NHL Trade Rumors: Will the MN Wild Trade Brandon Duhaime?

Brandon Duhaime breaking his stick during warmups.
Mandatory Credit: Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports /

This isn’t a question that a lot of fans in the “hockey vibes” world don’t want to hear about, but unfortunately, it needs to be a discussion. With all of the contract extensions that were signed before the Minnesota Wild season even started, there aren’t many players left for GM Bill Guerin to possibly trade. A lot of the players who would have brought great value at the trade deadline, possibly Marcus Foligno, Ryan Hartman, Mats Zuccarello, etc., have No-Move or No-Trade clauses. While a player can agree to waive these clauses, there aren’t any players on the team who seem eager to leave. That means that Duhaime is at the top of the list if Guerin finds a good trade somewhere.

What does Duhaime bring to a team?

A loveable goofball, Duhaime brings more to the team than meets the eye. He is a definite emotional-support fourth (or occasionally third) line player. But there is a reason why Minnesota fans (and his teammates) love him.

  • He is a ride-or-die for the team. Duhaime is known for never shutting his mouth on the bench, always cheering on the other players. His energy is contagious.
  • While he isn’t known for winning fights, Duhaime isn’t afraid to drop the gloves. Even if there aren’t any willing participants, he’s always physical.
  • He is a grinder and is a presence on the penalty kill. Duhaime can put on the jets if needed to get out of the zone.

Duhaime’s future

Last summer Duhaime, signed a one-year contract extension with the Wild for $1.1 million. The contract negotiation went all the way through an arbitration process. When this contract ends, Duhaime will be an unrestricted free agent. Any team that picks him up at the deadline can use him as a physical presence rental during a playoff run.

On the flip side, Duhaime was drafted by the Minnesota Wild during the 2016 NHL Draft. He spent two years with the Iowa Wild before moving up full-time to the Minnesota Wild. Duhaime has expressed in the past how much he wants to stay with Minnesota. But with the Wild’s obvious salary cap issues, they might not be able to re-sign him for a price that he would agree to. With other prospects coming up through Iowa soon, Duhaime might find a bigger offer somewhere else.

The Downside to Duhaime

Last year, Duhaime struggled with repeated concussions and was in and out of the lineup all season. He only played 51 games during the 2022-23 season, although this season he’s already surpassed that with 56 games played. But his concussion history could give a team pause.

Even worse, Duhaime’s concussions came from his own stupid decisions, namely getting into fights. This fight against Kyle Burroughs last March was tough because the Wild were in a tight race to the playoffs. 

Would Guerin even think of trading Duhaime?

In my opinion, it would have to be a special trade for Guerin to let go of Duhaime. It isn’t a secret that Duhaime fits into the type of player that Guerin loves: physical, gritty, grinding. He’s also been developed through the Minnesota system from the beginning and is obviously beloved on the team.

On the flip side, after already struggling to agree on a contract, there is a possibility that Duhaime will sign somewhere else over the summer. That possibility could make Guerin inclined to trade him off as a rental. But could Guerin get a good return for a fourth-line grinder with a third-line up-side? It doesn’t seem like the type of trade he’d be interested in.

With only a few weeks to go before the trade deadline, it’s still a little hazy whether the Wild have a real shot at a playoff spot or not. This year certainly won’t be a “big trade” year like the past few have been for Guerin, but it also won’t be a “fire sale.” Duhaime’s fate in Minnesota depends on the likelihood of a playoff spot.

For more Minnesota Wild news and vibes, listen to Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast.

Hockey, Hockey, Everywhere! That's Why I've Been So Busy! Her Wild Side Hockey Podcast

In this episode, Mikki talks about the abundance of amazing hockey between the NHL Playoffs and the IIHF Men's World Championships. She also touches on a few fun facts and rambles a bit too much after too many days between podcast episodes. Links:Her Wild Side Merch Shop!Ticketmaster Affiliate LinkSocial Media:TwitterInstagramFacebookFor more from us, visit Inside The RinkHow to support us and our sponsors:Columbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR   
  1. Hockey, Hockey, Everywhere! That's Why I've Been So Busy!
  2. It's The Playoffs, Baby!
  3. Hockey Culture is Disgusting and Needs to Change
  4. A Post-Mortem for the MN Wild Season
  5. Trading Gustavsson Would Be the Dumbest Idea Ever

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