February 14, 2019 | 11:37am ET
INTEREST PICKING UP FOR MINNESOTA’S STAAL
Eric Staal, centre
The Minnesota Wild currently own the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference, but the team also finds itself within four points of being near the bottom of the standings.
Losing captain Mikko Koivu for the rest of the season due to injury hurts the club down the stretch, but the team is focused on maintaining its run at post-season play.
However, Wild GM Paul Fenton has a serious decision to make related to pending unrestricted free agent centre Eric Staal.
Staal, 34, is in the final-year of his three-year, $10.5 million contract and owns a 10-team no-trade list.
According to multiple league-wide sources, TFP has learned several teams have expressed serious interest in Staal and Fenton has been weighing his options.
Staal made his debut on TFP’s Top 30 Trade Watch List on Thursday.
While it’s not yet known which teams are after Staal, a number of clubs – including the New York Islanders, Winnipeg Jets and Montreal Canadiens – are looking for an upgrade up the middle or in their top-six and could be in pursuit.
In 56 games with the Wild so far this season, Staal has registered 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points.