The Minnesota Wild has come to an agreement with the Dallas Stars on a trade that will send forward Eric Nystrom to Dallas in exchange for future considerations. Nystrom was placed on re-entry waivers yesterday, but cleared at 11:00 a.m. today.
Had he remained with the Wild, a roster move would have had to have been made to create a spot for him.
Nystrom, 28 (2/14/83), posted 12 points (4-8=12) while skating in all 82 games for the Wild last season. The 6-foot-1, 204-pound native of Syosset, New York has collected 51 points (23-28=51) and 221 penalty minutes (PIM) in 286 games during five NHL seasons with Calgary and Minnesota.
In somewhat of a surprise move, the Minnesota Wild has placed center Eric Nystrom on waivers. Nystrom has until Friday at 11:00 a.m. to clear, and if he does, he’ll be assigned to the Houston Aeros of the AHL.
Nystrom, who is in the second year of a three-year contract with Minnesota, was slated to center the Wild’s fourth line with Brad Staubitz and Colton Gillies on the wings. But a strong camp performance by rookie Brett Bulmer coupled with the waiver pickup of Nick Johnson last week gave the Wild a pair of young and gritty wingers. The Wild was also faced with having to make a decision on Matt Kassian, who is close to coming off injured reserve. Had he been sent to Houston, Kassian also would have to clear waivers, and the Wild probably wasn’t willing to lose his toughness and size. Kassian could very well be in the season opening lineup due to the suspension of Staubitz.
In his first season with Minnesota, Nystrom picked up four goals and eight assists with a -16 rating while playing in all 82 games for the second straight year.
How is it already March 1? We have now entered the final full month of the regular season. Just 19 games remain, and here your Minnesota Wild sit with 72 points, tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the West.
Tonight, the Wild will cruise to the East Coast, bunk up in a hotel (or motel, depending on vacancy) and watch a bunch of teams jostle for position on TV. Long Island native Eric Nystrom may be the exception to that. He’s got plans to see his family and hammer down a home-cooked meal from Mom Nystrom.
As we all know, Eric’s dad Bob, played for the Islanders for 14 seasons and won four Stanley Cups there. Eric grew up skating on the same rink he’ll play on tomorrow night against his dad’s former team. See what Eric had to say about his return to the Island here. Matt Cullen talked to Wild TV about the team’s other stop, Madison Square Garden. See Cullen’s thoughts here.
The Wild is expected to welcome another callup to the Island tonight. Chuck Kobasew left practice early today due to illness and was heading to the doctor to get checked out. Head Coach Todd Richards couldn’t say for certain, but he suspected that Kobasew might miss some time if he has the same thing that sidelined Kyle Brodziak last week.
Watch what Richards told the media after today’s practice here. You can also listen to Richards’ thoughts in today’s PONDcast.
Other than that, it was a pretty slow news day out of Xcel Energy Center. Mikko Koivu did skate on his own for the first time today since his injury. Cam Barker also skated. Both players will stay behind and continue to work out with strength and conditioning coach, Chris Pietrzak-Wegner.
Mike Russo of the Star Tribune has reported that center James Sheppard was involved in an ATV accident in Vail, Colorado on Saturday. Sheppard fractured his patella (left knee) and underwent surgery.
According to Russo, Sheppard will miss three to four months, but the team is saying there is no timetable for his return.
Here is the team’s official statement: “The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild announced today that forward James Sheppard suffered a fractured patella in his left knee in an off-ice accident in Vail, Colo., Saturday night. There is no timetable for when Sheppard will be able to return to play hockey.”
Three months from today is December 7, which is 26 games deep into the season. That’s not good for Shep, who was anxious to get to training camp and prove himself after a difficult year.
As for other players, the locker room in Xcel Energy Center continues to bustle with activity. Two new players that have joined the fray are newcomer Eric Nystrom and roster hopeful, Robbie Earl. Earl spent his summer in Madison, Wisconsin where he trained on campus with several other former Badgers and current NHLers.