Matt Dumba healthy scratch sparks “wild” trade rumors

According to Michael Russo of The Athletic, “Matt Dumba will be a healthy scratch tonight. Hockey decisions, not injuries. “We had a really good meeting,” Wild head coach Dean Evason told the media of his chat with Dumba about the decision. He knows why he’s sitting out tonight.” Russo reports that Alex Goligowski will be inserted into the lineup and points to the trade chatter surrounding Dumba, who was already mentioned by TSN’s Darren Drager as a possible target for the Edmonton Oilers and Ottawa Senators.

With just a few weeks until the NHL trade deadline, any scratch from the lineup will be seen by some as a sign that a trade may be imminent. Teams will often pull players right before contracts to avoid risk of injury. That may not be the case for Dumba, but his potential move will still be discussed considering the Wild have no intention of re-signing him as a pending UFA this summer.

Considering this is being labeled as a hockey decision, it also changes the narrative Draeger outlined when he discussed the fact that the Wild may be hesitant to move Dumba, simply because they need him in their lineup as they continue to strive for the best possible playoff spot. If they choose to sit him, people will ask, ‘How much do they really need?’ That could change perspective on how wild Dumber’s value is this season and how much they might like to upgrade that position.

Matt Dumba is the Minnesota Wild

Is it less opportunity to sell to another team to grab the defenseman? Perhaps that’s something the Oilers are considering since they scratched Jesse Puljujarvi for two games and he’s also slated to transfer. The only problem for the Oilers is money. They don’t have the cap space to take on Dumber’s salary (unless at least 50% is retained and perhaps a third party is involved).

Senators seem like the most logical fit here. They had been looking for a defenseman for some time. They were rumored to be interested in Jacob Chaichrun but the price was too high. If the cost to acquire Dumba is much lower, then perhaps this is a move that makes sense for the Senators looking to add, even if their season hasn’t gone according to plan.

Dumba was drafted by the Wild in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, seventh overall. He made his NHL debut in the 2013–2014 season. He has been with the team ever since and is, till now, considered an important part of their defensive core.

Next: Timo Meyer is considered a top trade target for the New York Rangers

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