It was a good news/bad news day at the Minnesota Wild’s practice at Xcel Energy Center on Monday morning.
The biggest news surrounded the status of captain Mikko Koivu, who saw a hand specialist this morning. Bad news: Koivu does have a broken finger. Good news: It will not require surgery, and General Manager Chuck Fletcher fully expects Koivu to return before the end of the regular season and repeatedly used “a few weeks” to describe the time frame.
“Hopefully we’ll be able to give a more definitive time frame in a week or two when we see how the finger starts to heal,” said Fletcher.
Naturally, Fletcher was asked about the possibility of making a move at the trade deadline to replace Koivu.
He responded, “We’re very comfortable with our players. They continue to compete as hard as any team in the league. We love the chemistry of our team. The players play hard for each other.
“There isn’t a Mikko Koivu out there. That’s why we gave him the seven-year deal that we did. You just can’t find guys like this. You’re lucky if there’s one or two in every draft. None of them are available around the league. There’s nobody available like him. We’re not going to replace him, so the thing is how do we keep our team competitive? And what do we do to help our team win games?”
As for other good news/bad news, there was plenty more: Bad news: Martin Havlat did not skate after being involved in a scary collision with Jiri Hudler yesterday. Good news: It was just a maintenance day for Havlat, who is expected to be fine for tomorrow’s game against Edmonton.
Good news: Guillaume Latendresse practiced with the team for the first time today. Bad news: There is still no timetable for his return.
“It’s day-by-day,” said Latendresse, who wore the yellow no-touch jersey during the practice. “Maybe tomorrow I’ll be sore and I won’t skate, or maybe it will be good and I will skate. Right now we’re just focusing on having a few good practices in a row.”
Latendresse admitted that he can’t push 100% right now because of the groin issues, but his hip feels good.