Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

Email Michael to talk about hockey.

Desperate times call for desperate measures: Veilleux, Dowell up; Granlund, Zucker down

Posted by: Michael Russo under Rookies, Wild news, Wild player moves Updated: April 22, 2013 - 12:09 PM

It was just a matter of time before the Wild would have to make a roster shakeup after losing five in a row at home.

Rookies Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker, coming off a couple poor efforts, especially last night against Calgary, have been reassigned. Energy bugs Stephane Veilleux and Jake Dowell have been recalled to play the big, bad defending Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

The Wild has lacked physicality in recent games, focus at proper times, like getting the puck deep and not taking penalties on power plays (see Zucker and Granlund), and also defensive smarts in some key situations.

So Zucker, who was coming off a string of bad games, and Granlund take the hit. Zucker's turnovers have hurt the team since his last recall, and he probably destined himself for this when he bailed out of beating an icing last night. Granlund is just not ready -- plain, simple -- in my opinion.

Veilleux and Dowell are veterans, so they should do their jobs, keep it simple (hit people, get pucks deep and forecheck) and bring some of the elements missing from this team during absences to Mike Rupp and Zenon Konopka.

Desperate move for a desperate team. No matter the way the Wild decides to spin it today, this is a Code Blue move.

Josh Harding and Darcy Kuemper have been flipped, too, as expected, and Harding has been activated off IR.

Here are the numbers on the players involved in the switches.

Dowell, the former Wisconsin Badger who has played in 154 NHL games, had four goals in 37 games with Houston. He's 28.  Veilleux, 31, had three goals in 33 games with the Aeros. He has 460 NHL games under his belt.

Harding was 1-1 on his rehab assignment in Houston, stopping 56 of 61 shots. He played in four games for the Wild this season before symptoms related to multiple sclerosis sidelined him.

Kuemper was 1-2 for the Wild this season after posting a 1.88 goals-against average in 21 games with the Aeros.

Zucker has four goals in 19 games for the Wild, and had 24 in 55 games for the Aeros. Granlund had two goals in 27 games with the Wild and 10 in 29 games with the Aeros.

The Wild's in a crisis. This is a reaction to that. We will see if it works now.

Like I said last night, Wild goes 2-1 in its final three games, there should be a postseason.

More after availability at 11.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Houston 1 Bottom 7th Inning
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 Top 8th Inning
Minnesota 6
St. Louis 3 Bottom 7th Inning
Detroit 2
Baltimore 7 Top 8th Inning
NY Yankees 2
Boston 7 Bottom 7th Inning
Tampa Bay 5
Toronto 3 Top 7th Inning
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 3 Bottom 7th Inning
Toronto 3
Washington 1 Bottom 7th Inning
NY Mets 6
Chicago Cubs 3:05 PM
Cincinnati
San Diego 3:05 PM
Texas
San Francisco 3:05 PM
Seattle
Colorado 3:05 PM
Chicago Cubs
Cleveland 3:05 PM
Milwaukee
Oakland 3:05 PM
Chicago WSox
Los Angeles 3:10 PM
LA Angels
Kansas City 3:10 PM
Arizona
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Charlotte
New York 7:00 PM
Chicago
Golden State 7:30 PM
Milwaukee
Oklahoma City 8:00 PM
Utah
Denver 9:00 PM
Portland
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 1 3rd Prd 11:42
Pittsburgh 1
San Jose 2 3rd Prd 10:13
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 3rd Prd 2:09
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 1 3rd Prd 9:39
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 2nd Prd 10:41
Detroit 3
New Jersey 6:00 PM
Carolina
Florida 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 6:00 PM
Toronto
Los Angeles 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Columbus 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 8:00 PM
Colorado
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Arizona 5:09 PM
Wisconsin
Canisius 6:30 PM
NJIT
Notre Dame 7:49 PM
Kentucky
San Jose 0 1st Half 44:55
New England 0
Orlando City 3:00 PM
Montreal
Los Angeles 6:00 PM
D.C.
Sporting Kansas City 6:00 PM
New York City
Red Bull New York 6:30 PM
Columbus
Portland 7:00 PM
Vancouver FC
Colorado 7:30 PM
Houston
Seattle 7:30 PM
FC Dallas
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 30 2nd Half
(8) Louisville 29
(16) Duke 3:30 PM
(4) Maryland
Gonzaga 6:00 PM
(6) Tennessee

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will Major League Soccer be successful in Minnesota?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

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

ADVERTISEMENT