Trade sends vote of confidence to Wild players

  • Article by: MICHAEL RUSSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 3, 2013 - 9:47 PM

Coach Mike Yeo said of big trades: “It’s a message to this group that, ‘We believe in you.’ So now, let’s go.”

 

– Mike Yeo was late getting on the ice Wednesday morning, and it came after assistant coach Rick Wilson tapped youngsters Johan Larsson and Matt Hackett on the shoulder to go see the Wild head coach.

When Yeo finally met with his players at center-ice, he wasn’t allowed to tell them yet that the Wild had acquired Buffalo Sabres captain Jason Pominville. The trade was not yet official.

“They were giddy, you could tell,” Yeo said. “It was guys shooting on an empty net in practice. Normally they’d be probably not thrilled with that. But they knew something good was up. It’s a huge, huge vote of confidence by [Genera Manager Chuck Fletcher] and the entire staff.

“It’s a message to this group that, ‘We believe in you.’ So now, let’s go.”

Yeo said much like the summer when owner Craig Leipold stepped up and authorized Fletcher to sign Zach Parise and Ryan Suter to 13-year contracts totaling $196 million, Wednesday’s trade for Pominville proves “this is an organization … [that is] extremely committed to winning. We’re not satisfied with being good. We want to be great. That’s an important statement.”

Yeo also is downright giddy to have so many weapons now. Pominville likely will debut Thursday against the Kings on the top line with Parise and captain Mikko Koivu. That puts three former or current captains on one line.

Yeo said Pominville brings “speed, skill, competitiveness, and as much as anything else, this is a quality person, a character guy. Much of what we’ve been trying to do around here is making sure that we not only have talented players, players that fit the way we want to play the game, but people that you want to be around and go to war with.”

Yeo said the Wild will explore the possibility of using Pominville on the point on the No. 1 power-play unit, a slot he played in Buffalo. The other option is Pominville replacing Kyle Brodziak in the slot as the net-front presence guy.

With Pominville going to the top line, rookie Charlie Coyle might move to center, at least until Matt Cullen returns from a lower-body injury. Coyle, who had been playing right wing, has played center throughout his life and took most his shifts at center in Wednesday’s game against the Sharks.

Etc.

• While the Wild players on the ice were “giddy” Wednesday morning, it was a contrast to what Yeo had to do moments before stepping on the ice.

He had to inform Larsson and Hackett that they had been traded to the Sabres.

“That is always the tough part of it,” Yeo said. “It’s not an easy thing, for sure. Especially for young kids, you just don’t quite know what’s going on.”

Larsson and Hackett were to fly back to Houston to get their belongings, then report to AHL Rochester.

• With Larsson gone, defenseman Nate Prosser played wing Wednesday night. With Hackett gone, goalie Darcy Kuemper was recalled.

• The Wild also acquired Anaheim Ducks goalie Jeff Deslauriers for future considerations because it needed a goalie for Houston.

• Right winger Torrey Mitchell, a longtime Shark who signed a three-year deal with Minnesota last summer, returned to San Jose for the first time and played right wing with Koivu and Parise. Koivu, by the way, was sporting a nasty shiner and cut under his left eye from Monday’s uncalled first-period high stick from St. Louis’ Chris Stewart.

• Defenseman Brett Clark was scratched for Justin Falk.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Baltimore 2 FINAL
Detroit 15
NY Yankees 5 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Northeastern 1 FINAL
Boston 2
Miami-Fla 1 FINAL
Miami 7
Pittsburgh 8 FINAL
Toronto 7
San Francisco 4 FINAL
Oakland 9
Cleveland 0 FINAL
Cincinnati 10
Boston College 0 FINAL
Boston 1
Arizona State 0 FINAL
Arizona 4
Boston 79 FINAL
Cleveland 110
LA Lakers 103 FINAL
Charlotte 104
Sacramento 124 FINAL
New York 86
Houston 96 FINAL
Atlanta 104
Utah 93 FINAL
Memphis 82
Washington 92 FINAL
Chicago 97
Milwaukee 95 FINAL
Denver 106
Nashville 1 FINAL
New Jersey 3
Calgary 3 FINAL(OT)
Philadelphia 2
Washington 5 FINAL
Columbus 3
Buffalo 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay 3
Toronto 3 FINAL
Florida 2
Ottawa 2 FINAL(SO)
Minnesota 3
NY Islanders 2 FINAL(OT)
Dallas 3
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Arizona 1
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
Edmonton 2
San Jose 6 FINAL
Vancouver 2
Ole Miss 82 FINAL
Alabama 74
Eastern Mich 67 FINAL
Ball State 60
Kent State 81 FINAL
Bowling Green 80
Ohio 66 FINAL
Buffalo 93
Georgetown 60 FINAL
Butler 54
Toledo 77 FINAL
Central Mich 85
Rhode Island 59 FINAL
Dayton 75
Youngstown St 67 FINAL
Detroit 77
North Carolina 81 FINAL
Georgia Tech 49
Loyola-Maryland 45 FINAL
Holy Cross 62
Iowa 77 FINAL
Indiana 63
Akron 63 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 70
Army 52 FINAL
Navy 56
Maryland 60 FINAL
Rutgers 50
Kennesaw St 54 FINAL
USC Upstate 90
Jacksonville 63 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 81
Lipscomb 76 FINAL
Northern Ky 73
Stetson 67 FINAL
North Florida 81
Wright State 57 FINAL
Ill-Chicago 60
Western Mich 63 FINAL
Northern Ill 65
Nebraska Omaha 80 FINAL
North Dakota 78
Houston Baptist 71 FINAL
Abilene Christian 83
NC State 66 FINAL
Clemson 61
Texas A&M 62 FINAL
Florida 66
Kentucky 72 FINAL
Georgia 64
West Virginia 69 FINAL
Kansas 76
Auburn 61 FINAL
Missouri 63
Michigan 78 FINAL
Northwestern 82
Villanova 76 FINAL
Creighton 72
Longwood 55 FINAL
Gardner-Webb 63
Charleston Southern 39 FINAL
Presbyterian 47
Coastal Carolina 54 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 68
NJIT 51 FINAL
UMass Lowell 60
West Virginia 55 FINAL
Kansas State 59
TCU 45 FINAL
Texas 79
Fresno State 61 FINAL
Air Force 41
San Jose St 76 FINAL
Boise State 91
Nevada 61 FINAL
Colorado State 68
UNLV 61 FINAL
San Diego State 76
Wyoming 61 FINAL
Utah State 57

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Wild finish out the season?

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