Joe Smith of The Athletic is reporting that John Klingberg will re-join the Minnesota Wild after missing the past three games with an upper body injury. Klingberg came over from the Anaheim Ducks at the trade deadline and has a goal and three assists in nine games since joining the Wild. Smith went onto say that it appears that Klingberg will serve in the top-4 and play alongside Jon Merrill. The Wild took five of a possible six points with Klingberg out of the lineup but will certainly welcome the offensive firepower that he adds to the backend.
Klingberg has had a nightmarish season thus far. He didn’t find that long term deal he was hoping for last summer in free agency and opted to bet on himself and sign in Anaheim for a single season. This move has largely been a failure as Klingberg struggled mightily with the Ducks notching just 24 points in 50 games. While he has struggled to this point in the season, he still has an opportunity to prove his worth with the Wild. Minnesota has had a tremendous season and with the acquisition of Klingberg, one has to assume that they see themselves as a contender to come out of a wide open Western Conference.
In other Wild injury news:
- The Athletic’s Joe Smith is also reporting that winger Brandon Duhaime won’t play this evening due to an undisclosed illness. Duhaime is in his second season with the Wild and has nine points in 44 games, including eight goals. While Duhaime won’t fill the scoresheet, he does add an element of grit that the Minnesota will miss this evening when they do battle with their division rival. Duhaime is third on the team in hits with 126 hits on the season while averaging just over 10 minutes of ice time per game. The Wild sit one point up on Colorado for the division lead in the Central.
- Speaking of grit, Ryan Reaves also won’t be dressing tonight as he will be sidelined with what is being described as an upper body injury. Reaves left the Wild’s 5-1 win over the Seattle Kraken on Monday night and did not return. Little is known about Reaves injury, but with he and Duhaime on the shelf, it will make for a much easier night for Avalanche defensemen. Reaves is second on the Wild in hits this season with 134 hits in 54 games and has been an emotional catalyst for Minnesota since coming over from the New York Rangers in a mid-season trade. With Reaves and Duhaime out for tonight, and Kirill Kaprizov also sidelined, the Wild will be forced to play with 11 forwards and seven defensemen in a crucial game. Joe Smith tweeted that Alex Goligoski could take some shifts at forward to offset the injuries.