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Wild acquire Rupp from Rangers for Powe, Palmieri

by Dave Lozo

The Minnesota Wild and New York Rangers are off to starts that aren't up to their lofty expectations. On Monday, they completed a trade in an effort to shake out of those doldrums.

The Wild sent forward Darroll Powe and minor-league forward Nick Palmieri to the Rangers in exchange for forward Michael Rupp.

The deal comes hours after the Wild recalled top prospect Charlie Coyle, who will make his NHL debut Monday night against the Phoenix Coyotes.

Wild coach Mike Yeo has expressed disappointment in his club, which has dropped four of six after winning its first two games of the season. Forward Devin Setoguchi hasn't scored a goal in eight games after posting a career-low 19 goals last season, and has found himself on the fourth line at recent Wild practices.

Yeo didn't want to single out Setoguchi, but said he's willing to try anything to get his team going.

"We went into this season counting on him to score goals and create offense for us and to use his speed and to be strong on pucks," Yeo told reporters in Glendale, Ariz. "He's not the only one. There's some other people that aren't performing probably to the level we need them to. So this is the decision we take going into [Monday's] game, and we'll be ready to make new ones again after that."

The addition of Rupp gives the Wild a veteran presence with Stanley Cup experience. The 33-year-old will likely play on Minnesota's fourth line.

For the Rangers, Powe and Palmieri give them some forward depth that has been lacking in the early going, especially with injuries to captain Ryan Callahan and rookie Chris Kreider.

Much like Rupp, Powe has been held without a point in eight games this season and plays a physical game. But Powe also brings experience as a penalty-killing forward, something the Rangers have been lacking after the offseason losses of Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov, Brandon Prust and Ruslan Fedotenko.

The Rangers' penalty-killing unit ranks 19th in the League at 78.4 percent. Last season, it was a point of strength, as it finished fifth in the NHL at 86.2 percent.

Powe averaged 1:22 of shorthanded ice time per game this season and was Minnesota's busiest forward while shorthanded last season with 2:27 per game while the Wild were down a man. His 91 blocked shots last season led all Wild forwards.

Palmieiri, 23, was unable to stick with the Wild this season and has spent the entire year with Houston of the AHL. In 40 games with the Aeros, he had 10 goals and 21 points.

Considering the Rangers' lack of depth at forward right now -- defenseman Stu Bickel has dressed as a forward the past two games -- it's possible Palmieri could find himself in the Rangers' lineup right away.


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