Wild acquires Barker - 02-12-10

The Minnesota WIld acquired defenseman Cam Barker (above) from the Blackhawks for defenseman Kim Johnsson and the rights to defenseman Nick Leddy, Minnesota's first-round pick in 2009.

Barker, 23, has 14 points (four goals, 10 assists) in 51 games this season. He has a salary cap hit of $3.083 million. He is scheduled to become a restricted free agent after the 2011-12 season.

Johnsson, 33, has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 52 games this season. He has a salary cap hit of $4.85 million and is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the season.

Leddy, 18, is currently a freshman at the University of Minnesota. He is not signed.

EN Says: This move was purely a salary dump in the long-term for Chicago. The Blackhawks have some long-term issues with the salary cap and Baker, the third overall pick in the 2004 draft (After Alex Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin) has a pretty big cap figure. With Duncan Keith and Brian Campbell locked up to long-term deals and the impending free agency of Brent Seabrook after 2010-11, Barker simply became expendable to Chicago.

Additionally, he's been something of an underachiever since being drafted by the Blackhawks. For a top three pick, you should expect more in terms of production. And is the case with many young defensemen, he's very inconsistent in making decisions in the defensive zone.

That said, he still has a world of untapped potential. He can be a No. 1 defenseman in this league and he'll get that chance in Minnesota. He has a fantastic shot from the point and he'll immediately boost the Wild's power play. He has solid size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds and you would think coaching will help his shortcomings on defense.

Johnsson (right) is a very solid top four defensemen. He's very savvy with the puck and knows what to do with it in all sorts of situations. He won't be asked to in Chicago, but he's also capable of logging 25 minutes-plus of ice time in Chicago. At 6-foot-1, 193 pounds, he's not the most physical player in the world.

Leddy, the 16th overall pick in 2009, is a prospect with offensive upside. He's a slick skater who can move the puck. At 5-foot-11, 179 pounds, he'll need to bulk up to make it in the NHL.

The move makes sense financially for Chiago, but in terms of being a "hockey move" the Wild came out on top here.