The Wild has reassigned defenseman Stu Bickel to the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL).
Bickel, 28 (10/2/86), totaled one assist and led Minnesota with 46 penalty minutes (PIM) in nine games. He set a franchise record with a career-high 39 PIM at Dallas on Jan. 3. Bickel has also recorded three assists and 30 PIM in nine contests with Iowa this season. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound native of Chanhassen, Minn., has totaled 10 assists and 203 PIM in 76 career NHL games with the New York Rangers and Minnesota.
The Wild has recalled defenseman Jonathon Blum, goaltender John Curry and forward Jordan Schroeder (SHRAY-duhr) from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL). The team also announced today it has placed goaltender Darcy Kuemper on Injured Reserve.
Blum, 25 (1/20/89), leads team defensemen and ranks fourth on the team with 16 points (4-12=16) in 29 games this season. The 6-foot-1, 190-pound native of Long Beach, Calif., has skated in one game with Minnesota this season and has collected 23 points (7-16=23) in 107 career NHL games in parts of five seasons with Nashville and Minnesota. He was originally selected by Nashville in the first round (23rd overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft and wears No. 7 for the Wild.
Curry, 30 (2/27/84), made 19 saves in a 4-3 overtime loss to Winnipeg on Dec. 27 in his only appearance with Minnesota this season. In 13 games with Iowa he is 5-6-0 with a 2.84 GAA and a .917 SV%, including 4-1-0 with a 1.95 GAA and a .944 SV% in his last five starts. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Shorewood, Minn., is 3-2-1 with a 3.60 GAA and a .883 SV% in seven career NHL games with Pittsburgh and Minnesota. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound native of Shorewood, Minn., signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Wild on July 17 and wears jersey No. 33 with Minnesota.
Schroeder, 24 (9/29/90), ranks T-2nd on Iowa with 24 points (10-14=24) in 28 games this season. The 5-foot-9, 176-pound native of Prior Lake, Minn., has appeared in one game with Minnesota this season, recording two shots and two penalty minutes (PIM) in 12:06 TOI vs. Buffalo on Nov. 13. He’s totaled 15 points (6-9=15) in 57 career NHL games, skating in parts of two seasons with the Vancouver Canucks (2012-14). Schroeder was originally selected by Vancouver in the first round (22nd overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft. He signed as a free agent with the Wild on July 11, 2014 and wears jersey No. 10 with Minnesota.
This just in: hockey is an intense sport. Things said and done in the heat of the moment are typically saved for those on the inside—the players and coaching staff—during a sixty-minute game or in the locker room between periods or following the contest.
Occasionally, that passion and intensity spills into practice.
That was the case at Xcel Energy Center today where Head Coach Mike Yeo wasn’t satisfied with the team’s effort in practice, following a 4-3 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks.
“We weren’t good enough,” Yeo said about the team’s execution today. “We’re not in a position where we can be—let alone a decent practice—bad practice.”
Tonight’s contest is a rubber match between the two clubs, with the teams splitting wins on home ice. The Wild won the first contest with a 4-3 shootout victory at Xcel Energy Center Oct. 30 while the Sharks won the second 2-1 at SAP Center at San Jose Dec. 11.
When driving in a blizzard, it’s important to keep your eyes on the road ahead—regardless of the swirling mess around your vehicle that’s desperately trying to knock you into the ditch.
Like a driver on a hazardous highway, the Minnesota Wild will continue to look forward as it navigates the treacherous Western Conference. Rather than looking back at the team’s most recent outing, a lopsided loss in the Lone Star State, the focus is on tomorrow night, when the Wild hosts the San Jose Sharks at 7 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center.
“You lose 2-1, you lose 7-2; regardless it’s the same result,” Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said. “It’s very frustrating and disappointing to lose a game like that, but to sit around here and dwell on it for the next couple of days is not going to help us for tomorrow.”
The Minnesota Wild should have two New Year’s resolutions: get healthy and earn wins in close games. The club can’t really control the former, but will get a chance at the latter to start 2015 against the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.
First from the infirmary, defenseman Jonas Brodin will re-enter the lineup tonight after missing the two previous contests with an upper-body injury. The blueliner said that he’s “100 percent” and feels like he hasn’t missed much time. He has been skating for the past three days. Brodin said that the hit from Winnipeg Jets defenseman, Grant Clitsome, was “my bad” because he fell as he was taking the hit.
The Wild went through a quick but brisk 40 minute practice today at the Ice Haus, the awesome practice facility connected to Nationwide Arena. After arriving at the hotel in Columbus at 3:15 a.m., Mike Yeo pushed practice back to 2 p.m. to give the players an extra hour of rest. Every Wild player participated in practice.
To an athlete, waking up groggy to a missed call can be unnerving. It could be any number of possibilities, so Tyler Graovac wasn’t quite sure yesterday waking up to a voicemail from Wild Director of Minor League Operations Jim Mill that said: “Grao, call me ASAP.”
It was great news for Graovac actually, who learned he was being summoned to the Minnesota Wild to make his NHL debut tonight. Graovac and his Iowa Wild teammates had arrived in Grand Rapids, Mich., around 5 a.m. He quickly had to get on a plane to Minnesota, before another plane got him to Winnipeg around midnight last night.
Graovac said he “felt a lot of emotions on the ice” this morning at MTS Centre, where he impressed in a Wild preseason game this year.