ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Before speaking to media members Monday evening, Minnesota Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher needed to charge his phone. The battery was nearly dead after another busy NHL Trade Deadline, something that has become a staple during the Fletcher regime.
After acquiring defenseman Jordan Leopold from the Columbus Blue Jackets earlier in the day, little else was expected from the Wild as 2 p.m. local time approached.
But shortly before the deadline (three minutes to be exact), Fletcher and Buffalo Sabres general manager Tim Murray were able to agree to a trade that sent forward Chris Stewart to Minnesota for a second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Draft.
Fletcher and Murray, who are close friends, made their third straight deadline-day deal, following trades that sent Jason Pominville (2013) and Matt Moulson (2014) to the Wild from the rebuilding Sabres.
And for the third straight year, the Wild traded a future second-round pick to the Sabres, who received two second-round picks from Minnesota in 2014 and have another in 2016.
Fletcher said he and Murray had several conversations over the past year about Stewart and the Wild's potential interest in the power forward. Each time, the price Murray wanted wasn't one the Wild were willing to pay.
"I'd let him know that he was a player we would potentially have interest in," Fletcher said. "The price never seemed to fit in terms of what we spoke about."