The Minnesota Wild haven’t been terrible this season. At 4-4-1, they have done no permanent damage to their playoff hopes.
But that hasn’t stopped coach Mike Yeo and general manager Chuck Fletcher from making lineup and roster alterations.
“When you aren't scoring goals and things aren't going the way you'd like, there's always going to be changes,” center Matt Cullen told the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. “That's a fact of life in this league. So we need to respond.”
Let us consider the tumult:
- Fletcher sent Darroll Powe and Nick Palmieri to the New York Rangers for hulking forward Mike Rupp, who should add some badly needed size and toughness to the Minnesota attack. “He’s a big guy, he’s won a Stanley Cup and brings a lot of size, experience and grit to our team,” Fletcher told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “He’ll bring a presence to our lineup and complement.”
- The Wild recalled young power forward Charlie Coyle, a 6-foot-2, 222-pound bruiser who scored 14 goals and added 10 assists in 44 games for the Houston Aeros of the American Hockey League.
- Yeo scrambled his lines, moving skilled forward Devin Setoguchi and Mikael Granlund to the fourth group with ruffian Zenon Konopka.
- After a 2-1 loss at Phoenix, the Wild players convened their own 22-minute meeting to discuss their sporadic effort. “There have been too many games already this year where we've come out and said, 'Oh, we did OK,'” winger Zach Parise told the Pioneer-Press. “The bottom line is, we're not winning.”