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.

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Jason Zucker expected to be recalled, Erik Haula reassigned to Iowa

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild player moves Updated: December 9, 2013 - 6:56 PM

UPDATE: As surmised below, Jason Zucker will indeed be recalled. I'd think he goes to the second line. Wouldn't shock me if Dany Heatley is downgraded to the fourth line, but we will find out in practice Tuesday. Zucker will meet the team in Iowa.

Erik Haula is on his way to meet the Iowa Wild in Abbotsford, B.C. He has been reassigned by the Wild after recording two assists in six games.

The Wild has the day off today and will head to Anaheim on Tuesday for practice at 2 p.m. PT at the Honda Center. I'll come to you afterward with updates, so it'll be a bit of a later blog than normal.

As of now, the Wild says it plans to head west with its 12 forwards and what I'm guessing is its soon-to-be-officially seven defensemen because Matt Dumba is about to be loaned to Team Canada.

I still suspect the Wild will call up a forward at some point during the road trip though with no extras -- and it wouldn't shock me if it's before.

After hearing Mike Yeo's honest appraisal of the second line last night, I figured maybe Haula would move up to the second line and center Nino Niederreiter and Charlie Coyle or Jason Pominville in Anaheim.

But maybe this Haula move signifies that Jason Zucker is about to return. It wouldn't be surprising if the Wild waited until Tuesday to make that move because in the NHL, cap space is tabulated on a daily basis and since Zucker is in B.C. right now, there's no use bringing him to Minnesota when he could just fly south to Cali.

If Zucker is recalled, I'd suspect Dany Heatley drops to the fourth line. We shall see. Again, much of this is conjecture mostly because Haula's demotion without a corresponding move makes little sense to me.

No, to answer a few Twitter questions, the Wild did not send down Haula to claim Pierre-Marc Bouchard on waivers from the Islanders. I can all but promise you that. And since Mikael Granlund hasn't been skating let alone practicing, the Haula demotion doesn't mean he is returning in Anaheim.

Talk to you from Anaheim.

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