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Russo's Rants

Michael Russo gives you complete coverage of the Minnesota Wild and the NHL

Wild rookie Joel Eriksson Ek recalled, NHL debut tonight?

Joel Eriksson Ek's NHL debut could come as soon as tonight when the Wild visits the New Jersey Devils (6 p.m. CT).

Eriksson Ek, held out of last night's Iowa game, was recalled today. To make room for Eriksson Ek from a salary-cap perspective, Mike Reilly was returned to Iowa.

It's uncertain as of now if Eriksson Ek, 19, is debuting tonight, although one would think so with center Erik Haula banged up and the Wild on the front end of a back-to-back.

We'll get Bruce Boudreau at 4:45 p.m. ET.

Last night, the Wild held Eriksson Ek out as insurance because if, say, the Wild needed a body to play tomorrow against the Islanders, that would have been three games in three nights for Eriksson Ek if he played back to back for Iowa.

But my guess is he's in tonight. If so, I'd also guess he's eased into the lineup on the fourth line with Jason Zucker and Teemu Pulkkinen and Zac Dalpe centers the third line with Nino Niederreiter and Chris Stewart or Jason Pominville.

Eriksson Ek, the Wild's first-round pick in the 2015 draft, scored his North American pro debut earlier this week against Grand Rapids. Pretty cool goal, as you can see below.

With Reilly gone, that would mean Jared Spurgeon's playing tonight or Nate Prosser is making his season debut after being scratched in the first four games.

My guess? Prosser's in.

I'll update the blog after we talk to Boudreau.

Spurgeon, Haula miss Wild's Friday practice

Afternoon from New Yawk City, where my hotel room looks down on Madison Square Garden and looks off at the Statue of Liberty in the distance.

The GM of this hotel is a hockey fan.

The Wild, winners of three in a row, practiced out in Newark today in preparation for the start of its four-game trip Saturday vs. David Puddy's Devils.

Some practice updates:

The good news is the entire team made the trip, including the banged-up guys.

The bad news is two of those guys didn't practice today.

Erik Haula, whom I've mentioned has been playing on a lower-body injury for a week, definitely looked to aggravate it when he was tripped up at the defensive blue line last night. He didn't practice today. Frankly, it's amazing he has been playing ... and playing as well as he has ... when you watch him walk around off the ice.

Jared Spurgeon, who sustained an upper-body injury with 11:20 left last night when checked by Matt Martin, didn't practice.

Marco Scandella, who missed the Toronto game because of an illness, did practice.

Sooooo, what's this mean?

If Spurgeon can't play, Scandella will likely just replace him in the lineup unless Bruce Boudreau plans to maybe also sit Mike Reilly and give Nate Prosser his season debut.

If Haula can't play, the Wild will either have to make a roster move to call up a forward after 4 p.m. today or in the morning, or play seven defensemen, meaning Prosser would make his season debut if Spurgeon is also out.

Remember, the Wild's not carrying an extra forward right now.

So stay tuned. If I'm not back, talk to you Saturday.

Big Scott Stevens feature in Saturday's paper, so please give that a read. A ton of good stuff in there.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Rutgers at Gophers football

    11 am on ESPNU, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers women's hockey at Ohio State

    2 pm

  • Wild at New Jersey

    6 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Minnesota United FC at Carolina

    6:30 pm on Ch. 29

  • Gophers men's hockey at St. Cloud State

    7 pm on FSN PLUS, 1500-AM

  • Vikings at Philadelphia

    12 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Wild at N.Y. Islanders

    5 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Wild at Boston

    6 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Timberwolves at Memphis

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Wild at Buffalo

    6 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers women's hockey

    7:07 pm on BTN PLUS

  • Gophers men's hockey at Clarkson

    6 pm on 1500-AM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers women's hockey

    7:07 pm on BTN PLUS

  • Gophers football at Illinois

    11 am on 100.3-FM

Poll: How will the Vikings and Gophers do this weekend?

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Today's Scoreboard

  • LA Dodgers

    Chicago Cubs

    7:08 PM


No NFL games today

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    6:00 PM


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