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Friedman | Fletcher has a lot of balls in air for Wild

Chris Nichols



(Keith Gillett/Icon Sportswire)

Mikael Granlund and Nino Niederreiter are restricted free agents needing new contracts from the Minnesota Wild this off-season, and NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman was asked about the duo during a Thursday afternoon appearance on NHL Network.

“Well, I think it’s possible that one of them could get dealt,” said Friedman. “I did hear Nino Niederreiter’s name earlier in the spring. I asked Chuck Fletcher about it, and all he would say is, ‘We’re listening on everything.’ So that says to me there’s a chance.

“I think the big question in Minnesota is if they try to add Jason Pominville to waive for the expansion draft – and he says no – what do they do. What’s their decision.

“I think also they don’t want to leave Jason Zucker unprotected. It’s amazing – a year ago they signed him to a two-year deal and we all thought he was the guy who was going to be unprotected. I don’t think that’s the case anymore.

Friedman speculates on possible trade matches for Vatanen

“I think also they’ve got moves on defense – Dumba or Brodin. I think Chuck Fletcher has got a lot of balls in the air. I don’t think trading Granlund or Niederreiter is his preference, but I think a) if he gets a good offer and b) if he’s boxed into a corner it could happen. Something like that could happen.”

Grandlund, 25, is coming out of a two-year, $6 million contract.

Niederreiter, who will turn 25 in September, is exiting his three-year, $8 million pact.

Both players are eligible for arbitration.

Michael Russo, who covers the Wild for the Star Tribune, reported on Thursday that the team had its first conversation with Granlund’s agent at the combine, while they hadn’t yet met with Niederreiter’s camp.

Source: NHL Network, CapFriendly, Star Tribune