NEW YORK – The Wild are on a roll, having won two straight games, but that hasn’t stopped management from addressing the early defeat.
In a defensive change, the team traded Calen Addison to San Jose on Wednesday and brought in veteran Zach Bogosian from Tampa Bay.
A Stanley Cup champion with the Lightning in 2020, Bogosian cost the Wild a seventh-round pick in the 2025 draft, while the Wild received minor league outfielder Adam Raska and a 2026 fifth-rounder for Addison.
Bogosian, 33, is expected to make his Wild debut on Thursday against the Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
“We missed a lot of opportunities,” Wild president of hockey operations Bill Guerin said. “We need to change our mindset a little bit and protect our goalkeepers. We have good goalkeeping, but goalkeeping doesn’t matter if you hang them out to dry.
“The last two games we’ve been a lot better at that, and I think Zach is going to make some improvement in that area.”
This switch has been on the Wild’s radar over the past few weeks.
After starting the season 2-1, the Wild won just one of their next seven games, and their problem was clear: they were giving up too many goals.
They have been scored twice seven times, their opponents have scored four or more in eight of their 12 games, and the 48 goals scored on the Wild overall still ranks second in the NHL despite rebounding from a four-game losing streak with back-to-back wins.
“The evidence was kind of there,” Guerin said.
Addison departed after receiving mixed reviews during parts of four seasons with the Wild, and the team initially acquired him as a breakout prospect in the Jason Zucker trade with Pittsburgh in 2020.
His strength was as a quarterback: Last season, Addison scored 18 of his 29 points on the power play, and his 26 assists tied a rookie record.
But he was benched on multiple occasions due to his defensive play. He has appeared in every game this season, but Geren felt Addison was falling down the depth chart. Addison has no goals and five assists and was recently demoted from the top power play unit.
“It’s not a knock on Kalin,” Guerin said. “It’s just a change in direction.”
Since they have other power play options, the Wild can focus on their defense and some of its deficiencies.
“Kalen is a good player,” Guerin continued. “But he’s played 100 league games now and we felt we knew what he was like for us and that doesn’t mean this is the finished product. But what we need now is something different.”
Raska, whom the Wild received from San Jose, has been mostly in the minors the past two seasons and will report to Iowa State in the American Hockey League.
At 6-foot-2 and 231 pounds, Bogosian makes the Wild bigger and stronger, but he also has the pedigree that the team prioritized.
He was a member of Tampa Bay’s championship team alongside Pat Maroon, whom the Wild traded to in the offseason, and has 57 goals and 156 assists over 787 games with the Thrashers/Jets, Sabers (where he played with Marcus Foligno), Maple Leafs and Lightning after finishing third overall in 2008.
The Wild have liked Bogosian’s style and tried to acquire him in the past. Bogosian, who is in the final season of a three-year, $2.55 million contract, had a no-trade clause in his deal, but the Wild were listed on the list of teams he would go to. His cap is $25,000 more than Edison’s cap.
“He’s hungry to play, and we need what he can bring to our lineup,” said Geren, who mentioned that Bogosian’s offseason home is in Minnesota. “He’s a big guy. He still skates well. He brings heft. He brings some grit, and we need that. I think the experience he brings, with all the other intangibles, he’s a great teammate.”
“People within our organization know him and speak highly of him, so we are thrilled to have him.”
The Wild defense has been in flux all season, with captain Jared Spurgeon recovering from an upper-body injury sustained in the preseason and Alex Goligoski sidelined with a lower-body issue.
Guerin has ruled out Spurgeon’s game against the Rangers and doesn’t consider him a possibility for Friday when the Wild finish their road trip in Buffalo, but Spurgeon should be ready to play “soon.”
His return may be the most impactful push for the back end, but the Wild are still trying to clean up their zone in the meantime.
“We need to be able to defend, and that’s what Zach can bring to the table,” Guerin said. “He’s bigger, he’s heavier, and I think that’s something we need to improve on.”
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