Star defenseman Matt Dumba has been a part of trade rumors in some way, shape or form seemingly since the Wild drafted him in 2012.

He was widely reported to be a bargaining chip last offseason with general manager Bill Guerin trying to nab a No. 1 center. And with the Seattle Kraken coming into the NHL this offseason, many think the Wild might be forced to expose the 26-year-old defenseman in the July 21 expansion draft.

Luckily for Dumba, he has experience blocking out the noise. Asked how he plans to do that over the next six weeks, Dumba smiled and replied, “I’m thinking of going to the Bahamas and just leaving my phone.”

It’s no secret that Dumba wants to stay with the Wild. He made that clear in his exit meeting with Guerin earlier this week.

“I emphasized to him that this is home for me,” Dumba said. “This is where I want to be. I love it here.”

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This isn’t the first time Dumba has been at the epicenter of the expansion draft.

When the Vegas Golden Knights came into the league in 2017, Dumba seemed like the natural choice. Instead, former general manager Chuck Fletcher opted to trade top prospect Alex Tuch in a side deal that ensured the Golden Knights selected Erik Haula.

That kept Dumba safe at the time — and it might take a similar move to keep him safe again this offseason. It’s likely that the Wild decide to protect seven forwards, three defensemen and one goaltender as opposed to the other option that allows them to protect eight skaters and one goalie.

The only problem with the first plan is the Wild have to protect defensemen Jared Spurgeon, Ryan Suter and Jonas Brodin because of their no-movement clauses. That would leave Dumba exposed, thus highlighting the need for a potential side deal.

“They have always found a way to make it work in the past,” Dumba said. “My name’s in trade speculation every year. I’ve become accustomed to it. It is what it is. I’ve expressed my feelings about where I want to be and where my heart is. At the end of the day, that’s all I can do.”

For the Wild, there’s definitely a benefit in keeping Dumba around. He’s an extremely dynamic player on the blue line, and maybe more importantly, he’s developed into the unquestioned leader in the locker room. Frankly, when Dumba isn’t around, it’s noticeable both on and off the ice.

With the expansion draft scheduled for July 21, Dumba will only have to wait six weeks to learn his fate. In the meantime, he plans to enjoy his summer as best he can.

“This next month I’m not going be focused on that,” he said. “Just have a good summer here and enjoy it with some friends and family.”