, notes Postmedia’s Terry Jones. Production from the wing was a big area of concern in 2018-19 and while recent signing Joakim Nygard has some upside, it will be tough to ask him to step in and play an important role right away. Edmonton has over $73MM in payroll commitments for next season already so while they need depth, they won’t be able to shop at the top end of the market to get some.