The Minnesota Wild are currently sitting in first place in the Central Division now and are tied for 1st in the Western Conference. This is quite a surprise considering their team on paper is not that impressive, so there has to be something special about their play on the ice that makes them a powerhouse in the Western Conference under Head coach Dean Evason. In order for the Minnesota Wild to win the Stanley Cup this year, they will have to make a few moves to improve the team.
These are some of the issues w/ Minnesota Wild:
1. Lack of a 3rd line center
2. Defensive Depth
3. Lack of offensive depth
If there is one issue that the Minnesota Wild do have is that they lack a solid 3rd line center. The lack of center depth will be even more obvious with Joel Eriksson Ek out for an extended period of time. Eriksson EK is their best overall center, and without him in the lineup, they will struggle because he does so much for the team on both sides of the puck. To make up for the loss of Eriksson Ek, Minnesota should add a veteran center that can slot up and down the lineup. Minnesota could also use a 3rd line center to solidify their center depth for a deep playoff run.
With the injury to Jared Spurgeon, Minnesota's defense is looking a tad weak, so it would be smart for them to add some depth on the blueline. Jonas Brodin, Matt Dumba, and Alex Goligoski have been pillars of strength on the back-end for the Wild, but Defenseman such as Dmitry Kulikov, Jon Merrill, and Jordie Benn has been solid during the regular season, but are unproven come playoff team. If they are to make a deep playoff run, they will need to add a veteran defenseman who has plenty of playoff experience.
Besides having a lack of depth at center, the Wild also lack depth scoring from their bottom 6, this could have affected their chances to make a deep playoff run. When it comes playoff time, they will need players outside of their top 6 to score, which is why they need to add some veteran forwards at the deadline that can provide depth scoring.
Minnesota Wild acquire Max Domi, Kevin Stenlund from Columbus Blue Jackets for Nico Sturm, Rem Pitlick, 2022 2nd round pick.
The Wild add Max Domi to bolster the depth at center and Kevin Stendlund adds some depth scoring on the wings.
Minnesota Wild acquire Chris Tierney, Nic Paul, Joshua Brown from Ottawa Senators for Victor Rask, Brandon Duhaime, 2023 3rd round pick. If the Wild make it to the Conference Finals, the Senators get a 2024 2nd round pick.
Minnesota adds center Chris Tierney to bolster their center depth and some depth players with the acquisition of Nic Paul and Nick Holden.
This is how the lineup looks like after the trades:
IR: J.Spurgeon, J.Eriksson Ek, J.Brown
The Minnesota Wild could be building something special and if they add the right pieces could contend for a Stanley Cup this year.