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Experienced Dumont knows role after call up to Minnesota

Veteran centerman has played in 87 NHL games over the course of his pro career

by Dan Myers @mnwildscribe /

ST. PAUL -- With the Wild dealing with a rash of injuries up front, the team recalled forward Gabriel Dumont from Iowa on Saturday morning. 

Dumont will be in the lineup on Sunday when Minnesota returns home for a rematch with the Montreal Canadiens at Xcel Energy Center.

A Quebec native, Dumont is in his first year with the organization after signing a two-way contract with the Wild on July 1.

While the 29-year-old Dumont has spent a bulk of his career at the American Hockey League level, he's also no stranger to the NHL. He's skated in 87 games with Tampa Bay, Ottawa and Montreal since being selected in the fifth round of the 2009 draft.

"I know what kind of role I need to have in the NHL," Dumont said. "I've been around long enough and played enough in this league to know what's expected from me."

Dumont spent the entire 2018-19 season with the Syracuse Crunch, where he served as team captain. He scored 15 goals and added 28 assists in 59 games, so there is an offensive element to his game. 

While that hasn't translated to the NHL -- he has four goals and nine points in 87 games -- he has developed a reputation as a responsible two-way centerman. Iowa coach Tim Army lauded Dumont's play in all three zones as well as his ability to win faceoffs, and said Dumont should be a nice "shot of adrenaline."

Despite a lack of big offensive numbers at the NHL level, he's a plus player at this level.  

"I just want to be a bottom-six guy that works hard, brings a lot of energy to the team by making the hard plays, being a hard-nosed guy that goes to the net and try to be good defensively and create offensively too," Dumont said. 

In five games with Iowa, Dumont has three goals and two assists while posting a plus-5, leading Iowa to a 4-0-0-1 start, its best in franchise history. 

The adjustment to another new organization has gone smoothly for Dumont, who has had to shoulder some added offensive responsibilities with Iowa because of injuries sustained down there as well. 

Dumont has responded, posting at least a point in four of Iowa's five games, while also being a plus player in four of five games. 

Even while he's expecting to get fewer minutes in Minnesota, while playing a much different role than the one he had in Iowa, Dumont said he still wants to make an impact. 

"When I'm on the ice, I want to be a difference [maker], and I want to be in the game and I want to make sure I get noticed," Dumont said. "[I've] played hard, played my game and I'm getting a lot of ice time there. [I've gotten some] some dirty goals in front of the net and that's what I'm going to try and do here too."

Zucker clarifies post-game comments

In the wake of the game in Montreal on Thursday, Wild forward Jason Zucker created a stir when he mentioned coach Bruce Boudreau by name when saying everyone on the team needs to get better.

While Zucker did not mean to single his coach out, his comments blew up on social media. 

"There was no reason for me to use his name in that quote in any way, and that's completely on me," Zucker said. "My intention with the quote was to state that everybody needs to be better and do more and pull more weight and 99.9 percent of that is on the players. So there's no reason why I should have used Bruce's name in that quote in any way, that's completely my fault and I apologized to Bruce after the game when I read about it when I first saw it and again today.

Video: Boudreau/Zucker practice update

"It's a tough time for everyone in the room. Everyone wants to win, everyone wants to do the right things and that was a poor use of words and that's my fault. With that said, I stand by the fact that everyone does need to be better."

Boudreau said he understood Zucker's intent and that it's a non-issue moving forward.

"His whole thing was that everybody needs to be better and he didn't intend to single me out," Boudreau said. "I think his actual thing that, 'everybody needs to be better, I've gotta be better, Bruce has gotta be better,' I mean, he could have gone through the whole organization that has to be better." 

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