Jason Zucker’s power-play goal with 1 minute, 27 seconds remaining in the third period Tuesday night tied the score for the visiting Wild in what became a 3-2 victory over Winnipeg when Joel Eriksson Ek scored 26 seconds later.
While Zucker ended the night as a hero for the Wild, the reality was Minnesota general manager Paul Fenton reportedly came very close to dealing the winger to Calgary a day earlier at the trade deadline. This wouldn’t have been a surprise given that Fenton had traded forwards Nino Niederreiter (Carolina) and Charlie Coyle (Boston) leading up to the deadline and then sent forward Mikael Granlund to Nashville on deadline day.
So why wasn’t Zucker traded? This was the tweet from Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic on Monday night.
Both myself and @RussoHockey learning that what looked like a done deal between Calgary and Minnesota involving Jason Zucker fell through today. Why exactly it came undone isn’t clear at this point…
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) February 26, 2019
According to Yahoo! Sports, Darren Dreger spoke about the potential deal Tuesday on TSN 1050 and reported the Flames were not pleased.
“I think it was a timing thing,” Dreger said. “I didn’t talk to (Calgary general manager) Brad Treliving directly, but I was told that he was white hot. So whether that’s directed at Minnesota, whether that’s directed at something internally, whether that’s directed at the league.
“There was a logjam, there always is, but there was a jam up at central registry so maybe it was just an issue of the queue being too long. But normally what happens is as long as the trade is filed, they still honor it, you just have to go through the process.”
Zucker, who signed a five-year, $27.5 million contract last July that will have a modified no-trade clause kick in next season (he can submit a 10-team no-trade list), still could be moved this summer. Asked about the reports after Tuesday’s game, Zucker had little to say.
Zucker on the reports by @TheAthleticNHL and TSN that he was nearly traded to Calgary: "I’m going to forget about it. I’m going to forget about it. I have no comment on that."
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) February 27, 2019
Zucker, 27, now has 16 goals and 32 points in 63 games this season after scoring a career-high 33 goals and 64 points in 82 games last season.