The Minnesota Wild have a few big announcements to make already this morning. It will be a fairly heavy news day today (Finland and Sweden are set to release their Olympic rosters today as well), so make sure that you check back in to this article throughout the day to see what else happens.
The biggest news of the day (at least so far) is the fact that Kaptain Mikko Koivu and goaltender Josh Harding have been place on injured reserve. This is a HUGE blow to the team. Harding has been a mainstay in the net, and helped the team claim a number of points throughout the season so far.
Probably more frightening is the addition of Koivu to IR though. Fans will not doubt be remembering the 2011-2012 season, where the Wild went into the month of December as the top ranked team in the NHL and everything went downhill the minute Koivu was injured against the Blackhawks.
The Wild have recalled Erik Haula this morning as well, most likely to take over either the 2C or 3C spot. Mikael Granlund will most like center the first line, with the bright side being that this move reunites Granlund and Jason Pominville. The concerning issue is that now is that 3 out of the 4 centers are basically kids.
In seasons past, there have been a number of centers that could step up into that number one center spot. This season, the only guy with a full NHL season under his belt in the C position is Kyle Brodziak, who is having a bit of a rough go as of late.
Haula will most likely center the 2nd line with Nino Niederreiter and Jason Zucker. Zucker and Haula have been playing together in Iowa, so that will help maintain at least some chemistry. Charlie Coyle will most likely stay centering the 3rd line.
This now makes eight active roster spots being filled by guys 23 years old or younger. At least 4 of those players are in the top 6. It's a great chance for them to step up, but the concern is that these guys are still very young, and young kids will make mistakes. Often times, they make big mistakes. It would be naïve for Wild fans to think that getting through this stretch with Koivu, Harding, Jared Spurgeon and Zach Parise all on IR without bumps.
The Wild also recalled defenseman Jon Blum this morning.
As I said earlier, there will be other news released today in the form of Olympic rosters, and probably injury updates. Check back for updates.
Update #1- Ryan Suter was named NHL's 3rd star of the week this morning. You can read about it here.
Update #2- Koivu had surgery this morning to repair a fractured ankle and will miss at least a month according to Russo and Chad Graff
Update #3- Fletcher told the media that Parise may be back to skating later this week