The Minnesota Wild have had an up-and-down season thus far. Many expected Minnesota to compete for the Stanley Cup Playoffs once again this season. They couldn't make splashy additions to their roster, but their core was talented enough. However, Minnesota has lagged behind other Western Conference contenders.

Minnesota is currently sixth place in the Central Division. They have two division rivals, the St. Louis Blues and the Nashville Predators, ahead of them in the playoff hunt. It's not impossible for them. After all, Minnesota is just four points back of the final wild card spot. That said, it's a bit of an uphill battle.

These next few weeks are crucial for the Wild. If they can go on a run, Minnesota boosts their playoff hopes. And as a result, their perspective at the NHL Trade Deadline shifts. If they remain stagnant, then the Wild will approach the deadline in a different manner.

In any event, the Wild could be active ahead of March 8. If they are, what is the ideal scenario for Minnesota? Let's take a deeper dive into that scenario with the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline a little over two weeks away.

An obvious need

Minnesota Wild defenseman Brock Faber (7) looks on during the third period against the New York Islanders at Xcel Energy Center.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The Wild have an obvious need ahead of the deadline. Minnesota could use an upgrade on their blueline. To an extent, they did shake this group up earlier in the year. The Wild acquired Zach Bogosian and traded Calen Addison in separate trades back in November.

However, they still need to shake things up. Veterans Alex Goligoski and Jon Merrill have not exactly played well this season. They don't play major roles, to be fair, but the struggles are still there. Furthermore, team captain Jared Spurgeon is out for the rest of the year due to injury.

A lot of the workload has fallen onto Brock Faber. Faber is a rookie, but he has taken on quite the role. In fact, he leads Minnesota in average time on ice per game with a little over 25 minutes. Only seven players in the league play more minutes per night than the Wild rookie rearguard.

Wild dream scenario for the NHL Trade Deadline

As a result, the dream scenario for the Wild is simple. First, they need to be a contender. Second, they need to find at least one defensemen who can stabilize their ranks. This second part is easier said than done, even without the first caveat. And the difficult part isn't only the fit or acquisition cost.

The Wild are strapped for salary cap space. In fact, they have nearly $15 million of dead salary cap space on their books. This has made it hard for them to make big moves. And it puts Minnesota in a dollar-in, dollar-out situation that can complicate their NHL Trade Deadline activity.

One option that could be very appealing for Minnesota is Nick Seeler. The Philadelphia Flyers defender carries just a $775K cap hit. He is an unrestricted free agent this offseason, so that comes into play. However, he provides an immediate upgrade for Minnesota's bottom-pairing.

However, Seeler is the only true cost affordable option that may not cost an arm and a leg. This will cause the Wild to get creative with their trade dealings. Other options include Edmonton Oilers defenseman Philip Broberg, Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman Adam Boqvist, and Nashville Predators defender Alexandre Carrier. But all of those options present their own obstacles when getting a deal done.

Overall, the Wild are need a blueliner, and they need one in the worst way. Even adding Nick Seeler alone could do wonders, even if Seeler isn't a top-of-the-lineup option. He could boost Minnesota's playoff hopes, and give Brock Faber a lighter workload.