The Minnesota Wild will make its first call up of the season to the Houston Aeros tomorrow. It’s expected that defenseman Nate Prosser will get the call in time for tomorrow’s game against Detroit. To make room for the Elk River native, Greg Zanon will be placed on injured reserve due to his groin injury.
Prosser’s recall is necessary after Clayton Stoner injured his hand after taking a shot early in the second period of last night’s game. Head Coach Mike Yeo did not have an indication of how long Stoner would be out of the lineup, but it sounds as though he definitely will be out against the Red Wings.
Prosser will join the Wild after posting one assist and a +4 rating with the Aeros through seven games this season. His arrival means the Wild blueline corps gets even younger with Nick Schultz and Marek Zidlicky as the only active defensemen to have played more than 62 NHL games.
As for other notes, I highly recommend watching Mike Yeo’s meeting with the media today, and you can see why this guy has made such a rapid rise through the coaching ranks at a young age. He just exudes the same confidence coming off a Wild win, or a Wild loss.
He’s well-spoken, but he also comes across as very smart. As you can see in the video, he bristles at the notion that the Wild “can’t score.” He knows the players he has on his roster can score, and he’s confident that those coffers will start producing.
Much has been made about relatively slow starts from the likes of Dany Heatley, Mikko Koivu and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. Yeo doesn’t seem concerned in the least, saying it’s just a matter of getting to the scoring areas, which are basically five feet in front of the crease.
Fans should remember what Yeo went through in Houston this last year. As the new coach of the Aeros, Yeo repeatedly pointed out how well is team played at the start of the year, but the wins weren’t there. Sure enough, they came through with a second half surge and ended up with the second best record in the Western Conference.
Obviously, things are different now, but it’s probably one of the reasons that Yeo is confident his team will get to where it needs to be. He said some early season losses can be a good thing so the team can fight through adversity. But let’s hope the wins start piling up tomorrow against Detroit.
There was some fun down at the rink today as well, and not just the usual shootout contest which is always fun to watch. Today is Matt Kassian’s 25th birthday, and as we all know, there are positives and negatives to nothing another year. For Kassian, the positive was getting a box filled with cookies and balloons sent from his family in Edmonton. The downside was getting a shaving cream pie in the face from an unidentified teammate.
Finally, those attending tomorrow night’s game will notice a different look surrounding the rink. This afternoon, the team installed lavender dasher boards as part of its annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night, presented by AT&T. The Wild is one of five NHL teams participating in this initiative.
Hockey Fights Cancer Night will highlight the special pediatric cancer guests the Wild has hosted in suites and donated seats, and who have taken part in memorable experiences like being a flag bearer and bench buddies, as well as the month long partnerships with local cancer organizations like the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Fans will see the Wild coaching staff, management and broadcasters wearing lavender ties and HFC pins. Players will have HFC deals on their helmets, while several players will sport lavender tape on their sticks.