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In spite of the fact that they are dealing with a less than enviable salary cap situation the Minnesota Wild have been a pretty competitive team this season with a record of 11-9-2 through the first 22 games of the 2022-23 regular season.
That has surprised some who were expecting the Wild to bottom out with $12.7 million in dead cap space due to the buyouts of former Wild forward Zach Parise and former Wild defenseman Ryan Suter, but in spite of the fact that they could be a surprise contender this season it appears Wild general manager Bill Guerin intends to stay the course. That course it would appear includes continuing to rid the team of veteran players on big money deals, and the next man on the list may very well be veteran Wild defenseman Matt Dumba.
Dumba has been the subject of trade speculation for what feels like several seasons now but there's something distinctly different about the rumors this time around. It would appear as though Dumba, who is set to be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, may have worn out his welcome in Minnesota. Recently, Minnesota Wild insider Mike Russo revealed his belief that the Wild will likely attempt to trade Dumba this season, even if the team ends up contending for a spot in the playoffs.
If Guerin could move Dumba in a parallel move, it’s likely he would do so. Dumba has played better lately, but he got off to a subpar start to his season and could be upgraded. It really wouldn’t be surprising if Guerin traded Dumba in advance of the deadline, even if the team is in a playoff slot.
That would appear to clearly put the writing on the wall for Dumba who isn't off to the best start this season. Over those 22 games played by the Wild, Dumba has registered 2 goals and 5 assists for a total of 7 points, but he has also accumulated 23 penalty minutes and boasts a plus minus rating of -5.
The 28 year old native of Regina, Saskatchewan does carry a significant cap hit of $6 million in the final year of his current deal however, so finding a trade partner may prove difficult for the Wild.