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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Charlie Coyle to miss 3-4 weeks with a sprained knee; Zucker recalled

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild player moves Updated: October 6, 2013 - 7:34 PM

Second-line center Charlie Coyle will miss 3-4 weeks with a sprained knee, the Wild announced tonight. The injury occurred with 8:54 left in the second period Saturday against Anaheim when Coyle was checked in the neutral zone by the Ducks' Andrew Cogliano.

This is a huge blow for Coyle and the 0-0-2 Wild. Coyle won the second-line center position early in an outstanding training camp, one in which he scored three goals in five exhibition games.

"It's not an ideal situation, but I'm fortunate it's nothing worse than it is," Coyle said. "I'm going to keep a positive mindset and I'm looking forward to recovering and doing everything I can to be healthy again."

In response to the Coyle injury, one week after Jason Zucker was the final cut in training camp, the 2010 second-round pick was recalled from AHL Iowa before even playing his first game.

Zucker, the speedster left wing, scored four goals in 20 games last season and an overtime winner in the playoffs.

Coach Mike Yeo says it's too early to determine the plans going forward and the Wild felt it was time to give Zucker a shot, but my guess:

Mikael Granlund will move to second-line center with Zucker on the left and either Dany Heatley or Nino Niederreiter on the right. Kyle Brodziak will center Matt Cooke and either Niederreiter or Heatley.

Perhaps we'll learn more at Monday morning's practice. The team practices in the Twin Cities before flying to Nashville for Tuesday's game.


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