Originally posted on Fox Sports North  |  Last updated 4/5/12
THURSDAY'S STORY LINE: With Clayton Stoner out with an upper-body injury for Thursday night's game against the Chicago Blackhawks, defenseman Tyler Cuma will make his long-awaited NHL debut. Cuma, 22, was Minnesota's first-round pick in 2008 and has battled countless injuries and setbacks over the past few seasons, including a torn ACL last season. The defenseman was written off by many but earned a call-up March 8. Unfortunately, he missed his flight and never met the Wild in Phoenix. On Wednesday, the defenseman got the call around 2:30 p.m. and was able to make his 5 p.m. flight out of Houston. "I was flying down the highway making sure I didn't miss the flight this time around," he said. Cuma will be the 46th Wild player to suit up this season and the ninth to make his NHL debut. Cuma, who has nine assists in 68 games with the AHL's Aeros, couldn't be more excited to finally get the chance to show Wild fans what he can do. "The last couple years, the way things have gone for myself fortunately this year I have had a full season down in the AHL," he said. "I have played a lot of games in a lot of situations to get me ready for this. I have been waiting for this call for a long time, and I am glad to get this opportunity." Minnesota coach Mike Yeo believes the adversity Cuma has faced will help him in the long run. "When things are given to you there is a sense of entitlement," Yeo said. "The harder you have to work toward something, the harder you have to fight for it, the harder you are going to work to hang on to it as well." Cuma will be paired with Kurtis Foster on Thursday, and he'll keep things simple against the Blackhawks. "I like shutting down other teams' top lines and just shutting down guys in general," Cuma said. "If I can create a little bit of offense, jumping in the rush and getting my shots through to the net, it is just another bonus." HE SAID IT: "We are not going out here and try to goon it up, but we play the game better when we play the game with emotion. We have to have a physical edge, but we are not trying to do anything except play hockey out there and play our game and play it our way. I can't imagine they'd be too interested in getting into a real grudge match out there," Yeo on if there will be carryover from Sunday's physical game in Chicago
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Russell Westbrook gets emotional thanking family in MVP speech

Malcolm Brogdon makes history by beating out Saric, Embiid for Rookie of the Year

Bill Russell delivers epic line after winning NBA lifetime achievement award

Draymond Green ensemble at NBA Awards must be seen to believe

Victor Oladipo gets schooled by young boy at basketball camp

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

John Wall trying to recruit Paul George to join Wizards

Report: Saints looking at ways to recoup guaranteed money owed to Nick Fairley

Martellus Bennett thinks Rodgers is better than Brady?

Fairley expected to miss 2017 season due to heart condition

Cousins could get more than $30 million per year in free agency?

Charlie Sheen puts Babe Ruth trade contract, World Series ring up for auction

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

Players who need to turn around their season to save their teams

Sports & Politics Intersect: Washington gets a rare win

Three Up, Three Down: Flouting the written and unwritten rules of baseball

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Big3 brings summer festival feel to basketball with barnstorming tour

The 'Tonight, we settle the Beard vs. Brodie debate' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The 8th Man Award for most overlooked player this year

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Disappearing Act Award for player who came up small

Getaway Day: Welcome back to the world, AL Central

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Feeding your roundball addiction through the summer months

Best of Yardbarker: Diana Taurasi makes history

The 'Finest running back from America’s Finest City' quiz

2016-17 NBA Awards: The Billy King Award for worst trade

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker