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NHL Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz on Matt Dumba Trade, Flames’ Search for Depth

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Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba passes the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game against the Los Angeles Kings Saturday, March 7, 2020, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

Matt Dumba has been a solid contributor for the Minnesota Wild for the majority of his seven-year NHL career. However, the 2019-20 season didn’t go quite as well as some previous years for the defenseman.

Over 69 games, Dumba had six goals and 18 assists while posting a plus/minus rating of minus-seven, the lowest of his career. That led to some rumors that Minnesota was looking to trade the 26-year-old, whom it selected with the No. 7 overall pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL draft.

But it appears those rumors may be going away for the time being.

According to The Athletic’s Michael Russo, the talk of a Dumba trade “has cooled as we’ve entered the dog days of a bizarre offseason,” noting that it mostly has to do with other teams’ financial situations. Dumba has a $6 million cap hit for each of the next three seasons, and most teams aren’t in position to add that type of salary “because of limited cap space or internal budgets due to the pandemic,” per Russo.

Russo reported that Wild general manager Bill Guerin would likely want to acquire a No. 1 or No. 2 center in exchange for Dumba, and there’s “little chance” they would get an offer close to that at this point.

“Teams just aren’t trading those type of players right now,” Russo added. “Dumba is coming off a down year, and were a year from expansion. So if a team added Dumba, they would then be the team that would have to find a way to protect him and expose somebody else.”

There’s no guarantee, though, that Dumba will remain with Minnesota for the rest of his contract, as he’s not set to become a free agent until 2023, and it’s impossible to tell where the salary cap will be at that point.

Dumba could also boost his value if he has a bounce-back season in 2020-21. His best season came in 2018-19, when he played in all 82 regular-season games and tallied a career-high 50 points on 14 goals and 36 assists, also both career highs.

This past season, Minnesota lost a best-of-five series to the Vancouver Canucks in the qualifying round, failing to win a playoff series for the fifth successive campaign. It appears Dumba is likely to be with the Wild trying to help them end that drought in 2021.

Flames Not Done Making Moves?

Jeffrey T. Barnes/Associated Press

It’s been a busy offseason for the Calgary Flames, who have made several additions that should improve the team for next season and beyond. They signed goaltender Jacob Markstrom to a six-year, $36 million deal and also added defenseman Chris Tanev on a four-year, $18 million deal.

However, Calgary may not be done adding players to the blue line. According to TSN’s Darren Dreger, Flames general manager Brad Treliving still “would also like to add an experienced right-side defenseman.” And per Dreger, it’s more likely that Calgary does that via trade rather than signing a free agent.

Tanev should provide a defensive boost for the Flames, as he was a reliable contributor for the Canucks over the past 10 seasons, posting a positive plus/minus rating in eight of the past nine years. But it can never hurt to add depth on the blue line.

This past season, Calgary allowed 32.4 shots per game (eighth-most in the NHL) and gave up 3.06 goals per game (tied for 15th in the league), so it could benefit from getting stronger on defense. The Flames still won a qualifying-round series over the Winnipeg Jets before losing to the Dallas Stars in the first round. With that performance coming a year after they put up the Western Conference’s best record, they are clearly eager to set themselves up for a deeper playoff run next term.

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