Matt Dumba's future with the Minnesota Wild has been the frequent subject of media gossip. The coming season, however, could be the 28-year-old defenseman's last with the only NHL team he's ever played for.
The Athletic's Michael Russo last week reported Dumba is entering another season as a potential hot topic for trade rumors. The blueliner's eligibility for unrestricted free agency next summer, the Wild's salary-cap crunch for 2023-24 and their deep pool of defense prospects could signal his departure from The State of Hockey.
Cap Friendly indicates Dumba is in the final season of a five-year, $30-million contract. He also carries a 10-team no-trade list for this season. Given his skills as a big-minute blueliner, he'll likely earn a more lucrative deal next summer.
With a projected $66.3 million already invested in just 13 players for next season and the salary cap expected to rise by just $1 million to $83.5 million, the Wild could find it difficult retaining Dumba. Forwards Matt Boldy, Tyson Jost, and Sam Steel, and goaltender Filip Gustavsson will be restricted free agents and could seek significant raises if they play well this season.
Dumba seems unconcerned about the possibility of surfacing in this season's rumor mill, pointing to how often he was the subject of media conjecture in the past. Nevertheless, Russo suggested he could get shopped by the March 3 trade deadline if the Wild are out of playoff contention by then.
The Wild could also retain Dumba as an “own rental” if they're in the thick of the postseason hunt. They would still risk losing him for nothing next summer to free agency but it could be worth it if he helps them stage a deep playoff run.