In need of a left-shot defenseman with Keith Ballard out indefinitely and right-shot defenseman Nate Prosser playing out of position, the Wild was considering yesterday putting in a waiver claim for Arizona Coyotes defenseman David Schlemko.

We may never know if it did, although I'm fairly sure it did.

The Dallas Stars plucked Schlemko off waivers today. Last night's Wild win lowered Minnesota just below Dallas in the waiver order.

With multiple NHL sources telling me that GM Chuck Fletcher had been shopping for a left-shot D, I reported in today's paper that Schlemko could have been a potential stopgap measure.

Schlemko, 27, was placed on waivers yesterday for a second time this season by the Coyotes (he cleared waivers Nov. 14 and eventually was sent to Portland. He played two games there before being recalled. The Coyotes have apparently tried to trade him much of this season). He has been in and out of Coyotes coach Dave Tippett's doghouse all season for issues in his own zone and throwing the puck away, but he apparently has been playing better as of late.

Schlemko has a goal and three assists this season and is a minus-5 in 20 games averaging 18 minutes, 6 seconds per game. At one point this season, he was a healthy scratch five consecutive games. The 6-1, 190-pound Edmonton native has nine goals and 41 assists and is plus-19 in 207 career games over parts of seven seasons with the Coyotes. He was undrafted and originally signed as a free agent by then-Phoenix out of WHL Medicine Hat.

He is in the last year of his contract with a $1.275 million cap hit and can become an unrestricted free agent in the summertime.

He has good mobility and puck skills, but he doesn't use his size enough in one-on-one battles, a point they drove home when they waived him the first time. He has had a habit of making poor decisions with the puck this season, too, although his plus-minus doesn't fully reflect that.
 
Tippett called the latest waiver move a numbers game with Chris Summers coming off IR, but he also reiterated that Schlemko has been inconsistent.
 
He's mostly been in the 5-6 pairing. They tried playing him with Keith Yandle earlier this season.
 
With Schlemko now property of the Stars, the Wild will continue to search for a left-shot D.

Prosser is a minus-9 in 30 games, worst among Wild blue-liners, averaging 13:10 a game. He is minus-10 in his past 18 games and hasn't had a plus game since Nov. 15.

I am currently on a plane to Dallas, where the Wild visits the red-hot Stars tonight. The Wild doesn't have a morning skate after arriving in Dallas close to 2 a.m. because of plane trouble in Minnesota.

Coach Mike Yeo's pregame availability is at 4:45 p.m., so for lineup updates, follow me on Twitter around then.

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