Michael Russo’s Sunday Insider: Fletcher weighs options

Chuck Fletcher is weighing the present with the future, treading carefully as he tries to help jolt the Wild into a playoff berth as the Feb. 27 trade deadline approaches.

The Wild general manager wants to make the playoffs, but he doesn’t want to do something foolish that he’ll regret years from now (i.e. Nick Leddy Part Deux).

After working to build up a prospect pool, he doesn’t want to make a desperation move for a short-term fix.

“When you look at it historically, when you’re talking about the rental type of trades, the vast majority of time, the team trading the player with the expiring contract and picking up future considerations almost always wins,” Fletcher said.

Fletcher finds himself in a position a lot of GMs of midrange teams find themselves in this time of year. He feels the pressure of making the playoffs, something the Wild hasn’t done since it won the Northwest Division in 2008. As of Saturday, the Wild was outside the top eight.

But this is often when teams extend themselves in terms of what they give up. Remember, there’s only one Stanley Cup winner.

In 2007, the going price for a rental was a first-round pick along with several other top assets. The Islanders acquired Ryan Smyth from Edmonton, Atlanta acquired Keith Tkachuk from St. Louis and Nashville acquired Peter Forsberg from Philadelphia.

None of those teams made it past the first round. Was it worth it?

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