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The Minnesota Wild might be shopping goalie Filip Gustavsson. Here's why a trade could make sense, even after his Vezina-nominated season

The Minnesota Wild face a challenging offseason, with limited cap flexibility due to lingering buyout penalties and the need to bolster their roster.

In a surprising move, they’ve reportedly started exploring trade options for goaltender Filip Gustavsson, despite his impressive Vezina Trophy finalist performance last season. Let’s delve into the three key reasons why this move might make sense for the Wild.

3 Reasons the Minnesota Wild Could Trade Goalie Filip Gustavsson

  1. Cap Space Constraints:

The Wild’s financial situation is precarious. The Zach Parise and Ryan Suter buyouts continue to haunt their cap space, leaving GM Bill Guerin with limited room to maneuver. Trading Gustavsson, who carries a $3.75 million cap hit for the next two seasons, would provide significant relief. This newfound flexibility could be crucial in pursuing free agents or addressing other needs within the lineup.

  1. Emerging Talent in the Pipeline:

Minnesota boasts a promising young goaltender in Jesper Wallstedt. The 20-year-old Swede has showcased his potential in the AHL and is eager to make the jump to the NHL. While Marc-Andre Fleury remains the starter for now, Wallstedt’s development could accelerate, making Gustavsson expendable. Trading the veteran could pave the way for the next generation of Wild goaltending.

  1. Maximizing Trade Value:

Gustavsson’s Vezina-nominated 2022-23 season significantly boosted his trade value. Capitalizing on this heightened interest could yield a substantial return for the Wild. The team could potentially acquire a top-six forward or another valuable asset to address pressing needs and improve their overall competitiveness.

It’s crucial to remember that these are just potential reasons for a trade. The Wild might ultimately decide to retain Gustavsson, but exploring options is a standard practice in the ever-evolving world of NHL roster management.

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