The Minnesota Wild announced some good news and bad news Tuesday. The good news is forward Mats Zuccarello is back! The 32-year-old has been out of commission with a lower-body injury since Minnesota’s home opener against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After practicing with the team on Monday, it was only a matter of time before the Wild activated Zuccarello from injured reserve. He is now available to suit up against the Edmonton Oilers.
Time for the bad news. Joel Eriksson Ek, who suffered a lower-body injury in last week’s 4-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens, has been placed on injured reserve. The 22-year-old sacrificed his body to block not one, not two, but three (3!) Shea Weber point blasts while killing off a penalty. All three blocks were undoubtedly painful, but it appears the third and final block really stung the former No. 20 overall draft selection.
Here's where Joel Eriksson Ek got injured. pic.twitter.com/TRk6szJMWI— Hockey Wilderness (@hockeywildernes) October 18, 2019
While Eriksson Ek being placed on IR is less than ideal, it doesn’t appear he’ll be inactive for too long. Despite leaving Bell Centre wearing a boot, Eriksson Ek is only expected to miss a week or two — a bullet dodged for the Wild. Gabriel Dumont’s stay with the big club should last a little bit longer.
Also something to note; Kevin Fiala will be out of the lineup Tuesday night as he, too, recovers from a lower-body injury.
Mats Zuccarello officially activated off IR and Joel Eriksson Ek placed on IR so Gabriel Dumont can remain on the #mnwild 23-player roster and Zuccarello can return after missing the past 4 games.— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) October 22, 2019
Kevin Fiala, Victor Rask and Eriksson Ek (all LBI’s) out tonight vs the #oilers