The Minnesota Wild sent Robbie Earl down to Houston today, and recalled 2007 fifth round draft pick, Cody Almond
. Almond will join the team tomorrow in time for its game against Atlanta. He will wear number 23.
A couple factors could be involved here. Almond has been tearing it up with the Aeros recently, scoring 10 points (4-6=10) in the last nine Aeros games. Wild management has been raving about his play in Houston since the new year. Almond, a gritty player, a trait highly valued by the Wild staff, is also a center, adding some flexibility there. At 6-foot-2, 215 pounds, he also brings some good size.
"I'm excited to see what he can do," said Todd Richards. "A big kid. Versatile. Can play either wing and the center position. He's done well down there. He's a big body that has a physical element."
With two games before the Olympic break, the team will get a chance to watch Almond at the NHL level before likely returning him to Houston after Sunday’s game.
The other factor could be Earl’s waiver status. The former Wisconsin Badger was placed on waivers following a loss to Dallas on January 18, but he went unclaimed. Earl would have to be put back on waivers after 10 games or 30 days, whichever came first.
Earl played his ninth game since January 18 last night. He scored a goal in each of the first two games after sitting out the game in Dallas, but he has been held pointless in his last seven games. In 22 games over three separate recalls, Earl has posted five goals.
"I like Robbie. I like what he's done for us," explained Richards. "His game has slipped a little. You want to reward guys who have done the job in Houston, and this is a chance for Cody."