The Minnesota Wild are in the market for a new No. 1 goalie after trading Devan Dubnyk to the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
“It is part of the change that’s going on here,” Wild general manager Bill Guerin said.
Minnesota acquired San Jose’s fifth-round pick in the 2022 NHL Draft for Dubnyk and its seventh-round pick in the 2022 draft. The Wild also retained 50 percent of Dubnyk’s $4.33 million salary cap charge for next season, the last on a six-year, $26 million contract he signed on July 4, 2015.
“We need to go in a different direction,” Guerin said. “Devan and I had some very good, open conversations in the last little while. In the end, I just think this is best for the Minnesota Wild.”
Guerin said the Wild will try to address the hole atop the goaltending depth chart as soon as possible either through a trade or free agency. The Wild also have goalies Alex Stalock and Kaapo Kahkonen, who are expected to compete for playing time next season.
The NHL’s free agent signing period opens at Noon ET on Friday.
“We’re going to try to address it as soon as we can,” Guerin said. “We still have a few more days to free agency. We’re doing what we can homework-wise and learning all the possibilities, but it’s a very important position and something that we’re looking to add to.”
Guerin said the unusually deep goalie market this offseason allowed the Wild to trade Dubnyk, who was 12-15-2 with a 3.35 goals-against average and .890 save percentage this season, and 177-113-28 with a 2.41 GAA and .918 save percentage in 328 games over six seasons with Minnesota
Among the goalies who could be available as unrestricted free agents are Jacob Markstrom (Vancouver Canucks), Braden Holtby (Washington Capitals), Corey Crawford (Chicago Blackhawks), Henrik Lundqvist (New York Rangers), Anton Khudobin (Dallas Stars), Craig Anderson (Ottawa Senators), Cam Talbot (Calgary Flames), Thomas Greiss (New York Islanders), and Mike Smith (Edmonton Oilers).
Matt Murray of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Marc-Andre Fleury of the Vegas Golden Knights could also be available via trade. Guerin was the Penguins assistant general manager when they had both Murray and Fleury and won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships in 2016 and 2017.
“I’m up for anything,” Guerin said. “I think there are definitely a lot of options out there. We’ll see what transpires in the next few days.”
Trading Dubnyk was part of a busy Monday for the Wild and part of the bigger overhaul this offseason after they were 35-27-7 (.588 points percentage) during the regular season, sixth in the Central Division, and lost in four games to the Vancouver Canucks in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers.
Minnesota traded Ryan Donato to San Jose for a third-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft earlier on Monday. Donato, a 24-year-old forward, had 23 points (14 goals, nine assists) in 62 games this season.
Also Monday, Minnesota re-signed forward Nico Sturm to a two-year, $1.45 million contract, and defenseman Carson Soucy to a three-year, $8.5 million contract. Sturm had two assists in six regular-season games and one goal in two postseason games. Soucy had 14 points (seven goals, seven assists) in 55 regular-season games and no points in four postseason games.
The Wild previously traded center Eric Staal to the Buffalo Sabres for forward Marcus Johansson on Sept. 17, and acquired forward Nick Bjugstad from the Penguins for a conditional pick in the 2021 draft on Sept. 11.
They also informed veteran forward Mikko Koivu that they were not going to re-sign him. Koivu, who was the Wild’s captain from 2008-20, can become a UFA on Friday.
Despite all the moves, Guerin said the Wild, who haven’t won a round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs since 2015, aren’t finished.
“I think we’ve managed things well enough and we’ve got [cap] space and we’ve got some flexibility,” Guerin said. “We’ll see what we’ll be able to accomplish in the next few days.”