Michael Russo and Joe Smith of The Athletic write that they believe Minnesota Wild defenseman Calen Addison could be dealt, but they don’t believe he should be. The 23-year-old just completed his first full season in the NHL and put up good offensive numbers with three goals and 26 assists in 62 games. While those numbers are terrific for a first-year defender, 18 of his assists came on the power play, meaning that he produced just 11 points at even strength.
Trading Addison would raise some eyebrows as the Wild would be moving on from him while his value is lower than it could be. The Brandon, Manitoba native had a string of healthy scratches last year that left him out of action and also kept him from putting up something closer to 40 points. While his defensive game has some warts and he is undersized, Addison is an offensively talented right-shot defenseman, something that is coveted throughout the league.
If Minnesota opted to trade Addison it would be strictly a cap move as they are in a very delicate situation trying to navigate the Zach Parise and Ryan Suter buyouts that are taking up nearly $15MM in cap space.
In other Wild notes:
- Russo and Smith also wrote that the Wild would love to sign goaltender Filip Gustavsson to a three-year contract extension, however, the third year in that scenario would be the first year that Gustavsson is eligible for unrestricted free agency. This would make the third year significantly more expensive, which is giving Minnesota pause. Gustavsson was terrific last season in 39 games for the Wild posting a 22-9-7 record with a .931 save percentage and a 2.10 goals-against average. Russo and Smith wonder if a one-year deal might make more sense as it would give the Wild a chance to take a longer look at the netminder before committing money and term to him. For Gustavsson he would be betting on himself and could become a restricted free agent again next summer when the cap is expected to dramatically increase.
- Russo and Smith added that forward Brandon Duhaime tried to get a deal done with the Wild, but it has yet to materialize. They believe that the longer he goes without an extension the likelier it becomes that the 26-year-old is a possible trade candidate. Duhaime is a restricted free agent and is coming off an underwhelming season that saw him play just 51 games. The former fourth-round pick posted nine goals and a single assist last season and set a career high in goals, but he missed significant time with various injuries.