The Wild equipment staff has been busy this year. They’ll sew the 46th different nameplate on a Minnesota sweater this season, as Tyler Cuma will make his NHL debut with the Wild today against the Chicago Blackhawks at Xcel Energy Center. Cuma was recalled under emergency conditions yesterday because Clayton Stoner suffered an upper body injury on Tuesday against the Nashville Predators.
Cuma was expected to debut with the Wild on Feb. 8, but missed his connecting flight from Vancouver to Phoenix because he had little time between landing and takeoff.
“I was flying down the highway making sure I didn’t miss the flight this time around,” Cuma said.
Cuma was the Wild first round pick (23rd overall) in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft. He’s had to deal with a number of injuries since being selected by Minnesota. Last year, his first as a pro, Cuma suffered a season-ending ACL injury with the Houston Aeros. However, he doesn’t want people to write him off because of injuries. See the Wild TV video of Cuma, here.
As a former first rounder, Cuma has dealt with the adversity of injuries and has had to earn his way to the NHL. It takes a strong will to deal bounce back from the misfortunes Cuma has been plagued with early in his career. You don’t have to be a Minnesota Wild fan to root for a guy who has worked his way back from the brink of a career-threatening injury.
Josh Harding will be in net for the Wild. He made 41 saves in a 5-4 shootout win in Chicago on Sunday.