Wild Trade Donato to San Jose and Re-Sign Soucy/Sturm; More Pre-Draft Dealing Expected

Photo: John Hefti (AP)

It’s been a busy Monday morning for Bill Guerin. By just 10:15 AM, the Minnesota Wild General Manager had already signed two of his young “culture changers” and traded away bench-ridden Ryan Donato to San Jose. Nico Sturm’s new contract is worth 2 years and $1.45 million, while Carson Soucy cashed in on 3 years and $8.25 million (according to The Athletic).

Ryan Donato rode the bench for most of his 2019 season with the Wild, averaging just 10-ish minutes per game when he played (scratched 7 times). He deserved much better than the short stick he got in Minnesota and the numbers agree. Yet, with Kevin Fiala and Kirill Kaprizov on roster, Donato’s playing time was in question, yet again for 2020-21.

It wouldn’t shock anyone if Ryan Donato made the Minnesota Wild regret this deal, but Guerin probably wasn’t getting anything better for him. If anything, this trade might be a show of good faith by Guerin to Donato, so he can get a better opportunity elsewhere, even if the Wild can’t get what they might see as a ‘fair price’, in return.

More Moves Coming

As Michael Russo foreshadows in his tweet above, Guerin isn’t done dealing yet and we’re likely to see more fireworks over the next 24 hours. with the NHL Draft scheduled for Tuesday night.

In fact, they might not be done with the Sharks, even after the Ryan Donato deal. When rumors first started swirling with San Jose, Ryan Donato and Devan Dubnyk were both on the trade slip. As time went on, the Sharks remained interested in both players, but in separate deals. Nobody knows why, to this point.

Russo has also reported that, if/when the Wild trades Dubnyk, they will be shopping for a starting goalie and NOT relying on their current stable, which features Alex Stalock and Kaapo Kahkonen. Reports have connected the Wild to Marc-Andre Fleury, who the Vegas Golden Knights have been trying to deal, but there is a deep free agent class of goalies in 2020, too.

In other words, anything could still happen. Let’s also not forget that the Wild’s biggest need as a team, is a no-doubt top-line centerman. That leaves the high potential for a blockbuster to go down either before or after the draft, involving Minnesota.

Keep your eyes and ears perked up Wild fans… it’s gonna be a crazy couple days.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan