By Michael Russo
Indicatations here in Columbus tonight are that the Wild is close to making a trade after a long day on the phones for GM Doug Risebrough.
Risebrough said he would be “chained” to his hotel room tonight. This morning, Risebrough said there was nothing on the front burner, however, when reached a few hours ago, he indicated that has changed dramatically. He did not specify that Fernandez would be the guy moved, but that is the most logical assumption.
According to sources, the two teams hot after Fernandez are Boston and Phoenix. The Wild, one source says, has been offered “legitimate value.” The Wild likely would be looking to flip first-round picks and get a $2-3 million player in return.
Fernandez is undeniably the top goalie out there now that J-S Giguere re-signed with Anaheim.
Update: I’m hearing Boston. I’ve talked to two people with the Bruins. Entire staff is meeting at this hour, 7:45 pm ET. However, I was just told “five” teams still in it and no guarantees. Still sticking by the phone, laptop.
Last update of night: Nothing yet. Rumors are Boston might be looking at Toskala or Bryzgalov also. One big problem here is Bruins desperately want to discard Glen Murray, and that’s a $4 million tag the Wild doesn’t want.
Still, the fact it didn’t get done tonight doesn’t mean it definitely won’t. Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli didn’t get to Columbus until Thursday night because of the Claude Julien presser in Boston. So he met with his staff much of the evening, not only on trade stuff, but draft stuff. I was told he basically told Risebrough, “Let me call you tomorrow.”
Regardless, it’s clear the Wild feels it’s close to a deal with one of five teams.
Another thing I just heard from an impeccable source. Fernandez is not the top goalie available.
Nashville is calling around offering Tomas Vokoun. The Preds called Florida, and the Panthers were not interested, which means they’re not in the Fernandez game either. Looks like Ed Belfour will be back in Florida. The end game here is Florida wants to wait and see if Miikka Kiprusoff becomes available next season.
That’d be a shock unless Iron Mike Keenan runs Kipper out of Calgary. Of course, he did that to Roberto Luongo.