Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher Overthinks Schultz Trade

A couple of days ago, Minnesota Wild General Manager, Chuck Fletcher traded beloved veteran Nick Schultz to the Edmonton Oilers for Tom Gilbert. Sportmentary hates the trade for a number of reasons and I think Fletcher overthought the trade and tried to reach for the moon. The problem is that Fletcher might not even hit the stratosphere with this move.

The first issue with this trade is the fact that Gilbert comes to the Wild woth foru million dollars of cap space. That's half a million more that Schultz. While that's basically a wash, that may be indictivie of the player the Wild aquired. I think Gilbert is an average player at best and acquiring cap space of that amount is basically saying you're dumping a veteran player.

Tom Gilbert was not a fan favorite of Edmonton Oilers fans. Most Oiler fans wanted him to be traded, largely due to his numerous turnovers in the defensive zone. So the Wild traded a veteran defenseman who is loved by their fans for a player who was disliked by Oiler fans due to his poor play. Sportmentary is shaking his head in disbelief.

Signed Cal Clutterbuck Photo - 8X10 w COAThe major reason that I'm against the move is due to the disruption in the Wild's locker room. Schultz was a respected player. He was loved in the locker room and was the team's leader. The Wild were visibly shaken after hearing about the trade and Cal Clutterbuck was visibly upset about the trade.

Other players weren't happy either and it showed in last night's game against the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings are ahead of the Wild in the fight for the playoffs and a win in this game was key. The Wild gave up three first period goals and went on to lose the game 4-0. The Wild didn't come to play and looked awful.

The loss was embarrassing and showed a lack of professionalism, even if they were upset with the move. Yes, they're human beings with feelings but they're also professionals, who should have put their feelings aside to fight for a playoff spot.

This brings me to another reason that I thinks this trade was awful. Many teams elect not to make a trade during this part of the season. The reason is that some NHL General Managers don't want to disrupt the locker room and the chemistry that some players have with particular players. Fletcher had already mixed up things in the locker room by trading Greg Zanon and Marek Zidlicky. Was it necessary to trade Schultz and send the locker room into disarray? I don't think so,

Bootom line, I think this trade was a poor and unnecessary one. All it did was disrupt the locker room at an important point in the season. The Wild dug themselves a bigger hole after last night's loss and I don't think they will recover.

Chuck Fletcher must have been overthinking this trade and he will regret it at season's end. Not only are the players upset but many fans are as well.

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