Wild's final forward spots still up for grabs

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 15, 2013 - 9:10 PM
hide

Stephane Veilleux

Photo: Jeff Wheeler, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Wild brass has said this week's abbreviated training camp is more about preparation than evaluation, but that doesn't mean tough decisions don't lie ahead.

With the top-12 forward positions all but set barring injuries or trades, Matt Kassian, Stephane Veilleux, Jake Dowell and Nick Palmieri are competing for the final two forward spots.

And, that's assuming the Wild keeps 14 forwards, not 13.

With no exhibition games, the final test could be Wednesday night's scrimmage at Xcel Energy Center.

"Not to say that our roster is set, but we have a pretty good idea minus a couple decisions here or there," coach Mike Yeo said. "[The scrimmage] is important for them, for sure. Those guys are in that category where we are going to have to make some decisions.

"We know certain guys [Kassian, Veilleux and Palmieri], and a guy like Jake, we're trying to get to know."

Rosters for Saturday's 8 p.m. opener against Colorado must be submitted by Friday afternoon. All four players would require waivers to get to Houston of the American Hockey League, meaning that decision would have to come by 11 a.m. Thursday.

The roster can be a maximum of 23 players.

"For this year, whatever [Yeo] and the coaches want is what we'll do," General Manager Chuck Fletcher said. "In a 48-game season, it's going to be one of those years where you're going to have an Opening Night roster, and it's going to be probably irrelevant a few nights later.

"The roster's going to change a lot based on health and performance. Players that start down could very quickly be called up and vice versa. We're not going to have a lot of time to be patient. It's going to be about results. There could be continual adjustments as the year goes on."

That especially will be true with the prospects. Players such as Jason Zucker, Johan Larsson and Charlie Coyle should all see time in Minnesota if the Wild runs into injuries this season.

Kassian, 26, has the inside shot for one job. He is on a one-way contract, meaning he would have to be paid his full $550,000 salary in Houston. Veilleux, 31, Dowell, 27, and Palmieri, 23, are on two-way contracts, meaning they make significantly less in the minors.

Like free-agent acquisition Zenon Konopka, Kassian is a fighter.

Asked if there's room for two on the roster, Yeo said, "[Kassian] continues to evolve as a player and grow as a player. Maybe you can make that argument if the two guys can't play."

Palmieri has had a solid year in Houston, totalling 19 points (nine goals, 10 assists) and being a plus-9 in 36 games. Veilleux was drafted by the Wild in 2001 and reacquired last season.

"I'm very confident with the puck, and I think I have two dimensions to my game, not only the energy and hard work, but I can play with the puck, too," Veilleux said. "I did have a few seasons in a row with double-digit goals, and I think people forget I've played in [460 NHL] games.

"I'll just be positive and not worry about the decision and who will be cut from the roster."

Dowell, a former Wisconsin Badger and friends with Wild pickup Ryan Suter, has played 154 career games for Chicago and Dallas. Yeo likes Dowell's versatility because he can play wing and center.

"First and foremost he's a character guy and fits well into the culture that we have here," Yeo said. "I like that he's another guy who's a veteran who knows what his role is. He's going to manage the puck well, get pucks deep, plays on the forecheck. He's going to play the game hard."

Etc.

• Goalie Josh Harding continues to look terrific despite being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in October.

"I've seen zero signs that he is trying to tackle a huge obstacle," Yeo said.

• Defenseman Marco Scandella (groin) skated again Tuesday, as did defenseman Jonas Brodin (clavicle). Brodin has started to take contact.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Denver 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Buffalo 12/28/14 12:00 PM
New England
Carolina 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Cleveland 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Detroit 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Green Bay
Jacksonville 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12/28/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12/28/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 12/28/14 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Denver 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Portland 7:00 PM
Houston
Utah 7:00 PM
Memphis
Toronto 7:00 PM
Chicago
Atlanta 7:30 PM
Dallas
LA Clippers 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Sacramento 9:30 PM
Golden State
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Washington
Nashville 6:00 PM
Columbus
Pittsburgh 6:30 PM
Florida
Arizona 9:00 PM
Vancouver
San Jose 9:00 PM
Anaheim
Calgary 9:30 PM
Los Angeles
Ark-Little Rock 29 2nd Half
Bradley 24
Brown 36 2nd Half
Central Conn St 21
Stetson 26 2nd Half
Florida State 29
Ill-Chicago 16 2nd Half
Northwestern 31
Ohio 8 1st Half 12:07
George Washington 16
Southern Utah 2:00 PM
Ark-Pine Bluff
Elon 2:00 PM
Kennesaw St
Dartmouth 3:00 PM
Penn State
Green Bay 3:30 PM
UC Irvine
DePaul 3:30 PM
Colorado
Lewis & Clark 4:00 PM
Portland
SC State 4:30 PM
Abilene Christian
Manhattan 5:00 PM
Fordham
Truett-McConnell 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Citadel 5:00 PM
Michigan State
Miami-Ohio 5:00 PM
Ohio State
Gardner-Webb 5:00 PM
Purdue
Idaho 5:00 PM
Northern Ky
Fairfield 6:00 PM
Albany
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Alcorn State
UT Martin 6:00 PM
Butler
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
UCF
Oakland 6:00 PM
Clemson
Florida A&M 6:00 PM
East Carolina
Eastern Ky 6:00 PM
Fla Atlantic
IUPU-Ft Wayne 6:00 PM
Illinois State
Norfolk State 6:00 PM
James Madison
Binghamton 6:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Towson 6:00 PM
Navy
Long Island 6:00 PM
New Hampshire
Northern Ill 6:00 PM
Notre Dame
William & Mary 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Liberty 6:00 PM
Princeton
Delaware 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
MD-Eastern Shore 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Colgate 6:00 PM
Syracuse
Kansas 6:00 PM
Temple
Mercer 6:00 PM
Tennessee
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Va Military 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama A&M 6:00 PM
Western Mich
New Orleans 6:05 PM
Indiana
Columbia 6:30 PM
Connecticut
Long Beach State 6:30 PM
St Johns
Wofford 6:30 PM
West Virginia
Southern U 7:00 PM
Baylor
UAB 7:00 PM
Chattanooga
Char Southern 7:00 PM
Colorado State
North Florida 7:00 PM
Iowa
NC Central 7:00 PM
Jackson State
Rice 7:00 PM
Lamar
Central Mich 7:00 PM
McNeese State
Coppin State 7:00 PM
Michigan
Furman 7:00 PM
Minnesota
SE Missouri St 7:00 PM
Ole Miss
Weber State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma
Grambling St 7:00 PM
TCU
Loyola-Chicago 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Penn 7:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Chicago State 7:00 PM
SIU Edwardsville
Simpson 7:05 PM
Drake
Tenn Tech 7:05 PM
UMKC
Murray State 7:05 PM
Southern Ill
Oral Roberts 7:05 PM
Missouri State
Jacksonville St 8:00 PM
Air Force
Milwaukee 8:00 PM
Arkansas
Wisconsin 8:00 PM
California
Coll of Charleston 8:00 PM
LSU
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Marquette
Northern New Mexico 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
UC Santa Barbara 8:00 PM
Oregon
Miami-Florida 8:00 PM
Providence
Northeastern 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Kent State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
UC Davis 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
Lewis-Clark State 8:05 PM
Eastern Wash
Walla Walla 8:05 PM
Portland State
TX A&M-CC 9:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Marshall 9:00 PM
Nevada
Boise State 9:30 PM
Houston
UC Riverside 10:00 PM
San Diego St
Tulane 10:00 PM
Washington
Loyola Marymount 10:00 PM
Wichita State
Nebraska 12/23/14 12:00 AM
Hawaii
BYU 14 1st Qtr 0:53
Memphis 17
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
UMass Lowell 63 FINAL
Holy Cross 78
Temple 59 FINAL
Villanova 64
Georgia Southern 68 FINAL
Southern U 52
Xavier 60 FINAL
Kennesaw St 61
Eastern Michigan 52 FINAL
Michigan 81
Brescia 56 FINAL
Marshall 127
(21) West Virginia 29 2nd Half
Ohio State 43
UMBC 38 2nd Half
MD-Eastern Shore 38
Cornell 39 2nd Half
Loyola-Maryland 28
St Bonaventure 28 2nd Half
Georgetown 31
New Hampshire 26 2nd Half
Northeastern 34
Eastern Washington 15 1st Half 13:13
Florida 8
Rice 2:00 PM
Texas Southern
Butler 3:05 PM
Illinois State
UC Davis 4:00 PM
(16) Stanford
Washington St 4:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Sacramento St 4:00 PM
San Jose St
SIU-Edwardsville 4:30 PM
UMKC
Oakland 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Belmont 6:00 PM
(14) Georgia
George Mason 6:00 PM
Longwood
Kansas 6:05 PM
Creighton
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Kansas State
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Missouri
Hampton 7:00 PM
DePaul
Florida State 7:00 PM
Tulane
Murray State 7:00 PM
Illinois
Fla Gulf Coast 7:05 PM
Arkansas State
BYU 8:00 PM
Utah State

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Twins off-season moves so far?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close