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Bruins trade targets: Would calling the Minnesota Wild make sense?

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They’re on the fringe of the playoff picture, but may see the writing on the wall and be willing to deal.

Minnesota WIld v New Jersey Devils Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

EDIT (2/20, 6:30 PM): Turns out the Bruins were, in fact, calling the Wild, as they’ve acquired Charlie Coyle in exchange for Ryan Donato and a fifth-round draft pick.

The Minnesota Wild are hanging on for dear life in the Western Conference playoff race. They’re 2-5-3 in their last 10 games, and currently sit in the second Wild Card spot.

With 60 points, they’re just a point ahead of Colorado, Vancouver and Chicago; they’re 3 points ahead of Phoenix. Ahead them sit the St. Louis Blues, 7 points clear and comfortably in 3rd place in the Central.

So no, the Minnesota Wild technically aren’t out of it, but they’re certainly trending in the wrong direction.

Does this mean Paul Fenton may be willing to ship a player or two out of town? If so, the Bruins may have interest in two players: Eric Staal and Charlie Coyle.

Charlie Coyle - C/RW

Stats: 10G-18A-28 PTS in 59 games

Coyle is one of those guys who has been linked in Bruins rumors for years. Why? 99% of it is because he’s from the South Shore, and every local guy gets linked to the Bruins at some point or another and clearly all local guys make the team better.

But Coyle could fit a need for the Bruins this year. He’s a right shot who can play center or right wing; this would allow the Bruins to plug him in on David Krejci’s or Patrice Bergeron’s right, or to get ambitious and put him at 3C.

He’s got some decent offensive touch, approaching his 11 goal total from last year with 7 games to spare. Would he put the Bruins over the top? He might not be as splashy an addition as Mark Stone or Artemi Panarin, but he would certainly allow the Bruins to distribute their talent a little more effectively.

One catch: he wouldn’t be a pure rental, as he’s signed through next season. His reasonable cap hit of $3.2 million means the Bruins would have no trouble fitting him under the cap, and would also make him a decent chip at next year’s deadline if he wasn’t in the Bruins’ long-term plans.

Will he be on the block? It’s hard to say. A lot of it will depend on how the Wild see this season: if it’s a blip, and they think next year will be better, they may want to hold onto Coyle. Plus, they could keep him and flip him next year as a pending UFA, probably boosting his value in the process.

Eric Staal - C

Stats: 17G-20A-37PTS in 58 games

Hey, remember him? Eric Staal is still in the league, and is still pretty productive. Surprisingly, he scored 42 goals a year ago, and is approaching 20 this season for a Minnesota team that isn’t exactly an offensive juggernaut.

On the Bruins, Staal would have to play the 3C role. While he may no longer be in his prime, a middle of Bergeron, Krejci and Staal wouldn’t be too shabby.

Will he be on the block? Staal is a pending UFA, so if the Wild decide their season is toast, you have to think he’ll be on the block. If he ends up out there, he’ll likely become one of the more in-demand rentals. Fenton may be able to command a first-round pick for him, which is probably too rich for the Bruins’ tastes.

However, if the Staal market is soft and he can be had for a second and a lower-level prospect, it may be worth a shot.