An up-tempo practice for the Wild at Xcel Energy Center this morning, after the team had Saturday off. The Wild departed after practice for a couple of days of team building in Duluth, including that Tuesday 10 a.m. open practice at Amsoil Arena. If you're going, and on Twitter (who isn't), use #mnwildinduluth.
The NHL roster deadline is tomorrow for Opening Night, but the Wild got down today, assigning Jason Zucker, Jake Dowell and Brett Bulmer to AHL Iowa. The Wild is at 23 players - although Mike Rupp has not skated with the team coming off an injury. Seeing as though the opener is four days away, the Wild could potentially put Mike Rupp on IR and recall a forward for opening night if needed.
"Everybody's goal is to be here," Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said about assigning Zucker to Iowa. "So you'd be concerned if they weren't disappointed. We're not prepared to have him on 4th line or be a healthy scratch."
One of the great things about the Wild's AHL affiliate now being 3.5 hours down the road, is it makes it much easier for players to get up and down. So you may see much more shuffling throughout the season. You'll see Zucker again.
Both Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding were on the ice, after Backstrom didn't travel to St. Louis Friday and Harding didn't play the third period. Torrey Mitchell, who went down after a slew foot late in the game, also skated.
The lines from today:
One youngster that has made a big impression in camp is 19-year-old Mathew Dumba. The defenseman is trying to make the team out of camp and not be returned to Red Deer of the Western Hockey League. The Wild can play him in nine regular season games before deciding to send him back to junior hockey.
After practice, Yeo said there is a "good chance" he's in the opening night lineup.
Remember, the Wild's home opener is Thursday against the LA Kings. The first meeting since Dustin Brown got suspended for a headshot on Jason Pominville, an injury that forced Pominville out of the lineup. Brown has been rehabbing an injury and is questionable for the rematch. Limited tickets remain at Wild.com, and also for Saturday's game versus the Anaheim Ducks.