Chris Porter, the newest Wild player, was on the ice Friday for practice following being claimed off waivers on Thursday.
Porter said he would have liked to make it to Minnesota in time to play in the Wild's preseason finale against the Buffalo Sabres—a 6-1 win—but was unable to because of the travel involved.
The Eden Prairie native is now back at home in Minnesota, and quite happy about it.
"I woke up this morning in my own bed, and was excited to come to the rink, and see a lot of the guys I'm familiar with," Porter said. "It was nice to get a practice out of the way and get my legs under me."
Porter said he wants to prove his worth as he begins working with the Wild, and feels a bit more comfortable coming in knowing so many players after working out in Minnesota over the summer.
"It's a compliment knowing a team wants to pick you up off waivers," Porter said. "They value what you do, and I don't want to come in and change anything, I want to blend in, and hopefully contribute to wins every night, and give the team a chance to win."
Wild General Manager Chuck Fletcher said Porter should add depth to the Wild's forward group, and give it more options for the fourth line. Forwards Justin Fontaine, Erik Haula, and Jordan Schroeder were all absent from practice on Friday, and their statuses will continue to be monitored, according to both Fletcher and Yeo.
Three other players not at practice were Zac Dalpe, Tyson Strachan, and Brett Bulmer. Dalpe, who had been recalled to play against the Sabres on Thursday, was re-assigned to Iowa. Strachan and Bulmer were each placed on waivers, and should they clear, will report to Iowa on Saturday.
That leaves the Wild with 25 players currently, including the three forwards who did not practice on Friday, and Porter. The current breakdown has the Wild with 14 forwards, eight defensemen, and three goaltenders.
Fletcher said he anticipates player movement early in the season between Minnesota and Iowa, and that too much shouldn't be made of the opening night lineup.
One player still in training camp is rookie Mike Reilly, who said he's taking things a day at a time, and still is working toward starting the opening game on the roster.
"It would be pretty special," Reilly said. "That's obviously the goal I set for myself during the summer, and I don’t know where it's going to go from here. For me unlike other guys it's a day-by-day process, and that's the way I'm approaching each day. It could be my last day of being here, so just keep going, and hopefully it all works out."
Reilly said he wasn't sure if he was going to be in Minnesota on Friday following being a scratch in the preseason finale against Buffalo, and that he's trying to keep his focus sharp, even with another round of cuts coming before the roster is finalized.
"It goes through your mind a little bit, and anything can happen, but I'm trying to stay positive, and keep playing my game, and control what I can control, and that's my work ethic," Reilly said.