With hockey's general managers scheduled to meet this Thursday in Chicago, it is rumored that Minnesota GM Doug Risebrough has been actively shGaopping Marian Gaborik, the team's star player(and only original Wild left from the franchise's beginning) around the league. Gaborik, the team's leading career scorer with 207 goals and 415 points in Minnesota, has a history of abdominal and leg injuries, so this may be the time to trade him; he can become an unrestricted free agent next summer; and has already rejected multiple contract extension offers from the Wild.
It's believed that Risebrough has already had conversations with Montreal Canadiens GM Bob Gainey, and Los Angeles Kings GM Dean Lombardi. When pressed on it, Risebrough said that the Wild have a plan and "that plan doesn't need to be revealed on a day-to-day basis." The Canadiens would make the most sense from what I've heard so far, given that they currently have a strong team, have salary cap flexibility in future years and young talent. Everything is still at the rumor stage right now, but it has been reported by Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that the Wild is interested in Canadiens defenseman prospect Ryan McDonagh, who was Montreal's #12 pick in 2007, and is currently playing at the University of Wisconsin. In this scenario, the Wild would also want an established player.
However, the Canadiens -- or any other potential partner, for that matter -- would want to know whether Gaborik would sign with them, and there have been no reports of any trade demands by Gaborik's agent, Ron Salcer, to this point. I totally believe that now would be the time to trade Gaborik, but not give him away, either. Last year was his most productive of his career(and importantly, most healthy) career, so I feel it would be better to trade him than let him leave as a free agent, much as the Twins were forced to do last winter with Johan Santana. I will be watching for word from the meetings in Chicago, but this is very likely to drag out all season(or at least, to the trade deadline!) Stay tuned!!