Minnesota Wild forward Stephane Veilleux has brought the same energy and work ethic to the rink for 499 National Hockey League games. Tonight, the veteran will do it for the 500th time, as the Wild hosts the Florida Panthers at 7 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center.
The Minnesota Wild has recalled forward Stephane Veilleux from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL).
The 33-year-old has recorded 14 points (2-12=14) and 65 penalty minutes (PIM) in 43 games with Iowa this season and has tallied eight PIM in five games with Minnesota. The 6-foot-1, 199-pound native of Beauceville, Que., has compiled 104 points (49-55=104) and 346 PIM in 499 NHL games with Minnesota, Tampa Bay and New Jersey. Veilleux ranks fifth in Wild history in hits (439), eighth in games played (421) and ninth in PIM (298). He was originally selected by Minnesota in the third round (93rd overall) of the 2001 NHL Entry Draft and wears No. 19 for the Wild.
Prior to its game in Winnipeg tonight, the Minnesota Wild has recalled defenseman Stu Bickel (BIH-kuhl) and forward Brett Sutter (SUH-tuhr) from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League (AHL). The team also has placed forwards Ryan Carter and Jason Zucker (ZOOK-ER) on Injured Reserve due to upper body injuries.
Bickel, 28 (10/2/86), has tallied one assist and ranks second on the team with 46 penalty minutes (PIM) in nine games with Minnesota this season. He has recorded eight points (2-6=8) and 51 PIM in 23 games with Iowa. 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. Bickel signed as a free agent with the Wild on July 1 and wears jersey No. 4 with Minnesota.
Sutter, 27 (6/2/87), has recorded three assists and a plus-1 rating in five games with Minnesota this season including his first career multi-point game when he notched two assists at Winnipeg on Dec. 29. He has 18 points (7-11=18) and 27 PIM in 45 games with Iowa this season. The 6-foot, 200-pound native of Viking, Alta., owns 10 points (2-8=10) and 40 PIM in 59 career NHL games with the Wild, Calgary Flames and Carolina Hurricanes. Sutter signed as a free agent with Minnesota on July 1 and wears sweater No. 27 with the Wild.
For the second straight Monday, Minnesota Wild goaltender Devan Dubnyk has been named a National Hockey League Star of the Week. This week, he’s ascended to the top of the League’s Three Stars thanks to a two-game scoreless streak. In two wins Dubnyk was perfect, posting two shutouts and stopping all 42 shots faced.
The Wild has recalled goaltender Darcy Kuemper from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League.
Kuemper, 24 (5/5/90), is 13-12-2 with a 2.62 goals-against average (GAA), a .904 save percentage (SV%) and three shutouts in 29 games with Minnesota this season. He went 2-3-0 with a 3.22 GAA, a .891 SV% and one shutout in five starts with Iowa after being assigned on Jan. 26 for a conditioning assignment. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound native of Saskatoon, Sask., is 26-22-6 with a 2.49 GAA, a .910 SV% and five shutouts in 61 career NHL games with the Wild. Kuemper wears sweater No. 35 with Minnesota.
Forward Matt Cooke underwent successful sports hernia surgery today by Dr. L. Michael Brunt at the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Mo. Cooke is expected to make a full recovery and return to play in approximately six weeks.
The 36-year-old has appeared in 27 games with the Wild this season, posting four goals and four assists.
When a team is feeling it, the club wants to keep playing and stay rolling. After four straight wins, the Minnesota Wild is back in the thick of the Western Conference playoff race and gaining confidence.
However, thanks to a lull in the schedule, the team won’t get back at it until Saturday, hosting the Colorado Avalanche at 7 p.m. at Xcel Energy Center.
“We played a lot of games and all of a sudden we have three days between games,” Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said. “You have to make sure we’re getting ready for an opponent that we know is going to be ready to play against us.”
Of course, the Wild topped the Avs in seven games in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last year and took the opening two games of the season in a home-and-home series, outscoring Colorado, 8-0.
It was a bipolar month for the Minnesota Wild with the recent highs feeling mountainous compared to the cavernous early-January lows. Thorough it all, the team has tried to remain focused on the next opponent and not on the things that have come in the past. So, with the club riding a three-game road win streak, Minnesota knows it is far from the summit of the regular season as it returns to Xcel Energy Center. Tonight, the Wild continues the climb against a familiar foe, the Chicago Blackhawks.
After competing well last season, including a hard-fought six game series in the Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, Minnesota hasn’t found its footing against the Hawks. The Wild is 0-3-0 against Chicago this season. Again, the team doesn’t want to dwell on what has been, but what is in store today.
The Minnesota Wild looks make it three-for-three on its Canadian road trip, tomorrow skating against the Vancouver Canucks at 2 p.m. State of Hockey Time.
The Wild will be without Justin Fontaine, who suffered a pulled groin against the Calgary Flames on Thursday. Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo doesn’t have a timetable for a return and with this type of injury it just needs time to heal.
“It’s something that could be a day or something that could be longer,” Yeo said.