After missing 15 games with a concussion, Guillaume Latendresse was given the go ahead to return to the lineup tonight in the Wild’s first-ever game against the Winnipeg Jets. Latendresse was skating last week, but had his first practice with the team on Monday at Xcel Energy Center.
Latendresse’s return was expedited by the fact that Matt Cullen was sick last night and won’t be available tonight. The Wild wasn’t going to be able to get a player in from Houston, so the only other option would have been to play seven defensemen.
Look for Latendresse to start on the fourth line, but he may skate with others and he could get some power play time as well.
The surprising news only added to the excitement surrounding tonight’s game. The Jets are running this town right now.
Someone told me that “When you’re the top cat in town. You’re a gold medal kid with the heavyweight crown.”
Now everyone knows that Jets chief rival is the Puerto Rican gang known as “The Sharks,” but with the proximity to Minnesota and the impending realignment, you can expect this rivalry to be heated. There are quite a few Minnesota connections on the Jets. Mark Stuart, Dustin Byfuglien and Blake Wheeler are all Minnesota natives, and Tim Stapleton was a four-year star at Minnesota-Duluth.
As for the Wild, Head Equipment Manager Tony Dacosta is a native of Winnipeg and broke into the NHL as a teenage stick boy with the original Jets. team.