National Hockey League

Wild trades center and fan favorite Eric Staal to Buffalo


Johansson, 29, didn't make a splash at center with Buffalo, finishing last season with nine goals and 21 assists in 60 games and winning just 40 percent of faceoffs.


But Guerin is confident the 6-foot-1, 205-pound Swedish Olympian can handle the position, and he's keen on Johansson's playmaking ability and power play skills.


Staal's track record is also much longer than Johansson's, an elite and rare career that included a meaningful chapter in Minnesota.


Aside from Johansson, the Wild has Joel Eriksson Ek at center along with Bjugstad, Victor Rask and Nico Sturm, once he's re-signed.


Although Rask spent most of last season as an extra, Guerin called him a "very capable center" who the team needs to get more ice time.


Guerin did not mention Mikko Koivu's name when sizing up his depth chart up the middle and again declined to comment on the captain's future.






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