The Wild's opening night roster has been finalized and it does not include rookie Joel Eriksson Ek.

The 19-year-old was assigned to AHL Iowa at the 4 p.m. deadline because of salary-cap reasons.

Because defenseman Victor Bartley tore his left triceps in training camp, he must be placed on injured reserve (Article 15.6 of the collective bargaining agreement) and the Wild must accrue a salary-cap charge of a little less than $400,000 (his full cap hit is 650K).

The byproduct of that though is the Wild couldn't physically keep both Eriksson Ek and Dalpe on the NHL roster at the same time, or it would have been over the $73 million salary cap.

Eriksson Ek is the one being reassigned because the Wild's still waiting for his immigration paperwork to be approved anyway. That should take a few days, so he's not yet expected to play in Iowa either.

So, Eriksson Ek won't make his NHL debut Thursday in St. Louis after all. Dalpe will play fourth-line center.

When his immigration paperwork is complete, he's expected to come back to Minnesota and the Wild can alter the roster then.

In the meantime, because of the Bartley injury, the Wild will keep its roster at 22 for awhile. GM Chuck Fletcher said he's not concerned, that if a forward suddenly got sick at the last second, they could always go 11 forwards and seven defensemen.

"Early on it's no big deal, but obviously we'll accrue space as we go along and in a couple of weeks we'll have enough to carry 23 if we want to," Fletcher said. "Our goal is to create enough space through the year for later on."

Still, it seems to me the Wild will need to tapdance for awhile, especially if further injuries occur.

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