For the first time since Day One of training camp last Tuesday, Marian Gaborik was back on the ice and participating in full drills during Wednesday afternoon’s practice. Gaborik, who has been nursing a strained groin since injuring it in a skating session last week, is still unlikely to play in tomorrow night’s preseason home contest against the Chicago Blackhawks.
"He came to see me," said Lemaire following his talk with Gaborik. "He said he’s ready to play and he wants to play. He’s tired of sitting and watching. So I’m going to think about this, because he’s only had one practice. I want to make sure he gets on the ice and doesn’t get injured again. I want to talk to the doctor, I want to talk to Doug. Maybe we’ll be looking more toward (this) Friday."
The Wild’s all-time leading scorer said he felt good and is anxious to get back on the ice.
"I didn’t really feel any pain with all of the skating that I did. It was pretty good. I didn’t feel any discomfort, I could definitely feel that something was in there. But I pushed it pretty hard and it’s felt pretty good after each day I worked out."
A scary moment ended with smiles when, during a power play shot, Brian Rolston unleashed a slap shot that caught defenseman Nick Schultz in the shoulder, not far from the jaw. After bending over for a few seconds, Schultz revealed a smile and continued on with practice.
"I saw it coming," said Schultz after practice. "That’s why I put my head down so it would hit my helmet or something. It hit my shoulder pad, which is better than getting it in the face."
"Wasn’t intentional," said Rolston with a smile.