This is going to have to be one night where the game story on www.startribune.com/wild speaks for itself. The story with quotes should be up in an hour or so. But it's 12:15 a.m. I have a 30-minute ride back to my hotel and a 3:30 a.m. wake-up call (at least) staring me in the face.
Just a reminder that Eric Nystrom will either clear re-entry waivers or be claimed by 11 a.m. Wednesday.
I have no doubt that the Wild did this to entice another team to take him at half his $1.4 million salary.
If he does clear, the Wild must make a roster move before, I believe, 4 p.m. Wednesday, and the options are limited:
1. Make a trade
2. Put a player on injured reserve depending on how it came out of tonight's game.
3. Reassign a player that, I'm told by league peeps, DOES NOT require waivers. That limits the players. I believe the only players that can be reassigned without waivers are Marco Scandella (not bloody likely), Brett Bulmer (would have to be returned for the year to his junior team in Kelowna, and I'd be shocked if the Wild made such a longterm decision for such a shortterm problem) and Jared Spurgeon (may have to be the temporary solution if the Wild has to go this route).
Again though, I think they believe at 700K, a team would put in a claim for Nystrom.
Dallas is apparently about 400K below the cap floor, however, when Adam Pardy comes off LTIR imminently, that would give Dallas 24 players unless somebody else goes on IR. That means their cheapest player would have to go to the minors at 800K. I talked to Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News today, and he said that would mean the Stars would need about 1.2 million in salary to add. So taking Nystrom at half price actually wouldn't cut it.
Another team that's popped into my head is Montreal. Last week, they took Blair Betts off waivers. They since had to return Betts to Philadelphia because he was hurt. Nystrom comes from that Blair Betts mold of player.
Just an fyi: I got some emails asking if the Wild had to make roster moves regardless because Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Brad Staubitz are eligible to return from suspensions Thursday. They have been on the 23-man roster all along. Theoretically, if you had four players suspended at the same time, you'd have to play a player short.
Always good being back in Ottawa.
Chatted with Len Boogaard (Derek's dad) tonight. He was at the game with his wife, Jody. Check out the blog I wrote below on what Len and Jody have done.
Also, good catching up with Hall of Famer Denis Potvin, who works for Sportsnet up here. He was the longtime Panthers analyst when I was down in Fla.
Also, great catching up with Todd White, who watched two periods of hockey with me tonight. He taught me the game and I taught him sportswriting. White, the former Wild center, is still experiencing post-concussion syndrome and has effectively retired. He's worked for the Sens alumni and doing pre- and post-game radio for the Team 1200 here in Ottawa. He also wants Mikko Koivu to light it up and help his fantasy hockey team.
Kent's covering practice, but I'll be back on here after I land in Minnesota and on Twitter (@russostrib) when I know if Nystrom's been claimed or cleared.