The Minnesota Wild are finding themselves in a bit of a cap crunch due to a rash of recent injuries, writes Michael Russo of the Star-Tribune. The team is currently without forwards Zac Dalpe and Zach Parise as well as defenseman Marco Scandella, who are all week-to-week. Additionally, wingers Erik Haula (injured, out 7-10 days) and Chris Stewart (sick) were also unable to skate on Monday. As a result of the injuries, the team had just 14 skaters at practice.
The team currently has just shy of $1.5MM in cap space according to Cap Friendly but that’s only enough cap space for two recalls. The team could put Scandella on LTIR but that would make it that he’d have to be out for at least 24 days (retroactive to October 27th when he was injured) and if he’s not expected to be out that long, that’s far from an ideal scenario for the Wild. The team could also put Victor Bartley on LTIR but his cap hit doesn’t count in full already as he is currently on season-opening injured reserve (his cap hit only counts for the percentage of time he was on an NHL roster last year) so that wouldn’t free up much more space for Minnesota to work with. Dalpe underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on Monday so he too is a potential LTIR candidate.
Suffice it to say, it’s going to be a busy time for GM Chuck Fletcher as he navigates the cap in order to give the Wild a full roster (or as close to one as possible) in advance of their next game on Tuesday against Buffalo.
Other news from the Central:
- The Avalanche have assigned left winger Gabriel Bourque to San Antonio of the AHL, the team announced (Twitter link). Bourque has played in five games with Colorado so far this season after earning a contract off a PTO, being held pointless while logging 10:46 per game. The 26 year old cleared waivers just prior to the start of the year and since less than 30 days had passed since then, he was able to be sent down now without going back on waivers. The team does not plan to call anyone up to take Bourque’s spot on the roster, adds Mike Chambers of the Denver Post.
- Dallas center Cody Eakin has done some light skating and head coach Lindy Ruff told reporters including Mark Stepneski of Stars Inside Edge (Twitter link) that he is about 2-3 weeks away from returning. Still with the Stars, Patrick Sharp (concussion-like symptoms) worked out on Sunday. Both of those should come as positive signs considering it was announced earlier today that Ales Hemsky is out for the next 5-6 months after undergoing hip surgery.