Josh Harding for Nilsson?

Should the Oilers deal left-winger Robert Nilsson, or Rob Schremp and a second-round draft pick, to Minnesota to get Josh Harding, the Wild's young backup goalie? Harding is never going to play regularly with Minnesota. He's stuck behind Niklas Backstrom, but the Wild likely wants to retrieve Patrick O'Sullivan in any deal with the Oilers.

- Jim Matheson, Edmonton Journal

I don't know if Matheson's actually heard something indicating this is deal is being discussed between the two teams, but it wouldn't surprise me if it was.  Obviously Minnesota has made its goaltending decision with Niklas Backstrom's extension, and several different Oilers' fans have mentioned Harding as a possibility.

I'd be fine seeing all of Nilsson, Schremp and a second-round pick going to Minnesota for Harding, and the Oilers have a bit of leverage here; because Harding's an RFA, they can always threaten to sign him to an offer sheet in the 2.5MM range; Minnesota wouldn't neccessarily want to match that, and the return would only be a second round pick if they didn't.

As for Patrick O'Sullivan, while the trade might be fair value for the Oilers, we've seen how little goaltenders have fetched on the trade market, and so that would likely be an overpay (and have a better chance of coming back to haunt them, too).  If the Wild won't play ball on a spare parts offer (some combination of the above players or any of Pouliot, Brodziak, Staios, Brule, Potulny and Deslauriers) than the Oilers might be well-advised to try for a player like Jaroslav Halak or Ondrej Pavelec.

Let's assume thought that the Wild won't move Harding unless O'Sullivan is going the other way, and vow to match any offer sheet.  Is that a trade that you'd make?

 

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