Saturday, February 25, 2012

Fletcher Flops The Nuts

by NiNY

Not all of Chuck Fletcher's decisions have panned out as GM of the Wild.

But, when he has had to move on from a situation, he has done so convincingly and the return has been strong.

The Marek Zidlicky situation wasn't really a "mistake" on Fletcher's part. Unless you want to say that hiring Yeo set the ball in motion for Zids to become unhappy trying (or not trying, as the case may be) to assimilate to the coach's system. But no one's really going to go there, right? I mean, no one not named "Zidlicky".

Yet, Fletcher went into the trade negotiation ring with none other than Lou Lamoriello and got more than most Wild fans thought he'd be able to get out of the trade.

Keep in mind: it was public knowledge that Zidlicky A) wanted out of Minnesota and B) wanted to go to the Devils. Both of those things are leverage - for Lamoriello.

But Chuck played his hand well. Aired the "maybe I wait until the summer" line, slowly mitigated some of Lamoriello's leverage away.

The result? It's not the two veteran-but-mediocre players - it's the fact that they're both free agents after the season. So, if they don't work out, we're still net gaining a significant amount of cap space.

It's not the moderately late model 3rd rounder (himself a RFA after the season), it's his age and his opportunity to represent a Latendresse-type of player as the new breed of Wild forwards starts arriving in St. Paul next season.

It is the 2nd round pick, which is a solid return, representing potential to land another solid prospect. The conditional 3rd is remote enough that I'm not counting on it, at this point. If it comes to fruition, that's just gravy.

Add it all together and the sum is amazing. I frankly would have been okay with the 2nd round pick all by itself.

But, this latest only supports Fletcher's pattern of deciciveness. He inhereted a team riddled with tumors and has done a great job cleaning house. While some of those moves are of the "one step back, two steps forward" variety, that's still better than leaving those tumors intact.

We don't know if the Wild is a better team today for the Zidlicky trade. But they're a better team tomorrow, for sure.

Remind me never to play poker with Chuck Fletcher.

1 comment:

WRT - Wild Road Tripper said...

The pick that the Wild receive in the 2012 2nd round is actually Washington's, so that's even better, should be around the number 40-45 pick as opposed to New Jersey's own pick which would be in the 55-60 range, based on the standings today (2-26-12).