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(Satire) Vegas, Washington and Minnesota involved in major multi-player swap


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From the Athletic by Michael Trueso


February 18th, 2023 - St. Paul, Minnesota 


Ever see the hapless college broadcaster that couldn't keep up with the highlights so he just starts saying "Boom, goes the dynamite" over and over again?  Minnesota Wild fans might feel that way after seeing one of the most bizarre and lopsided trades in NHL history.  


In less than 24 hours after Minnesota played the role of financial intermediary to the Toronto Maple Leafs that allowed them to afford a trade that got them Ryan O'Reilly, Noel Acciari from the St. Louis Blues who received a 1st round and 2nd round pick in 2023 and 2024 respectively as well as a 3rd round pick from Ottawa in 2023.  The Wild got a conditional 4th round pick in 2025 for doing the Maple Leafs and Blues a solid.  


"It was kind of like dominoes, after that first 3-way deal went down, my phone wouldn't stop ringing," said Wild General Manager Bill Guerin.  "People were making all kinds of offers, it was kind of crazy," and that's a good way to describe the deal that concluded a few hours later.  


Vegas traded a 3rd round pick in 2024 to the Washington Capitals for Alexander Ovechkin, while the Minnesota Wild traded Kirill Kaprizov to the Capitals for a conditional 6th round pick in 2036.  The Wild are also on the hook for 90% of Ovechkin's salary through the duration of his current contract which runs through the 2025-26 season.  If Kaprizov does not replicate Ovechkin's normal totals of 50 goals per season the next four years, the Wild's 6th round pick in 2036 turns into a 7th round pick in 2036 instead.  


Washington General Manager Brian MacLellan seemed ecstatic, "You never know when an opportunity will come by, and after last night's move I thought what the hell, let's give Billy a call and see what happens."  While Alexander Ovechkin is clearly a legendary player, the 37-year old winger still had four years remaining on his $9.5 million a season contract and that was something the Capitals were always a little uncomfortable with.  MacLellan added, "Make no mistake, we absolutely love Ovie, without a doubt he is the greatest Capitals player to ever wear our uniform, but we are also super happy that we've brought in another superstar to give the fans many of the same thrills the Great 8 gave them for years in Kaprizov."  


According to sources, Capitals owner Ted Leonsis said "This is the happiest he has been since he first heard 'you've got mail' as the CEO of America Online, seriously, the only thing better is winning a Stanley Cup."  But he isn't the only one that seems to be excited about this deal.  


Vegas GM Kelly McCrimmon, "Wow, we just added arguably the greatest goal scorer in the history of the NHL at a 90% discount and we only gave up a 3rd round pick.  It just seems unreal, but we're really happy it is."  When asked what did Minnesota got out of this that would prompt them to agree to pay 90% of the Great 8's salary, McCrimmon simply said, "You'd have to ask Billy about that."  


And that's exactly what reporters did.  


When asked why the team picked up 90% of Ovechkin's salary for nothing in return from Vegas, Guerin seemed to get a bit defensive, "Listen, I told you all this earlier when we made other deals.  My goal is not to win the trade.  We simply want to make a hockey deal, we got another pick for Judd (Brackett) to work with and we know he'll probably hit a home run with it no matter if it is a 6th or 7th rounder."  


How did Kaprizov take the news?  Guerin told reporters that as soon as he brought Kaprizov into his office and said 'you've been traded' that a huge smile and sigh of relief came over the superstar winger.  He just seemed happy and relieved recalled an anonymous source who witnessed the meeting.  They shook hands, wished each other the best of luck and Kaprizov left to gather up his gear and go.  


A day after the Wild's improbable 2-1 shootout win against Dallas, a game where the team again failed to register an even strength goal the team heard about the second trade during a practice at Tria Rink.  The players then held a closed door meeting where some shouting was heard according to anonymous sources near the team.  When asked to comment, longtime linemate and friend of Mats Zuccarello repeatedly said "no comment" as he walked out to his car clearly in a state of shock over the deal.  


But perhaps the more important question is how are Wild fans taking the news?  Not so well.  


In a sad display outside Xcel Energy Center, despondent and sorrowful Wild fans had created a small candle-lit shrine with Kaprizov's picture.  Every now and then a fan would put down a small candle or flowers near the shrine with a hand written note thanking Kaprizov for all of the excitement he brought to the team while he was here the last 3 seasons.  


Leslie Knutson, 37 of St. Paul seemed to be in a state of shock as she stared blankly at the shrine, "I just can't believe it, he's the best player we've ever had and now he's going to be in Washington.  I guess I'll buy a Capitals sweater now."  6-year old Makayla Carlson was more direct, "I hate the Wild!" as she turned and hugged the leg of her mother who had tears in her eyes shaking her head and saying, "See what you've done Bill, this isn't right."  


Amazingly, not all Wild fans are approaching this trade with shock or sadness, although there might be a little bit of denial involved.  "We've got to be patient, Billy is a smart guy.  So is Brackett, we'll just draft the next Kaprizov.  This will be ok.  We got Bolds, Gus, Dewey, Shawsy and we'll soon have Rossi and all of those prospects, we're set, Boom!" said Alex M. a tireless supporter of Minnesota sports.  


Guerin seemed to echo that blind loyalty, "This deal will work out fine.  I'm Billy $%cking Guerin, I am the GM.  Sometimes you have to make tough moves for the betterment of the team.  We feel confident this will work out for all sides.  If I say its going to work, its going to, period.  The fans will respect that, I trust they will see it and if they don't, I won't worry about it."  


When asked what will the team do to address its 5-on-5 scoring issue now that it traded away its best scorer, Guerin smiled and said, "We've got a lot of proud players in that (locker) room, Greener, Hartsy, Marcus...I think they'll step up as they've always stepped up.  I'm not worried."  


Boom, goes the dynamite indeed.  

Edited by CreaseAndAssist
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