These stories may not be stealing the headlines, but at least the Minnesota Wild received good news today that both Greg Pateryn endured a successful bilateral core muscle surgery and that J.T. Brown cleared waivers. Neither player will likely help the Wild during NHL games in the near future, but at least now there’s a chance the two may be able to contribute further into the season.
“ST. PAUL -- Minnesota Wild General Manager Bill Guerin announced defenseman Greg Pateryn underwent successful bilateral core muscle repair surgery today by Dr. William Meyers at the Vincera Institute in Philadelphia, Pa. Pateryn is expected to make a full recovery and return to play in approximately six weeks.”
The surgery Pateryn underwent today was to help with a sports hernia. The D-man’s absence in the lineup makes way for either Nick Seeler or Carson Soucy to start the season in Minnesota.
Judging from #mnwild practice, there's a chance the third defense pair opening night is Soucy-Hunt, not Seeler-Hunt— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) October 1, 2019
I think Boudreau feels soucy has had a better camp and is playing with more composure— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) October 1, 2019
Given the experience at the NHL level between the two, it’s a bit of a surprise to see Soucy usurp Seeler for a spot in the top six on opening night. However, Seeler doesn’t exactly have the best track record in the show so far (seven points, 47.72 corsi for percentage, 45.76 goals-for percentage, and 48.37 expected goals-for percentage in 12:20 average ice time per night in 72 games last season) and Soucy can give Bruce Boudreau a little more size on the back end (6’5”, 210 to Seeler’s 6’2”, 201).
Whether it’s Seeler or Soucy, the loss of Pateryn does hurt the Wild for the next few weeks, as the American rearguard formed a tandem with Jonas Brodin last season that posted an impressive 53.95 expected goals-for percentage in 615:13 of 5-on-5 ice time together. If the timeline of approximately six weeks is accurate, Pateryn should miss 17-18 games and return on either November 12 against the Los Angeles Kings or November 14 against the Arizona Coyotes.
As for Brown, a few new names in the mix hurt his chances of making the roster.
New #mnwild lines likely for opening night— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) October 1, 2019
Boudreau joked it’s for at least the first 10 minutes. Wants to deepen the lines, get Parise going after scoreless camp, Koivu is healthy
In addition to former general manager Paul Fenton’s decisions to add Ryan Donato from the Boston Bruins back in February and to sign Ryan Hartman over the summer, Joel Eriksson Ek and Mason Shaw have evidently progressed enough in their development to earn a spot on the team. In his first year with the organization Brown provided three goals and five apples for eight points in 56 games with 29 penalty minutes for Minnesota and six points in six games for the Iowa Wild. Brown has a cap hit of $687,500 and is an unrestricted free agent in 2020.
Stats courtesy of NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick. Also, thank you to Michael Russo for letting me use all of his tweets for this article.