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Five questions loom as the Wild approach the NHL's trade deadline

The Wild have been evolving all season long, mostly due to injury, and another transformation could be on the horizon.

How much the team will change – if at all – will be one of many questions answered by Friday when the NHL trade deadline hits at 2 p.m.

What will the Wild look to accomplish by the deadline?

President of Hockey Operations/General Manager Bill Guerin is in a unique position.

The Wild aren't mathematically eliminated from playoff contention, but they have a steep climb ahead of them to get closer to a wild-card spot. So, they don't fit the criteria for a fire sale, but they also won't be flipping draft picks for rental help.

They're flexible, meaning the Wild could subtract some of their pending free agents or swing a hockey trade that adds a new face and gives the team a different look.

Either way, each player's situation will be evaluated individually.

"I haven't made any decisions on anybody yet," Guerin said recently. "I've had plenty of discussions about a lot of different scenarios. But I don't know yet."

Will Marc-Andre Fleury finish the season with the Wild?

The goalie told the Star Tribune last week that he can't see himself asking to be traded.

"I would rather be here with the guys and battle," said Fleury, who is in control of his situation.

Not only does Fleury's contract include a no-movement clause, but Guerin said Fleury earned the right to dictate what's next for him: The future Hall-of-Famer and three-time Stanley Cup champion is waiting until the season is over to decide if he'll continue to play or retire.

Does Pat Maroon's injury prevent him from being traded?

No, the Wild could still move the veteran winger.

Maroon had back surgery about a month ago and was expected to recover in four to six weeks. A season-ending setback would make Maroon untradeable, but there hasn't been one; he's rehabbing and has started skating lightly.

(Last season, the Wild added an injured player in Gustav Nyquist, who didn't return from a shoulder injury until four games were left in the regular season.)

A three-time Stanley Cup, Maroon's experience along with his size and strength could make him an appealing acquisition for teams looking to bolster their playoff chances. But those are traits that would also make Maroon valuable to the Wild the rest of the way.

Could Zach Bogosian be traded for the second time this season?

It's possible.

Another veteran who's won a Stanley Cup, Bogosian is the kind of player who draws interest before the trade deadline. He has a gritty, stay-at-home style, and teams tend to covet more responsibility and physicality on defense before the playoffs.

Like Maroon, Bogosian's contract is up after this season, and he'll be an unrestricted free agent.

Bogosian's been an effective defenseman for the Wild since they traded for him in November, so he could have a future here.

Asked if he could see himself with the Wild beyond this season, Bogosian said, "Yeah. I like it. It's been good. We're a good group in here. I really like the guys. It's kind of given me a little bit of a new chapter in my career.

"It's been fun for me just to come in and play minutes, meaningful minutes, have a role that you as a player appreciate."

Who else could be dealt?

Brandon Duhaime and Connor Dewar are also on expiring deals, with Duhaime on the brink of unrestricted free agency and Dewar set to become a restricted free agent eligible for arbitration.

Dewar has upped his play lately, scoring a goal in back-to-back games last week, and the Wild are receiving calls on Duhaime because of his style: He's fast and tough.

A new contract for Duhaime is likely too pricey for the Wild, so they could trade him before the deadline and land an asset in return instead of letting him walk in the offseason and getting nothing back.

Duhaime, though, would like to stay with the Wild.

"It's motivation for me to work and perform," Duhaime said of the trade deadline. "So, it's good."