Tag Archives: casey wellman

Staubitz Suspension Begins Tonight

The ruling was passed down from NHL discipline czar Brendan Shanahan yesterday that Wild winger Brad Staubitz will be suspended for the rest of the preseason, as well as the first three games of the regular season.

At least publicly, the Wild hasn’t cried foul about the ruling, and Staubitz said yesterday, “I want what’s fair.” Thus far in his new role, Shanahan has been strict, but consistent in his dealings with dangerous hits. He also suspended James Wisniewski for eight regular season games for his blow to the head of Cal Clutterbuck on Friday night.

In past years, there didn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the suspensions handed out, and there seemed to be preferential treatment given to certain players over others. Shanahan has been proactive, not only with being strict, but with his video descriptions of each incident. If teams and fans get the straight dope on why a suspension is what it is, that’s all we can really ask.

It remains to be seen if Steven Stamkos or Alex Ovechkin were to drill a player with a dangerous head shot, but so far, it’s hard to argue with Shanahan’s methods.

As for the Wild and their preseason home game tonight against the Blues, you’ll see most of the regulars out on the ice tonight. Matt Cullen, who was hit headfirst into the boards on Saturday by Pittsburgh’s Eric Tangradi, will sit out as a precaution. Casey Wellman will take his spot. Staubitz will be replaced on the fourth line by Brett Bulmer, who is still vying for a spot on the roster.

On defense, Jared Spurgeon is dealing with a bruised rib, and Mike Lundin continues to suffer from back spasms. Justin Falk and Marco Scandella will take their spots in the lineup. Nick Schultz will make his preseason debut tonight.

Niklas Backstrom gets the start in goal. Josh Harding likely starts on Thursday in Columbus and Backstrom would get the preseason finale on Friday against Edmonton.

Meanwhile, all the players the Wild put on waivers on Sunday have cleared, meaning they’ll report to Houston Aeros camp. That includes Warren Peters, Jed Ortmeyer, Jon DiSalvatore, Jeff Taffe, Jeff Penner and Dennis Endras.

And finally, Wild prospect and Denver University sophomore Jason Zucker was picked as the preseason WCHA player of the year in the 94X media poll, released today. Zucker’s team, Denver, was picked to finish first in the League, which you may know is also the home of the defending national champs in Duluth.

Wild Signs Powe, Extends Qualifying Offers To Seven Players

Evening, State of Hockey legion. All of us here in Wild land are recovering from the very busy weekend that was the 2011 NHL Entry Draft at Xcel Energy Center. The Wild has been in preparations for nearly two years and I think it’s safe to say the big event was a huge success. The organization was thrilled with this weekend’s events, especially all of the fans who came to St. Paul to showcase their love of hockey, including the more than 17,000 that attended the Draft Friday and Saturday.

There was certainly plenty of excitement during the two days of the Entry Draft, much of that coming from the hometown team. Click here for the Wild’s Draft Central page, which has stories and video from Wild management and some of the top selections in the Draft. Additionally, Wild radio’s Kevin Falness today spoke to Charlie Coyle, who was a big part of Minnesota’s first-round trade Friday night. Click here to listen to the interview and hear Coyle’s wicked Boston accent.

The 2011 NHL Entry Draft might now be over, but that doesn’t mean the Wild Hockey Operations department is taking a rest. In fact, the Wild made another trade today, acquiring 26-year-old forward Darroll Powe from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for a third-round pick in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Powe is considered a physical player who totaled 17 points (7-10=17) while leading the Flyers with 196 hits this past season. Click here to read the wild.com write up on the trade and here to listen to Powe’s reaction.

The guys in Hockey Ops weren’t done yet, and also used the day to extend qualifying offers to seven players: Justin Falk, Colton Gillies, Jarod Palmer, Jeff Penner, Darroll Powe, James Sheppard and Casey Wellman. The Wild did not tender a qualifying offer to Patrick O’Sullivan.

There isn’t much rest for the weary as the Wild decide whether to sign restricted free agents this week and then jump into the free agency pool starting Friday. Plenty of action to come, hockey fans!

Wellman Reassigned; Noreau Honored

Good afternoon, Wild fans.

As Minnesota looks to make it 16 straight wins against the Oilers at Xcel Energy Center tonight, it will do so without Casey Wellman. The 23-year-old was reassigned to Houston this morning after it was determined Chuck Kobasew’s leg is good to go for tonight’s contest.

Wellman will return to the Aeros, who clinched a spot in the AHL playoffs last night with a San Antonio loss. In addition to a bid in postseason play, congratulations are in order for some other news out of Houston today: defenseman Maxim Noreau was selected as one of six players named to this season’s AHL First All-Star Team. The 23-year-old ranks second on the Aeros and third among all AHL blueliners with 53 points (10-43=53) in 75 games this year.

Speaking of Wild prospects, it was announced today that Merrimack’s Stephane DaCosta has signed with the Ottawa Senators. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher had courted DaCosta after the end of his collegiate season and it was reported the Wild was one of the finalists as the college free agent made his decision of which NHL team to sign with. If there’s any positive from the news, it’s that the Wild will have more money left in the salary cap budget as it works on other signings for next year’s roster.

As far as the current Wild roster, they’re focused on turning the good vibes from Tuesday’s win into a solid performance in front of the home crowd. Eric Nystrom was quick to bring up the subject of the Wild fanbase in his comments after this morning’s skate. See his interview here.

If the Wild was able to select a team to play to get a second straight W, it probably would go with tonight’s opponent. Minnesota has won 15 straight games against the Oilers in St. Paul. Niklas Backstrom, who start in net, is 13-0-0 with a 1.15 GAA and a .955 SV% in his career against Edmonton at Xcel Energy Center. As Cal Clutterbuck said after morning skate, “We don’t want to be the group that lets [the win streak] go tonight.”

Watch Cal’s interview after morning skate here, and see what Todd Richards told the media this morning here.

Finally, don’t forget about the Fan Celebration festivities and “Our Favorite Things” auction at tonight’s game. I discussed the details in yesterday’s Lighthouse, so if you want more information click here and here.

Have a good afternoon. I’ll catch you in live, in-game commentary on wild.com tonight.

Wellman Recalled; Viewing Party Tonight

Happy Tuesday and Wild gameday, State of Hockey! It’s a busy day down here at Wild HQ, but here’s a quick blog for your afternoon enjoyment.

After talking with Head Coach Todd Richards at yesterday’s practice, it didn’t seem there would be any news to report from today’s morning skate in St. Louis. Richards said Mikko Koivu and Chuck Kobasew missed the practice for “maintenance” but that both would be in the lineup against the Blues. However, Kobasew’s leg injury is apparently still bothering him as the Wild recalled Casey Wellman from Houston late this morning to take Kobasew’s spot in the lineup for tonight’s contest in St. Louis.

As the Wild desperately searches to find it’s offensive stride, it should be interesting to watch Wellman’s impact on the lineup. In his most recent recall earlier this month, he played two games, scoring one goal and averaging 9:02 TOI. Wellman is slotted to start the night on the left side of Matt Cullen and Marty Havlat, but as Richards stated yesterday, he is likely to change things up throughout the night in search of some offensive chances. Also, Jose Theodore will get the start in net tonight.

Last, but certainly not least, remember to come out to the Wild Interactive Viewing Party tonight at the Mall of America rotunda. The fun starts at 6 p.m. and will include autographs from Wes Walz, games and cool gadgets from Best Buy and SONY, plus lots of great giveaways including a game-worn Bouchard jersey, video game systems, Wild tickets and much more. Click here for all of the details of tonight’s event. Perhaps the biggest draw of the night is the chance to watch me type like a madwoman as I write the live, in-game commentary of tonight’s game from the party. I hope someone told the MOA to put up some extra crowd-control barriers to handle the huge number of wild.com fans that are sure to show up…

Are You Confused Yet? Wellman Recalled

He’s coming. He’s not coming. He’s now coming…most likely. Casey Wellman has been recalled by the Wild today in an emergency situation, and he is expected to get in the lineup tonight. He is expected to play, but if Cal Clutterbuck can play, then Jed Ortmeyer will have to be reassigned to Houston.

Many apologies for the mixed Wellman messages today. If the Lighthouse were a real thing, I would cannonball off of it and into a pool of shame.