One thing is relatively certain when it comes to the Wild's goaltending situation: Matt Hackett will be in the nets when the Wild hosts Calgary on Sunday at Xcel Energy Center.
But who will back him up?
Hackett was pressed into action in Phoenix on Thursday when Josh Harding tweaked something in his lower body and had to leave a game the Wild ultimately won 3-2 in a shootout. The Wild was off Friday, but Harding was described as day to day. Niklas Backstrom already is injured. Darcy Kuemper, who was playing for Houston in the AHL, injured his upper body. Kuemper is scheduled to see the Wild's doctors in Minnesota but might need surgery. Another goalie prospect, Dennis Endras, is currently playing in Finland. So if Harding can't play, General Manager Chuck Fletcher will have to sign someone.
Meanwhile, Hackett apparently will get all sorts of action in the coming games. Wild coach Mike Yeo coached in Houston last season when an Aeros team with Hackett in the nets made it to the AHL finals. After Thursday's game Yeo described Hackett as a confident young man. "He's got a swagger about him, a confidence that you need in that position," Yeo said. "I'm pretty sure he wants the net."
Hackett is 3-2-0 with the Wild, with a .942 save percentage and a 1.89 goals-against average.
North Stars night
The Wild will bring more than 30 Minnesota North Stars alumni to Xcel Energy Center on March 29 for North Stars Night.
The alumni will be in attendance and will participate in a variety of activities throughout the evening as the Wild plays the Florida Panthers. The team will debut a limited edition North Stars "Back on Home Ice" T-shirt that night, which will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the Minnesota Wild foundation. A special ticket package is available for the game that includes a club level ticket, a T-shirt and admission to a North Stars autograph session featuring Neal Broten, Lou Nanne, Steve Payne and J.P. Parise.
On Friday, March 30, the team will host an "Evening with the Stars" event from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at 317 on Rice Park. More information on both the ticket package and the March 30 event can be found at www.wild.com/northstars.