NHL Nick Names-ey
The Minnesota Wild will play their second straight game with 11 forwards and seven defenceman on Thursday night as a result of their cap crunch.
With Zach Parise and Mikael Granlund both sidelined temporarily with minor injuries, the Wild are left with just 11 healthy forwards and only $200,000 in cap space.
The team has one waiver-exempt defenceman in 24-year-old Mike Reilly, but head coach Bruce Boudreau told the Pioneer Press sending him to the AHL was not an option the team was considering.
Boudreau attempted to roll four lines in the team's shootout loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night, but said he might change his approach against the Blackhawks on Thursday.
“Mostly three lines with the other two guys doing something specific,” Boudreau said. The Pioneer Press reports Matt Cullen and Daniel Winnik will serve as the two specialists.
Boudreau said earlier this week he expects Granlund, who is dealing with a groin injury, to miss the team's next four games, starting Thursday in Chicago. Parise is expected to sit against the Blackhawks and against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday. The team then has five days off before back-to-back games against Winnipeg and Calgary, which is when Boudreau hopes Parise will be back in the lineup.
“That’s the plan,” Boudreau said. “Who knows? Anything can change. He looked pretty good out there. I know he’s champing at the bit to play. It’s the protocol and whatever the doctors say and the trainer says is what’s going to happen.”