Edited May 7 at 5:39
I don’t know what your opinion is when it comes to the other potential centres available, but personally, I think Hertl would be the best for what the Wild could afford to give up.
While I would love to see Jack Eichel and Aleksander Barkov on this team, the cost would be way too much. Other Wild fans have thrown out the name Sean Monahan, but I’m just not a huge fan of his. He plays next to a tremendous player in Johnny Gaudreau and he always leaves me wanting more.
If not Hertl, I wouldn’t mind Guerin checking in with LA though on one of their many Centre prospects.
I'd agree that the best possible trade target to go after if he's available is Hertl. Couturier won't be available, even if they're headed for a rebuild, gotta think he's untouchable. Monahan would be my secondary target, but I'll get to him more in just a bit.
The best UFA target for me is Danault. He would make for a really good 1-2 punch with JEE and give Rossi time to develop. But it would be important to get him on a shorter 2-3 contract as opposed to anything longer. RNH would be both too pricey and isn't really a center anymore, he's a winger.
Eichel would cost too much and wouldn't be worth it because it would take an absolute overpay to get him out of Buffalo. I'm honestly over trying to acquire him anymore. Ditto that for Barkov, who would absolutely be worth it in my mind, but won't be available anyway. Barkov is literally my wet dream of getting an elite 1C though, so there's that.
Kings are a nice thought, but we don't really have anything they would want in return.
You're on the right track with Philly though, I would move Dumba after the ED for Morgan Frost and Philly's 2022 1st. Frost has top six center potential and is near NHL ready.
I've kinda come around on the thought of trading for Monahan for 2 reasons.
1) He's young, and fits right in line with the young core of players we already have. He'll also likely be cheaper than anything else on the market, given that his value is in a complete and utter freefall right now.
Calgary is very likely to be heading for a rebuild after this season, and given that we'd have assets they'd want. Might be more open to taking less for Monahan so long as they make up the difference in prospects or draft capital.
2) The Flames GM already offered Monahan 1v1 for Dumba, and Guerin said no. This gives us a massive head start on other trades because we already have a firm grasp of where value is measured for the player. We know that his value has gone down
since then. He can be had for less now, and far more easily than say Hertl for roughly at or around the same price point but with less competition for said player which means there'll be less chance of a bidding war breaking out on us.
There are obvious concerns about his compete level and defensive deficiencies compared to Hertl as well.
Or that he's less productive when not on a line with Johnny Hockey. All of these are valid points and concerns.
But I'm not fully convinced that we should just write him off as a option.
2a) Team Culture
It's kinda a **** show in Calgary right now, the Culture isn't bad by any means but it's stagnant, and I wouldn't be surprised if Monahan just needs a change of scenery in order to excel again.
We've all seen what Guerin has done for the Wild locker room and how things have changed so drastically within it, and this to me is the kind of environment Monahan needs to come to in order to turn things around.
2b) Byproduct of Johnny Hockey
We have two gamebreakers of our own now. Put him on a line with either Fiala or Kaprizov and he'll be fine.
2c) Defensive Deficiencies
We have more than enough defensive two-way forwards to stick on a line with him to cover that fact. We also happen to have a top 5 defense in the league, now coupled with solid goaltending. We and he will be fine if he comes here.
I would currently offer this for Monahan...
Either 2021 1st (PIT or MIN) OR 2022 2nd(MIN)