The Minnesota Wild have been one of several teams racked with injuries in 2017-18 and they can now add another major contributor to the list. The Star Tribune’s Sarah McLellan reports that defenseman Jared Spurgeon is expected to miss at least two weeks with a groin strain. Spurgeon has missed the past two games and is likely to land on injured reserve.
Spurgeon, who teammate Mathew Dumba calls “one of the most underrated guys in the NHL”, will be missed in Minnesota. As the long-time partner of Ryan Suter on the team’s top-pair, Spurgeon is counted on for major minutes and mistake-free hockey. Spurgeon is as solid as they come, and it is no surprise that the Wild’s first game adjusting to his absence was a 7-2 rout by the Winnipeg Jets on Monday. However, the team did bounce back with a win over the Vegas Golden Knights last night, with Dumba filling in beside Suter. That will most likely be the top pair moving forward until Spurgeon is back on his feet.
The extent of the Spurgeon injury also lends some explanation to the Wild’s recent claim of old friend Nate Prosser. Prosser has nearly 300 games with Minnesota under his belt, but bolted for St. Louis this summer hoping for greater opportunity. When that opportunity never presented itself, Prosser was happy to return home and the Wild were fortunate enough to bring a familiar name back into the fold when they needed him most. Prosser could play a key role on the Minnesota blue line over the next two weeks, as could recently-recalled Ryan Murphy and young Gustav Olofsson.