With Christian Folin playing well and head coach Bruce Boudreau wanting to give another chance to talented young blue liner Mike Reilly, the Wild are set to scratch Mathew Dumba in advance of tonight’s game against Toronto, writes Mike Russo of the Star Tribune. Dumba has appeared in all three of Minnesota’s games so far this season and has recorded one point – a goal – and a -2 plus-minus rating while averaging 18:16 per game. Even though Dumba is the odd man out tonight, Boudreau still believes he is a quality defenseman.
“Maybe he has to do a little less. Sometimes players try so hard and they do too much rather than just do their job and make plays. Dumba is going to be a really good player. And he’s a good player right now. He’s trying to do too much right now. We just want him to calm it down and play his game.”
Meanwhile, Reilly, will make his second appearance of the season. In his only other start, Reilly saw just 14:09 of ice time and finished with a -1 plus-minus rating. He’s aware he needs to make more of a positive impact if he wants to remain in the lineup.
“Just try to come in and play my game. Obviously, wasn’t satisfied with the first effort and as a team, so just come in and try to do what I do best. It was good for me go down and play in Iowa a few nights ago, get minutes, get a lot of reps and play in every situation. Just try to come in and be confident.”
Russo adds that because Reilly is the only Wild blue liner who does not require waivers to be sent down to the minors, he may find himself frequently shuttling between Minnesota and the team’s AHL affiliate in Iowa.
In other Wild News:
- While his time playing for his hometown Minnesota Wild didn’t go according to plan, veteran scoring winger Thomas Vanek is off to a sizzling start with his new club, the Detroit Red Wings, as Michael Rand of the Star Tribune notes. Vanek inked a three-year free agent deal in the summer of 2014 to add scoring punch to the Wild lineup and while he did contribute 39 goals in 159 games for Minnesota, it simply wasn’t enough to merit his $6MM cap hit. Minnesota elected to buy out the final year of his pact, allowing Vanek to join the Wings on a one-year, $2.6MM deal. Through four games with Detroit, the two-time 40-goal-scorer already has three goals and six points. Detroit will have one of the bargains of the 2016 free agent class if Vanek can continue to produce offense near the point-per-game level.
- The Iowa Wild, Minnesota’s AHL affiliate, have signed veteran blue liner Mike Weber to a PTO, according to this tweet from Russo. Weber is expected to fill in for Victor Bartley, who is currently injured. Russo adds that the Wild will have the option of eventually inking Weber to either an AHL deal or perhaps even a two-way contract with Minnesota if he plays well enough to warrant it. Weber was in camp with the St. Louis Blues but didn’t make their final roster. In 351 NHL regular season contests, Weber has tallied nine goals and 53 points along with 437 minutes in penalties.