The Minnesota Wild are getting serious about making a Stanley Cup run this year and for the next few years. After signing big name free agents Zach Parise and Ryan Suter before the lockout, the Wild have moved a pair of forwards to the New York Rangers in exchange for rough and rough defenseman Mike Rupp.
“Rupp is a big guy who has won the Stanley Cup,” Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher said of the trade. “He brings size, experience and grit to our lineup.”
Rupp won a Stanley Cup back in the 2002-03 season as a member of the New Jersey Devils.
Some are saying the Wild may be panicking a bit too early with this trade. The Wild sent forwards Nick Palmieri and Darroll Powe to the Rangers to net Rupp, and while Minnesota has plenty of forwards they can plug in all over the ice, losing Powe means losing depth and losing Palmieri means losing a great prospect.
Currently the Wild sit in third place in the Northwest division and are ranked eight in the Western Conference. While this means if the season ended today the Wild would be in the playoffs, they’re tied with the Nashville Predators with nine points and sit only a single point ahead of both Colorado and Phoenix. In this lockout shortened season, it doesn’t take a long losing streak to sink your chances of making the playoffs.
The Wild are no strangers to losing out after they’ve be on top. Minnesota had the best record in hockey for a stretch last season before falling off thanks to injuries and eventually missing the playoffs due to their streaky play.
General manager Chuck Fletcher has earned the right to be daring in the moves he makes, but it doesn’t take many bad moves to ruin your reputation and find your self on the hot seat with fans.