Update: Carson McMillan has been recalled by the Wild and will meet the team in Philadelphia tonight. Koivu has officially been placed on injured reserve.
It was “Bring-Your-Dad-To-Work” Day today at Xcel Energy Center. The Minnesota Wild players practiced while their fathers or brothers watched from one end of the rink. At the end-of-practice shootout, the dads were informed that the loser of the shootout and his father would have to serve water at tonight’s team dinner.
Justin Falk, who already lost once this year and had to wear an ugly Christmas sweater on the team charter, was the last man standing again. So Justin and Larry Falk will be in charge of hydrating the rest of the team before tomorrow’s tilt with Philly.
Following practice, Head Coach Mike Yeo gave an update on the status of Mikko Koivu, calling him “week-to-week” with an “upper body” injury. Yeo said Koivu is unlikely to play before the All-Star break, and if that’s the case, he would miss the next four games against Philadelphia, Toronto, Dallas and Colorado.
Koivu met with the media as well and said he’ll get checked on again on Monday and “we’ll go from there.”
“It’s pretty frustrating right now,” he said. “Especially the time of the year. We play a lot of games and we’re right in the middle of it and so yeah. But there’s nothing you can do about it, and you just got to move on and try and get better.”
The hit, which was delivered by Vladimir Sobotka, wasn’t dirty by any means, but Koivu said he just got caught in the wrong spot. Koivu immediately knew something was wrong, and immediately thought the worst.
“I guess that’s one good thing is that it’s not as bad as I first thought it would be,” said Koivu.
The loss of Koivu is certainly a blow to a team already dealing with injuries to top forwards, and Yeo admitted that he can’t be replaced.
“It’d be foolish of us to try and get anybody to be him,” said Yeo. “It’s a big challenge for us and we have to view it as such, and get excited about the opportunity to rise to it. A lot of people are probably writing us off right now…but the one thing I know is this team has a lot of character, and we need a lot of that right now.”
Yeo said the team will call up a forward from Houston, and that will likely be Carson McMillan, who appeared in four games with the Wild last year and notched one goal and one assist.
With McMillan arriving, goaltender Matt Hackett is departing. Niklas Backstrom is back and feeling healthy, so Hackett will head back to Houston.