Tag Archives: Patrick O’Sullivan

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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O’Sullivan On Waivers; Khudobin Likely Starter

It seems like a long time since the Minnesota Wild has held a normal practice at Xcel Energy Center, which may explain why there was a fairly large media contingent at today’s practice.

Fortunately for all the media bottom feeders, there was plenty of news coming out of the scrum with Todd Richards, who was sporting a Team Canada hat after losing a bet with Equipment Manager Tony Dacosta on who would win the World Junior semifinal between the United States and Canada. We all missed out, however. If the U.S. had won, Tony would have had to put on red, white and blue face paint. Let’s hope the same bet is made next year.

First off, Patrick O’Sullivan was placed on waivers today and did not practice. There’s no word on what will happen to O’Sullivan if he clears, but it doesn’t seem likely that he’ll be in a Wild uniform again.

“Consistency,” said Richards. “He can do some good things with the puck in the hard areas, but we need more of that on a consistent basis.”

Richards later pointed out that the Wild claimed O’Sullivan when there were still questions about if and when Pierre-Marc Bouchard would get into the lineup. Now that Bouchard is back and healthy, the Wild didn’t need two of the same type of wingers. The team already has playmakers on the wing like Andrew Brunette, Martin Havlat and Bouchard. “We need something different,” said Richards.

Jose Theodore also did not practice today due to a sore hip. Richards said he saw the doctor yesterday and they’ll wait to see how he feels tomorrow prior to a huge matchup with the eighth place Colorado Avalanche.

“More than likely, Khudobin will get the start and we’ll see if Theodore can back him up,” said Richards.

It sounds like the Wild will call up Matt Hackett from Houston as a precaution. But that would be the only move, at least for now. Richards is satisfied with going with the 12 healthy forwards and six defensemen currently at his disposal.

Finally, there will be a feature story on Wild.com in the next hour or so about the intensity of the rivalry between the Avs and Wild, which was ratcheted up after the last meeting. After some chippy play, Cal Clutterbuck lashed out with some pointed comments about two Avs players, and then saw a Denver beat writer call him a “coward” in a blog post.

As silly as that was, give credit to that beat writer who showed up to today’s morning skate and had a long talk with Clutterbuck about his game, and many other things. As always, Cal was more than happy to talk and had some gems.

He was talking about how his reputation as a “dirty” player is unwarranted because he gets called for so few penalties, and almost no boarding, charging or checking from behind calls. I asked him if he’d ever been called for a head shot and he said, “I got one my first year in Vancouver, but it was on (Alexandre) Burrows, so we’ll forget about that one. It’s a wash.”

He said he won’t be surprised if Avalanche players target him, “but what else is new?”

That about does it.

 

Update from Sunny Phoenix

Word from Phoenix, where it’s currently 70 degrees, is that Wild forward Matt Cullen is a game-time decision for tonight’s contest against the Coyotes. Cullen is questionable with a lower-body injury, but if he does play, Patrick O’Sullivan will be the healthy scratch up front for the Wild.

Niklas Backstrom will start in net tonight. The Wild blueline will look the same as the last game in Dallas, meaning Clayton Stoner will be the defensive scratch. Also, Former Army Ranger JB Spisso, who has worked with the Wild and other NHL teams as a motivational speaker throughout the season, is accompanying Minnesota on this road trip out West.

Check out the Wild back in action tonight at 8 p.m. CT on FS North (HD) and WCCO 830 radio.

Finally, Wild fans know how hot Martin Havlat’s been lately, but he’s starting to get attention league-wide now: check out Marty’s feature as the BlackBerry Player to Watch.