Updated with Nystrom quote and Chuck Fletcher quotes:
The Wild placed forward Eric Nystrom, who's been a fourth-line center in training camp, on waivers this morning.
"I'm definitely disappointed, but I've got air in my lungs, health on my side," Nystrom said. "If this is the worst thing that happens to me, I'm a lucky man. I'll be back with a vengeance no matter what happens."
Nystrom, who signed a three-year deal July 1, 2010, has two more years left on a one-way deal at $1.4 million each.
What's this mean? It opens the door for Matt Kassian to stick around after he's activated off injured reserve.
The big question is who plays center on that fourth line. Today, it was Darroll Powe.
The Wild isn't keeping Brett Bulmer here if he's going to be a 13th forward or play six minutes a night, so he moved up to play with Kyle Brodziak and Cal Clutterbuck, and Powe moves down and will play for now with Colton Gillies/Nick Johnson/Kassian.
With Kassian looking like he's staying, I do wonder how secure Brad Staubitz should feel once his three-game suspension ends.
Nystrom had a difficult first year with the Wild last season and here's a story I did on him earlier in training camp.
As I mentioned on the blog yesterday, I was questioning who may be the guy sitting on opening night on the fourth line. I had my suspicions they weren't happy with Nystrom's camp, especially after Yeo praised Colton Gillies yesterday, so I was assuming Nystrom would be the extra.
But I never considered they'd throw him on waivers and be willing to pay that hefty salary in the minors if nobody took him. I'd assume there's a good chance Nystrom clears if for no other reason than this: The Wild's trying to get out of a bad contract. If you're another team and you want Nystrom, you'd probably not claim him the first time around assuming the Wild would put him on re-entry waivers. You claim him then and you get Nystrom at half price, with the Wild picking up the other half. But that depends on how many teams -- if any -- want Nystrom of course.
Also, remember, if you clear waivers, you can still stay with the team. But the Wild's told Nystrom not to practice today, which is not a good sign about his immediate future in Minnesota.
Here's Kent Youngblood's email with Chuck Fletcher quotes:
ON THE NYSTROM NEWS:
Q. Is it to make room for kassian?
A. It will give us a little more roster flexibility. we have 22 players on our active roster now, and still three players on IR. it gives us little more flexibility and the coaches have their lines set for saturday. this is how we'll start.
(at practice thursday: bulmer on third line with clutter and brodziak). powe centered line with three wingers moving in and out: kassian, johnson and gillies)
we'll see how things evolve and progress as we get through the first few games.
Q. how hard a decision was it.
A. it's always a tough decision. he's a good person, a character guy, he worked hard in camp. but, it's ... we're looking to get better. we're looking to look at some different options as we go into the first part of the season here, but it's a long season. one thing i know is there is constant change in this business.
Q. who center fourth line
A. right now it's darrell powe. .. we'll see. for right now, coaches make the lines and that's the combinations they had out there today. we'll see how quickly kassian comes back from injury, and lundin, but we have more flexibility to add players as they come off the ir.
Q. looking at waiver wires, too, to make another move?
A. well, right now we have some players that we're evaluating, we want to see what they can do, in the early portion of the season, you never know who's put on waivers. but we're not actively looking to juggle players at this point. i think we need to get a read on what we have, and then make adjustments as we see what we made need to do going forward
Q. and you can bring someone up if needed
A. yeah, there are a lot of players in houston we're comfortable with. obviously Peters and ortmeyer had strong camps, and you look at wellman and mcintyre. and on defense, genoway and bagnall and cuma, as he continues to progress back from the knee injury he had last year. there are a lot of players down there who could play. but at this point we need to get playing games. we need to see where we're at and what we have and go from there.
Q. move is really about flexibility
A. it is. again, right now we have our roster for saturday. things change quickly. you see it all the time, you never really have a final roster. you're always looking to make changes and improve your team and you're always responding to injuries or strong play from somebody in houston or poor play from somebody here. . so, you're constantly making changes during the course of the season. but for the early part of the season, this is what we'll start with.
q. bulmer gets more of an opportunity
A. he's earned the right to be here. . clearly, the regular season is a different animal than preseason. so it will be a challenge for him as the pace of play picks up and the intensity picks up and the veteran players kick it into high gear for the start of the season. so, there is no reason to assume he can't handle it. but every day will be a challenge for brett. and if he continues to play the way he's played, then he'll be fine.
Q. more on bulmer... moving up
A. he's not on the fourth line today. he's in the top nine, and again we'll see and coaches will make the lines and the players will play, and their performance will dictate how the coaches make their lines going forward. so again, every day is a new day. but today we're comfortable starting with this group, and we have a lot of work to do, as a group, to continue to get better. this week has been great. today was another good practice, working on a lot of systems work and a lot of conditioning work. so, i feel we've definitely taken advantage of this week, and i think we're in a good spot. i think everyone is excited for saturday.
Also, in other news, a Hennepin County judge today threw out the felony charge that Aaron Boogaard unlawfully distributed painkillers prior to brother Derek's May 13 death. Here is the story . There is five days for the prosecution to appeal the decision
His lawyer John Lundquist: