Ending speculation that the club might re-sign Jose Theodore or explore the backup goaltending market in free agency, the Wild re-signed goaltender Josh Harding to a one-year deal today. After missing all of last season with a torn ACL and MCL, Harding returns for at least one more year as Niklas Backstrom’s expected backup.
Wild.com will have more on the signing of Harding, as well as the re-signings of Drew Bagnall and Jed Ortmeyer. The club is also expected to sign former Vermont Catamount Kyle Medvec to an entry level deal today.
We will also be tracking all the moves in the NHL today, the first day of free agency.
With Chuck Kobasew ailing, the Minnesota Wild will go back to Jed Ortmeyer who was recalled from the Houston Aeros tonight. Ortmeyer was with the club last week, playing in Thursday’s loss in Los Angeles and Friday’s win in Anaheim.
Kobasew practiced with the team in St. Paul today, but ended up leaving the ice early. It’s not known if he will try to join the team at some point over the next two days. The Wild plays on Long Island tomorrow night against the Islanders, and in New York City on Thursday against the Rangers.
In some other news, the Wild announced today the team has
traded right wing Petr Kalus to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange
for future considerations.
Kalus, 23 (6/29/87), recorded eight points (6-2=8) and 68 penalty
minutes (PIM) in 34 games with the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey
League (AHL) this season. The 6-foot-1, 208-pound native of Ostrava,
Czech Republic, played in two games with Minnesota last season. Kalus was
Boston’s second-round pick (No. 39 overall) in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft
and was acquired by the Wild with a fourth-round pick from the Bruins in
exchange for Manny Fernandez on July 1, 2007.
Despite having never spent a day in the Minnesota Wild locker room before this morning, Jed Ortmeyer will be playing alongside some familiar faces tonight in his Wild debut. Ortmeyer will play on the wing on a line centered by former Michigan Wolverine teammate Eric Nystrom. Ortmeyer’s teammate in San Jose last year, Brad Staubitz, will take the other wing.
Cody Almond will certainly get the chance to showcase himself tonight. He moves up to center the third line between Cal Clutterbuck and Chuck Kobasew.
It appears that the Wild will go with six defensemen with Nate Prosser sitting out. Niklas Backstrom will get the start in goal, with Jose Theodore most likely going tomorrow in Anaheim.
There have been a lot of requests from folks wondering when the camouflage jerseys that the Wild wore in pregame warmups on Tuesday night would be up for bid. Wait no longer.
You can bid on the jerseys worn by each player by clicking here. And if you haven’t seen the video of the guys pulling them on in the locker room and heading out to the ice, well, get on that. It’s pretty sweet.
Late 9:30 p.m. start tonight, so get your pregame snooze in as soon as possible. I’m sure if you tell your boss that you’ve got to rest up so you can watch tonight’s game in its entirety, I’m sure she’ll understand.
It’s expected that the Minnesota Wild will recall both defenseman Nate Prosser and center Jed Ortmeyer from the Houston Aeros later tonight. Kyle Brodziak is ill and did not make the trip to California with the Wild, which necessitated Ortmeyer’s recall.
At this point, it is unknown if Brodziak will attempt to join the team at some point over the next two days, but his absence will be a challenge to an already depleted corps of forwards. As of now, Matt Cullen, John Madden, Cody Almond and Ortmeyer will be the team centers. Head Coach Todd Richards could also try Eric Nystrom or Pierre-Marc Bouchard at the center position if necessary.
This will be the first callup of the season for both players. Prosser appeared in three games with the Wild at the end of last season, and has posted 19 points (6-13=19) through 58 games with the Aeros this season. Ortmeyer was signed by the club in early January and has been with the Aeros ever since. Since his arrival, the Aeros have gone 15-5-2 as he’s tallied two goals and six assists through 22 games. He’s played 306 NHL games with the New York Rangers, Nashville and San Jose.