Russo’s Rants: Trade chatter

As of now, Chuck Fletcher is still trying to make a trade, with the emphasis on the trying. As proof by the crickets throughout the NHL, it’s not easy making a trade right now, not when as a colleague said to me today, there’s about 150 players on the block, of which 100 nobody wants. The problem I am sensing from the numerous execs I’ve talked to is sort of what I alluded either in an article or the blog or the Twitter — I don’t know, it all sort of runs together.

There are lots of teams looking to get rid of really good players, but good players with really big contracts. So those teams automatically want picks and prospects back, which as you know if you’ve been reading the Strib, the Wild isn’t exactly filled to the brim with. So, hence Fletcher’s problem. And hence, the league’s problem. You can’t just acquire a $4 million player in today’s game without giving up some dough.

He’s inquired about nearly 40 players, including Phil Kessel and Dany Heatley. But there are many others that I either don’t know about or don’t want to write because it’s just rumor, so who knows what Fletcher gets done — or quite frankly, if Fletcher gets something done.

I’ve been told Ottawa’s cut its targeted teams down to seven. I’ve been told the Wild is one of them. But I’ve also been told L.A.’s hot after him and would consider giving up winger Alex Frolov, a quality defenseman and the fifth pick, which let’s be honest, the Wild can’t contend with.

And, five minutes later, I still think it’s insane. Check out Hextall’s comments on the Kings website re Heatley. If anything, the red-flag comments seem more damning when you see them in context. Is the entire Kings brain-trust just blowing smoke up our a***s every time they talk about a potential trade? Are we supposed to take every interview or fan-chat as coded messages or shots across the bow of  opposing GMs?

I still think it makes no sense to trade one LW for another. Yes, it’s an upgrade, in theory. But, forgetting the red-flags, like for example that Heatley is having a problem in OTT with their — wait for it — DEFENSIVE SYSTEM and doesn’t like — WAIT FOR IT — BEING BUMPED FROM THE FIRST POWER PLAY UNIT, how the hell is that supposed to work with Terry Murray, who bumps people from the first power play unit all the way down to the fourth line as punishment for a bad pass.

I just have to believe DL will not pull the trigger on a Heatley deal. Dealing Johnson I would be okay with. Not Frolov. And not the 5th.

If DL makes that trade, the only way he will be able to make it up to me is by signing Hossa next week.

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