In somewhat of a surprise move, the Minnesota Wild has placed center Eric Nystrom on waivers. Nystrom has until Friday at 11:00 a.m. to clear, and if he does, he’ll be assigned to the Houston Aeros of the AHL.
Nystrom, who is in the second year of a three-year contract with Minnesota, was slated to center the Wild’s fourth line with Brad Staubitz and Colton Gillies on the wings. But a strong camp performance by rookie Brett Bulmer coupled with the waiver pickup of Nick Johnson last week gave the Wild a pair of young and gritty wingers. The Wild was also faced with having to make a decision on Matt Kassian, who is close to coming off injured reserve. Had he been sent to Houston, Kassian also would have to clear waivers, and the Wild probably wasn’t willing to lose his toughness and size. Kassian could very well be in the season opening lineup due to the suspension of Staubitz.
In his first season with Minnesota, Nystrom picked up four goals and eight assists with a -16 rating while playing in all 82 games for the second straight year.