Tag Archives: Maxim Noreau

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.

Burns, Noreau All-Star Edition

While it may seem like awhile since I’ve flipped the switch on the Lighthouse, you’d be wrong. I had a nice, tidy post about Jose Theodore’s Three Star announcement for yesterday, but somehow it didn’t get published. You’ll have to take my word for it, but obviously it was one of the greatest pieces of writing you would have ever read in your life.

Now, the Theodore news pales in comparison to the big news about Brent Burns becoming the sixth Wild player to be selected to play in the All-Star Game. Marian Gaborik was named twice, while Filip Kuba, Dwayne Roloson, Brian Rolston and Niklas Backstrom were also named. Burns joins Kuba as the only Wild defensemen to have gone, and if I recall, there was some consternation that Kuba was only in the game because the Wild was hosting All-Star Weekend. I won’t comment on that.

Anyway, it’s a great day for Burns, and he’s certainly deserving. He’s scored 12 goals already this year, and is on pace to score over 20, which would be a Wild franchise record. He’s also become much more reliable in his own end, while the chances he does take don’t seem to lead to many scoring chances the other way.

Burns isn’t the only member of the Wild organization to get the All-Star call today. Houston Aeros defenseman Maxim Noreau will make his second consecutive All Star Game appearance. He ranks second on the Aeros in scoring with 23 points on seven goals and 16 assists.

Now, onto the game that means something. The Wild has a chance to get right back into the playoff picture tonight, but it will have to end Nashville’s five-game streak to do so. Jose Theodore will make his sixth straight start, while Antti Miettinen is expected to get back in the lineup.

It sounds like Brad Staubitz skated extra at today’s morning skate, so apparently he’ll be the healthy scratch.

With all of the news and game stuff going up on the site today, I want to make sure fans are aware of Hockey Unplugged tomorrow night at Sak’s in Vadnais Heights. Chuck Kobasew and Theodore will be the featured guests.

That’s it for now. Tonight’s game will be on KSTC-TV Channel 45 at 7:00 p.m. If you don’t have access to a talking picture box, you can always hang out with me on Wild.com live in-game commentary. Invite your friends.