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Wild Places Dalpe On Waivers

Roster now at 23 players with regular-season opener four days away

by Dan Myers @1DanMyers / Wild.com

ST. PAUL -- The Minnesota Wild has its opening night roster set.

Maybe.

General manager Chuck Fletcher announced this morning that forward Zac Dalpe has been placed on waivers with the intent of sending him to Iowa.

The move to waive Dalpe gets the Wild down to 23 players four days before the regular-season opener against the St. Louis Blues. Among those sticking around are goaltender Alex Stalock, who has been impressive in four preseason periods, forward Christoph Bertschy, who scored a goal in the preseason finale against Winnipeg on Saturday, and defensemen Mike Reilly and Christian Folin.

The roster remians fluid leading up to Thursday's game, but for now, the Wild has 12 forwards, eight defensemen and three goaltenders. Minor tweaks could be coming in the next few days, even after the opener, to suit coach Bruce Boudreau's needs.

Ryan Carter, in training camp on a professional tryout, does not count against the roster but is nursing an injury that has kept him off the ice for the last week.

Working overtime on overtime

After playing six preseason games without a single one going to 3-on-3 overtime or a shootout, the Wild worked on tied game proceedures in practice Sunday. 

Boudreau said he has some groups down on paper but wants to explore during the early part of the season.

"I think I know who I'm going to want," Boudreau said. "I have four different groups, but we'll see how it goes."

The team also engaged in a shootout drill, where coaches divided the group into two different teams with each team shooting at separate ends of the rink.

"It's something that we hadn't done," Boudreau said. "We didn't have any preseason shootouts or 3-on-3, so I figured it was time we practiced it a little bit."

Boudreau said he will rely mostly on numbers and history when it comes to building a shootout lineup until he can get a look at some of the players on his team. Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu are two of the better shootout players in the NHL and are likely to remain cornerstones there.

"It's more of a baseball manager at that point," Boudreau said. "You look at the numbers to start off with anyway. Then you remember guys who scored and didn't score."

Checking in with the captain

Mikko Koivu has been back with the Wild for two weeks since returning from the World Cup and said efforts to perfect Boudreau's system have been going well. 

"You can sense that it's coming along, but we need to keep working on it each and every day," Koivu said. "I think it's that mindset that it's getting closer and that's when you see in practice and in last night's game that guys really want to play the way we're supposed to play."

A four-goal third period lifted the Wild to a 5-1 win over the Jets on Saturday and provided Minnesota with a bit of positive reinforcement, especially considering it was the first time this preseason the Wild iced what could be its opening night roster.

"I thought there was a lot of good. But also things we have to learn from, like penalties," Koivu said. "But that will happen. We had to kill some penalties in the second if we wanted to win the hockey game and we did it. That's a good sign. We can do better, but a lot of good [so far].

"It's always good to win, too. First game with the [whole] team. It's good to build that confidence that we know what we're doing."

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