Wild Quietly Shopping Matt Dumba

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Bill Guerin and the Wild are hot in the middle of an NHL offseason fitting for this time of year in Minnesota. Everything is seemingly under construction, even if noticeable improvements are few and far between.

There’s plenty of frustration and waiting. But eventually, traffic is due to break open and suddenly you’re traveling 70 mph in a 55 mph zone. Just a few days ago, Cam Talbot’s agent was yelling at Wild GM, Bill Guerin in a hallway at the draft. Days later, Talbot was traded.

But then the bell rang on free agency and the Wild slowed back down, choosing to sit on the money they saved by trading Talbot. Guerin told media on Wednesday that’s because the roster is mostly set. Sure it is, Billy.

Guerin Shopping Dumba Behind the Scenes

The Minnesota Wild have just $4.6 million remaining in cap space and they still have to set some of that aside for Marco Rossi, Calen Addison or Adam Beckman who might make the NHL roster next season. So, what’s the plan?

Well, according to Michael Russo (The Athletic), Bill Guerin is quietly shopping Matt Dumba, who’s entering the final year of a deal that counts for $6 million against the cap in 2022-23 (03:00 minute mark – transcribed below).

“My radar is up on Bill Guerin right now. Even though he constantly tells us how much he wants to keep Matt Dumba. In the last little while, I’m getting the impression from a lot of league sources that he has sort of quitely shopped Matt Dumba to just gauge if there’s any interest. From what I’ve been told, there hasn’t been a lot of interest. But if suddenly, that was something he could do, would he maybe move on from Matt Dumba and create a lot of cap space? We’ll see in the next little while.” – Michael Russo (The Athletic – Live Q&A)

Reading the Market Tea Leaves

Russo talks about a Dumba trade three different times during this live Q&A he did with The Athletic subscribers on Thursday. Sometimes, he was prompted by questions but the quote above was part of his opening, before he started taking questions from the 1000 live listeners.

Awhile later, he dove into Dumba’s expiring contract and the paycut he’d have to take if he wanted to make things work with the Wild (down to $4.5m/yr). And if an extension isn’t possible, is Bill Guerin willing to lose Matt Dumba for free? Those are the questions Russo is asking himself (30:20 mark above).

“I hate to be the broken record for the last 10 years, but the other [possible trade candidate] would be Dumba.There’s going to be two options for Dumba this year (other than losing him for nothing). He’s going to have to get traded or he’s going to have to sign an extension in the $4.5 million range. He’s going to have to take a significant haircut if he wants to stay. I do get the impression from people around the league that [Guerin] has quietly shopped him.” – Michael Russo (The Athletic – Live Q&A)

Possible Trade Partners

As Russo pointed out multiple times, trading Matt Dumba is (and has been) difficult. Takers are not plentiful. But as the market shakes out over the coming days, interest could spike and Guerin could choose to seize the opportunity.

The only team pointed out specifically was the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have apparently been very interested in Dumba previously.

Buckle up, Minnesota Wild fans. As long as Bill Guerin is running this show, anything is possible. I know Dumba trade rumors have flown freely throughout his career with the Wild but, if Billy is now open to trading his $6 million forward, it might just be a matter of time.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan