Wild GM Bill Guerin recently visited with top prospect Kirill Kaprizov in Russia. He hadn’t had a chance to meet with Kaprizov since taking over as GM and while the team certainly wants the winger to sign with Minnesota for next season, he told Michael Russo of The Athletic (subscription required) that they didn’t get into specific discussions regarding next year and will simply reassess things at the end of his KHL season.
Nonetheless, Guerin did acknowledge that he has given some thought towards trying to add a Russian player to their roster with an eye on having that player help Kaprizov transition to the Wild and the NHL. That’s a move that they can wait to next year to make if they want but if it’s something that’s being considered, it also could have an impact on any trade discussions they have between now and the end of the season as well.
Elsewhere around the NHL:
- Red Wings winger Justin Abdelkader is nearing a return to the lineup. Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press notes that he returned to practice for the first time on Tuesday and could be available for their next game on Saturday. The veteran has been out with a mid-body injury since November 10th and would be a welcome addition to a Detroit lineup that has been hit hard by the injury bug and has lost ten straight games.
- It has been a rough season for Flyers center Nolan Patrick. Diagnosed with a migraine disorder, he was initially believed to only need a couple of weeks to recover to the point where they didn’t put him on LTIR. Seven weeks went by and he was eventually transferred there. Now, as Patrick told reporters including NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jordan Hall, he’s simply hopeful to play at all this season. Patrick is in the final year of his contract and instead of looking at a potential long-term extension, the focus now is simply getting back to playing first and foremost.