The Wild sent struggling Marco Scandella to its AHL affiliate in Houston on Monday, hoping a stint with the Aeros will restore his confidence.
Scandella could be sent down without having to clear waivers, and coach Mike Yeo felt the young defenseman needed time to work on his game.
"He needs to get back to the type of game he was playing earlier in the year, when he was excited to be on the ice against top players, excited about the opportunity to go out and shut them down," Yeo said. "I think right now it's a bit of a product of how things have gone for the team. He's put a little extra pressure on himself. With that, every time something bad happens he kind of shrinks down a little bit, loses a little of what makes him successful as a player."
Forward David McIntyre was called up from the Aeros.
In his past eight games Scandella has been a minus-9. He has three goals and three assists in 37 games and is a minus-10.
"He's going to be a huge part of our team for a long time," Yeo said. "We're not trying to bury him, we're trying to get his game going."
It was another intense practice Monday for the Wild, still trying to break out of its slump.
Yeo talked about how the team was playing not to lose rather than going out and expecting to win.
And then Yeo, who is looking for his team to regain its swagger, spoke with a little swagger himself when talking about the difficult upcoming schedule.
"I'm actually really looking forward [to it]," he said.
Yeo said the recent slump has been hard on him.
"I'd be lying if I was sitting here saying I'm getting as much sleep right now as I did three weeks ago," he said. "Having said that, I love the challenge of getting through this. I love the opportunity. All the naysayers that are out there right now? All the people that were out there, earlier in the year, saying it won't last, and they're coming to the forefront? I love the opportunity for us to prove them wrong."
• Pierre-Marc Bouchard (lower body injury) was schedule to see the doctor Monday afternoon. He is still listed as day-to-day.
• Several players are wishing former Wild coach Todd Richards success in the wake of Richards being named interim head coach in Columbus. "I'm happy for him to be able to bounce back and get a new opportunity," center Matt Cullen said. "He's a good coach, and he's a nice guy. He'll do a good job there, I'm sure."
• Devin Setoguchi, Dany Heatley and Cal Clutterbuck visited injured Benilde-St. Margaret's hockey player Jack Jablonski in the hospital Monday.