-- It could be a season-defining day here at Xcel Energy Center.
With Minnesota five points back of Dallas, Los Angeles and Colorado for the eighth and final playoff spot in the west, and just 24 hours before the NHL trading deadline, a win or loss tonight against San Jose may decide the fate of the Wild from a competitive standpoint.
A win tonight keeps the Wild's fading playoff hopes alive and General Manager Chuck Fletcher may choose to keep some veterans with expiring contracts around in hopes of one final playoff push. A loss could mean selling those pieces and building for the future.
Fletcher made a move Thursday that could be seen as both, moving defenseman Marek Zidlicky
to New Jersey for former Wild players Kurtis Foster
and Stephane Veilleux
as well as a second round draft pick in this year's draft and a condition third rounder in 2013 should the Devils reach the Eastern Conference Finals this spring.
The other piece the Wild got in return, and perhaps the most intriguing, is winger Nick Palmieri
. At 6-3 and 220 lbs, and just 22 years old, Palmieri fell out of favor with the Devils but has a new opportunity to shine in Minnesota.