Paul Fenton has wasted no time putting his fingerprints on the Minnesota Wild since being named the third general manager in franchise history on May 21, 2018.
Nino Niederreiter, Charlie Coyle, and Mikael Granlund - all considered to be part of the team's core under the previous regime - have been dealt during the past year. And all signs indicate forward Jason Zucker will be next.
A deal to send Zucker to the Calgary Flames fell through just before the trade deadline in February. Last month, a reported move that would've sent him and Victor Rask to the Pittsburgh Penguins for Phil Kessel and Jack Johnson didn't happen because Kessel used his no-trade clause to nix the deal.
"I could be somewhere else before the award show (on Wednesday)," Zucker, who's nominated for the King Clancy Award, joked to The Athletic's Michael Russo. "I mean, honestly, I can be traded at any moment ... if it's going to happen, obviously."
Zucker signed a five-year extension in July, which was one of Fenton's first moves. He's expressed his love for Minnesota and a desire to stay with the Wild despite the constant trade rumors.
"That's what makes it the hardest because we're all great friends," Zucker said, referring to the teammates who reached out when the trades that fell through made headlines. "And I mean, as far as I know, they don't want me to leave and I don't want to, but again, that's kind of part of the business. But I will say, I do want to be somewhere I'm wanted.”
Zucker said he'll feel no animosity toward Fenton, regardless of what happens, but added that he doesn't exactly see eye to eye with the GM.
"I'm going to stay out of it because realistically, I mean Paul's never treated me poorly," Zucker said. "I have respected Paul in his position and what he does. Can I say fully that I agree with everything? No, but I can say that about any position, any person in the world I wouldn't totally agree with everything. And most people would say that about me, and that's just the way it works."
Zucker, 27, set career highs with 33 goals and 64 points in 2017-18 but tallied just 21 goals and 42 points last year. His contract carries a $5.5-million cap hit through the 2022-23 season and a 10-team no-trade list that kicks in July 1.