Chuck Fletcher got the phone call as the Wild was going through a short practice today at the St. Petersburg Times Forum. He learned that Wild defenseman Brent Burns would be suspended for two games for an incident following last night’s game against Florida. Burns and Steve Bernier got into a confrontation, and when Burns raised his glove, his stick caught Bernier in the face, causing a facial injury.
Burns will now miss tomorrow’s game against Tampa Bay, and Wednesday night’s home contest against the Anaheim Ducks.
Upon finishing his talk with the NHL, Fletcher found Burns on the Wild bench and gave him the news. Fletcher then spoke with the media, informing them of the length and stressing that he believes Burns’ act was unintentional. He also said he hopes for a quick recovery for Bernier, and that nobody wants to see anybody get hurt.
Shortly after, an obviously upset Burns addressed the media, saying he was sorry, that he did send a text to Bernier and that he hopes to talk to him today. He said he certainly didn’t intend to get Bernier with his stick, and he feels awful about Bernier getting injured, especially considering how much time he himself missed last year due to injuries.
Video of Fletcher and Burns speaking with the media will be uploaded to the Wild’s Twitter and Facebook pages later this afternoon.
For tomorrow night, the Wild currently has six defensemen available, but three of them are rookies – Justin Falk, Marco Scandella and Clayton Stoner. Fletcher said that Marek Zidlicky is skating in Minnesota today, and there is a flight waiting for him tonight if he’s good enough to play. Whether or not that flight will leave on time due to the snowy weather remains to be seen.
Finally, Robbie Earl has yet to arrive in Tampa, but should be here tonight.