The Wild flew home yesterday, after a two-game road trip, and were back on the road today, kind of. The club practiced at Saint Thomas Ice Arena and was joined by its newest member.
Forward Mike Rupp joined the team after arriving in the State of Hockey yesterday. The Wild acquired Rupp from the New York Rangers for forwards Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri on Monday. After practice, Head Coach Mike Yeo said he expects the newcomer to make his debut in a Wild sweater tomorrow against the Vancouver Canucks at Xcel Energy Center. Listed at 6-foot-5 and 243-pounds, the 33-year-old is an imposing figure out on the ice.
With Rupp in the lineup, that means two forwards will be healthy scratches in tomorrow’s game. However, guessing the lineup will prove challenging because the Wild shook up its forward lines again for today’s practice.
Charlie Coyle, who was recalled on Monday from the Houston Aeros, skated on a line with Zach Parise and Mikko Koivu. Coyle was solid in his NHL debut on Monday against Phoenix, and was moved up from the second line. Dany Heatley flipped with Coyle and skated alongside Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Matt Cullen.
After the top two lines, the other two were in flux. The third line was comprised of Cal Clutterbuck and Kyle Brodziak, while it looked like Mikael Granlund and Devin Setoguchi were rotating in. The final line saw a rotation between Torrey Mitchell, Zenon Konopka, Rupp and Matt Kassian.
After practice, Yeo said not to take too much stock in the line combos, as the lines could easily be flipped tomorrow and he still hasn’t made a decision on who would be in the lineup against Vancouver.
The D-pairings remained the same and Jared Spurgeon did not skate.
After practice, WildTV caught Rupp talking to the media about what he brings to the table and his thoughts on joining the Wild.
Yeo also addressed the media, which is posted on WildTV.
The PONDcast spoke with Coyle about his NHL debut and skating at today’s practice.