(Eds: With AP Photos.) By DAVE CAMPBELL AP Sports Writer The Minnesota Wild have fallen from first place to 12th in the Western Conference during their two-month slump. With only 20 games to go, it might be too late to resuscitate their goal of returning to the playoffs.
General manager Chuck Fletcher added two offensively skilled defensemen before Monday's trade deadline, insisting they will help this season just as much as they will in the future as he tries to shape a Stanley Cup contender.
Nick Schultz, the longest-tenured athlete among Minnesota's four major professional teams, was traded to Edmonton for fellow defenseman Tom Gilbert, a transaction that shocked Schultz and his teammates after practice. Then another veteran blue-liner was dealt when Greg Zanon went to Boston for prospect Steven Kampfer.
''We have some good hockey players on our team, but we just need a few more and that's our challenge,'' Fletcher said.
Backup goalie Josh Harding, who will be an unrestricted...