Commentary

Extreme makeover: Minnesota Wild

Exactly how much can Dany Heatley, Devin Setoguchi help struggling offense?

Originally Published: July 19, 2011
By Neil Greenberg | Special to ESPN Insider
Devin SetoguchiJonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesDevin Setoguchi (left) and Dany Heatley should help, but will Setoguchi be the bigger contributor?

Starting with the Philadelphia Flyers' bold trades just prior to the NHL draft, the league's landscape has undergone some significant changes this offseason. For the next five weeks, Insider contributor Neil Greenberg will examine, in detail, five of the biggest summer renovators -- the San Jose Sharks, the Minnesota Wild, the Los Angeles Kings, the Washington Capitals and the Flyers -- to see what we can expect from their remodeled rosters. The series continues with a look at the Wild.


The Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators and New Jersey Devils. Those were the only teams that scored fewer goals at even strength than the Minnesota Wild. The Wild could muster an average of only 26 shots on goal per game, good for dead last in the league last season.

"Whether you were a fan or a coach or up in the press box eating popcorn, I think clearly we didn't score enough goals and we didn't shoot the puck enough,'' Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher told the press when he shook up his team in a big way this summer.

The Wild sent defensemen Brent Burns and a second-round pick to San Jose in return for forward Devin Setoguchi, prospect Charlie Coyle and a first-round pick. They also swapped playmaker Martin Havlat, who waived his no-trade clause, for San Jose sniper Dany Heatley.

Heatley and Setoguchi will be asked to bolster a lackluster offense in an attempt to return the organization to the postseason. Heatley will undoubtedly strengthen the Wild's PP, but will another "fresh start" help him regain the scoring touch he displayed during his first two years in Ottawa? Will trading away two of their top three scorers last year put Minnesota into the playoffs for the first time in four years?


To read more about the offseason moves that the Minnesota Wild made -- and if they improved the team -- you must be an ESPN Insider.

Neil Greenberg is ESPN Insider's NHL analytics expert. His columns have appeared on the Washington Post website, and he is a regular guest on Sirius XM NHL Radio.