The Minnesota Wild were active at the NHL’s trade deadline. They completed three trades, but none were blockbuster moves.
After making a pair of minor league deals, Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher acquired right wing David Jones from the Calgary Flames in exchange for goaltender Niklas Backstrom and a sixth round draft pick this year. The deal took a little while to be approved due the goaltender’s no move clause in his contract. The 38-year-old has been scratched been scratched most of the Wild’s games this season. He is the Wild’s franchise leader in wins, saves and shutouts.
In Jones, the Wild acquires a versatile forward that can fill multiple roles. He has good size (listed on the Wild’s website at 6-feet-3-inches tall and 208 pounds), some physicality (115 hits this season for the Flames) and some offensive ability (nine goals, six assists while playing fourth line minutes). He has not produced consistently enough since scoring 27 and 20 goals in the 2010-11 and 2011-12 season, respectively. Last season, he finished with 14 goals and 16 assists in 67 regular season games and two goals and three assists in 11 playoff games.
The 31-year-old will be an unrestricted free agent and has a remaining cap hit of $860,215, slightly more than Backstrom’s $734,767 (figures according to capfriendly.com). While having some offensive talent, Jones is will play a third or fourth line role. The Wild will hope that he can recapture the offensive skills that he had four, five and six years ago. Whether he does or not, the Wild will get more out of him in the remaining 19 games than they would have gotten out of Backstrom. So it is a win-win for the Wild.
Both minor league trades are pretty much meaningless to the NHL club. They sent forward Michael Keranen to the Ottawa Senators for defenseman Conor Allen and forward Brett Sutter to the Los Angeles Kings for forward Scott Sabourin.
Allen is a 6-2, 208-pound 26-year-old stay-at-home defenseman. He has 11 points and 62 penalty minutes in 48 games for two American Hockey League teams this season.
Sabourin is a 6-3, 203-pound 23-year-old physical forward. He has five points and 56 penalty minutes in 28 games this season for the Kings’ AHL affiliate.