The Rangers-Wild connection continued today, with a trade of depth players between the two organizations. It's the seventh trade in the last eleven seasons, and third in the past two years. New York has also signed former Wild players Derek Boogaard and Marian Gaborik over that period, keeping it a strong relationship between the clubs.
This time around it was 6-5, 215lb defender Justin Falk, who was drafted by the Wild in the 4th round of the 2007 draft, and has played parts of four seasons with the club. Falk has 1 goal, 14 assists and 100 penalty minutes in 108 NHL games, and played his first four playoff games this past spring.
In exchange for Falk, the Rangers sent depth forward Benn Ferriero - previously acquired from the Penguins for Chad Kolarik earlier this year - and a sixth round draft pick in 2014. Ferreriro had a brief stint with the Rangers, but didn't appear to have a significant future with the club. It was also necessary for the Rangers to trade a contract to stay at the 50 contract limit.
Primarily a third pair defender who sees limited penalty kill time, and almost no power play time, it's perhaps surprising then that his one career goal game in the 2011-12 season with the man advantage.
In each of his four seasons, and brief playoff career, Falk has had a negative plus-minus stat, perhaps partly due to his limited offensive contributions on a low-scoring team, as well as maybe a suggestion about his defensive abilities. It remains to be seen whether he can change his luck in a blueshirt.
Falk will be an RFA in a few days, and is due an $825,000 qualifying offer, further putting pressure on the Rangers' cap situation, but adding some extra depth on the blueline.
The 2014 sixth round pick sent to Minnesota, was from the Blue Jackets, acquired in the trade of Marian Gaborik to Columbus earlier this year.