Tag Archives: James Sheppard

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!

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Barker Injured; Won’t Travel

Minnesota Wild defenseman Cam Barker suffered an upper body injury during last night’s win over Edmonton. At this point, it’s unknown how severe the injury is, but Barker will not make the trip out West for Thursday’s game against Los Angeles and Friday’s tilt in Anaheim.

The Wild does have six healthy defensemen available, but is likely to call up another from Houston tonight. Elk River native Nate Prosser headlines the list of available Aeros defensemen and could be the callup.

While Barker will stay home, Guillaume Latendresse and James Sheppard will be on the trip to Cali. It’s not expected that either are going to play, but they will likely hit the ice with the team during the morning skates. Make sure you hit up today’s Wild PONDcast as Kevin Falness chatted with Sheppard about the trip earlier today.

Both Sheppard and Latendresse were on the ice today in a very optional Wild practice. Jared Spurgeon and Cody Almond were the only two players from last night’s game to take the ice today.

Injury Updates From St. Paul

Good afternoon from St. Paul, where there were some exciting injury updates this morning. As I was working on the game preview for tonight’s Wild game in St. Louis, I got an email from Wild PR guru Ryan Stanzel letting me know goalie Josh Harding would be skating in full gear this morning for the first time since preseason.

After hustling to the rink, I checked in with Hards, who informed me that he got back from the doctor and just had to tape a stick before he’d suit up. As I was watching Harding practice at Xcel Energy Center, I couldn’t help but think of the irony that he is finally back in full gear the same day the Wild face the Blues, the team he injured his knee against in preseason action.

Also making some news on the injury front was defenseman Marco Scandella, who skated for the first time since getting hit in the head by a puck on Jan. 14. While he did not wear full gear, opting for a sweat suit and helmet, it was good to see him out on the ice since he’s been sidelined with concussion symptoms.

You can see video of Scandella going up against Harding (green jersey) this morning on the Wild Facebook Page.

Harding and Scandella were joined on the ice by Marek Zidlicky, Guillaume Latendresse, James Sheppard and Wild Strength and Conditioning Coach Chris Pietrzak-Wegner, who manned the net opposite Harding.

As for the Wild net in St. Louis, Jose Theodore will get the start, while Niklas Backstrom will be in goal against the Blues tomorrow in St. Paul. Get all the details of tonight’s game in the preview here.

Of course, tomorrow’s game is the finale of this year’s Hockey Day Minnesota. The annual event will be another day-long celebration of the game we all love. Check out all of the HDM content here.

Finally, congratulations to Jason Sprague of Vadnais Heights for winning the Wild Backyard Rinks Contest, presented by The Home Depot. And speaking of outdoor hockey rinks, the Wild announced today it will hold an outdoor practice for the first time in team history. Fans are welcome to attend the practice at the Guidant John Rose MN OVAL in Roseville on Feb. 19. Get those details here.

James Sheppard Suffers Knee Injury

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.

Sheppard Re-Signed For One year

The Wild has re-signed C James Sheppard to a one-year deal. The club has also made qualifying offers to five players including: Guillaume Latendresse, Josh Harding, Anton Khudobin, Nate Prosser and Matt Kassian.

The Wild will not be qualifying Morten Madsen or Jamie Fraser.

Teams are required to extend a one-year “qualifying offer” to any current restricted free agent by June 28 in order to receive the right of first refusal or draft choice compensation should that player sign an offer sheet with another NHL club. The qualifying offers expire at 4:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 15.

Qualifying offers fall into three categories:

•    A player whose prior year salary was equal or less than $660,000 must receive a qualifying offer of 110% of their prior year’s salary.

•    A player whose prior year salary was more than $660,000 and up to $1 million must receive a qualifying offer of 105% of their prior year’s salary (but in no event shall such a qualifying offer exceed $1 million).

•    A player whose prior year salary was equal to or more than $1 million must receive a qualifying offer at 100% of their prior year’s salary.

If a team does not give a qualifying offer to a restricted free agent, he is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, and can sign with any team with no compensation required to the player’s former club.