Wild's Koivu out of NHL All-Star Game
- Blog Post by: Kent Youngblood
- January 23, 2012 - 2:34 PM
Mikko Koivu will miss the NHL All-Star Game because of his shoulder injury, general manager Chuck Fletcher confirmed this morning.
Nick Johnson will represent the Wild as a rookie taking part in the skills competition on Saturday night in Ottawa. The All-Star Game is Sunday.
Johnson, 25, plucked off waivers from the Pittsburgh Penguins before the season, is tied for 10th in rookie scoring with 16 points in 44 games.
The Wild had originally asked the NHL to delay naming a replacement for Koivu because he wanted to see if he could rehab enough to participate.
"Mikko is doing well, but two weeks out from the injury, it's just too much of a stretch and not realistic for him to play," Fletcher said.
Edmonton's Jordan Eberle will replace Koivu.
Here is an update from today's practice. The Wild skated for about an hour. Then, before they left the ice, coach Mike Yeo called the players together and announced that Johnson would be going to Ottawa to take part in the skills competition as a rookie. There was applause, and then the players started razzing Johnson. All in good nature, of course.
"It will be nonstop for about an hour," Johnson said after practice. "I'm pretty good deflecting that sort of thing. They'll probably get bored with it."
Johnson said he'd heard he might get the nod as far back as a couple days ago. But it was made official today. "It's been wild," he said. "Every time I say it's been wild, there is no pun intended. But it's nuts that one day I get a call and all of a sudden I'm coming here, and playing that night, in exhibition games. Coming back I still worried about making the team and everything for a good month. But it worked out. I've been lucky to play with some good players."
Johnson has shown some good versatility. He has skated on just about every line, most recently with the top line as the team deals with injuries.
"I'm sure he really believed in himself, but I don't know if he would have expected that, at this time of year, he'd be playing with the top line," Yeo said. "And going to the All-Star game. But it's a real credit to him."
--Yeo said he didn't have an update on the injured players, but might have one tomorrow. He also declined to say who'd be in the nets tomorrow.
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