With the Minnesota Wild midway through an 11-day roadie, the club will be joined by two more players to replace the injured Petr Sykora (groin) and Cal Clutterbuck
Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said at Monday’s practice in Anaheim that Clutterbuck will be placed on injured reserve today, and he’ll return to Minnesota to have his ankle looked at tomorrow. Fletcher did not want so speculate as to what kind of injury it is, other than to say he would be out for some time.
"It appears to be some type of ankle sprain," he said. "We'll have our doctors take a look, but it will be longer than a few days."
Clutterbuck appeared to twist his ankle when his skate hit a rut during the first period of the Wild's 4-2 loss in San Jose on Saturday. He has been walking in a protective boot ever since.
Sykora’s situation appears less serious with his groin injury, but he did not participate in Monday’s practice at the Honda Center. Fletcher says he is feeling better, but added that he’s doubtful for Wednesday night’s game with the Anaheim Ducks, and will be day-to-day.
Due to salary cap purposes, the Wild will wait until tomorrow to call up reinforcements from the Houston Aeros. Fletcher did not name names on Monday, but Head Coach Todd Richards confirmed that Nathan Smith and Andy Hilbert would be called up. He also said this provides an opportunity for everybody, not just call ups from the minors.
"There are certain times when the door opens up for you," he said. "And you have to bust the door down and say that 'I'm here.' But it's no different with guys that have been here - the Pouliots and the Sheppards - because there is ice time to be had now."
Colton Gillies may have been a candidate, but he sat out Houston’s games over the weekend with a broken nose.
"I think he should be able to play the next game there in Houston," said Richards.
In four games thus far with Houston, Hilbert, a center, has notched a goal and two assists. Smith, also a center, but can be used on the wing, has two assists in four games.
Fletcher also did not have an update on Pierre-Marc Bouchard
’s status, but he did undergo tests this week, and the results are expected shortly.
Derek Boogaard did return to the ice today, skating hard throughout practice. His return date is not yet known, so if you have him on your fantasy hockey team, the best bet would be to keep him on your bench this week.
"It will be a day by day decision," said Richards. "But he looked good out there, and it was good to have him back. The guys enjoy having him around, and he lightened up the mood a little bit out there on the ice."