EDINA -- The Minnesota Wild returned to the State of Hockey with a full complement of skaters at practice on Saturday at Braemar Arena.
That includes previously injured forwards Zach Parise and Jason Zucker, defenseman Jonas Brodin and goaltender Devan Dubnyk.
Parise, Zucker and Brodin did not travel with the Wild on their two-game road trip to Philadelphia and Washington D.C. but are each getting closer to a return to the lineup.
Parise is expected to play on Sunday against the Florida Panthers at Xcel Energy Center. He took line rushes with Mikko Koivu and Charlie Coyle on Saturday and is expected to slot in there against the Cats on Sunday.
“Felt good today,” Parise said. “They’re always tough [to miss games] especially right now with the spot we’re in. This time of year, it’s not fun missing games.”
Zucker was on the ice for a third-consecutive day but with teammates for the first time. He will not play against Florida but is a possibility for Tuesday when the Colorado Avalanche come to town for a game with giant postseason implications for both teams.
The same goes for Brodin, who has been out the better part of a month with a broken foot. If Brodin, who hasn’t played since Feb. 4, doesn’t return on Tuesday, it certainly won’t be much later.
“[If we get Brodin and Zucker back], now we’ve got three great skaters for our team, it makes us faster and the puck is moving faster,” Wild interim Head Coach John Torchetti said. “It just builds our team speed.”
Dubnyk, who did not dress against the Capitals on Friday, practiced fully on Saturday and will be available against the Panthers. Whether he starts or not has not been decided.
“We won’t know until tomorrow,” Torchetti said with a wry smile.
In other roster news, the Wild reassigned forward Jordan Schroeder to Iowa of the American Hockey League. Schroeder was recalled on Wednesday and played in both games on the road trip and tallied two shots on goal. He has one goal in 15 games with Minnesota this season.
The Wild also placed forward Chris Porter on waivers in an effort to clear salary cap space and add roster flexibility. Porter practiced with the club on Saturday and could remain in Minnesota if he clears waivers. Torchetti said he could even play against Florida.
“It’s just kind of a waiting game,” Porter said. “I hope I don’t get picked up, I love it here. I feel like I’ve made a home here with this team and I’d really like to help contribute getting this team to the playoffs.”