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.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

Email Michael to talk about hockey.

Clayton Stoner week-to-week with a sprained knee; Yeo on Brodziak, Heatley

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: March 23, 2014 - 5:14 PM

The Wild’s depth on defense is thinning.

Defenseman Clayton Stoner is week-to-week with what General Manager Chuck Fletcher said is a sprained knee. Defenseman Keith Ballard missed his fourth consecutive game with a groin injury, so former Nashville Predators defenseman Jon Blum was recalled to play tonight against the Detroit Red Wings.

It will be his fifth game with the Wild and he should be here for the foreseeable future.

“We’re lucky we’ve got a guy like Blummer that can come up,” said coach Mike Yeo. “I thought he played very well for us [previously]. Hopefully Bally’s back soon, but in the short-term at the very least, we know we can count on Blummer.”

Yeo said Ballard hadn’t made progress in the past few days. If the Wild sustains another injury on defense, it’ll have to look again toward Iowa. Steve Kampfer was injured Saturday when he blocked a shot, but it’s not thought to be serious. Other defensemen in Iowa include Kyle Medvec and Tyler Cuma.

It’s believed Stoner was initially hurt in New Jersey last week when checked by Adam Henrique.

“He was battling hard for us there, so it’s a shame,” Yeo said. “Could be three [weeks], could be a little longer. Hopefully it’s sooner rather than later.”

Fletcher said he has also asked Wild director of hockey administration Shep Harder to contact the NHL and inquire about potential emergency conditions in case the Wild need to recall Matt Dumba from Western Hockey League Portland. Dumba scored eight goals and 24 points and was plus-31 in 26 games for Portland. The Winterhawks are currently matched up with Vancouver in the WHL playoffs.

As far as I know, there are tight restrictions. You typically can't call a junior player up if it's an inconvenience to his junior team, and a playoff round I'd assume could be deemed that. Even if the Wild was allowed to call up Dumba, if the Winterhawks are still alive, the NHL recall could only be for a certain number of days.

Cody McCormick won't play tonight against the Red Wings. Yeo said he'll keep his other forward scratch a secret until we watch warmups.

Will it be a guy like Stephane Veilleux, Justin Fontaine or Erik Haula or is there a possibility Yeo scratches a veteran like Dany Heatley or Kyle Brodziak. I don't see it being Brodziak. If one assumes Yeo will come back with the Matt Moulson-Mikko Koivu-Charlie Coyle line, he'll need Brodziak and Haula to play center.

Heatley has three shots in the past eight games and Yeo had an interesting, subtle thing to say when talking about Heatley.

On his limited shots, Yeo said, "Some of it, you lose a little bit of ice time. His role’s changed a little bit. There was awhile there where he was playing a fourth-line role. Last couple of games we've tried to surround him with some guys offensively that hopefully can get him the puck and get him in some areas. He a guy that, if in the lineup, we need him creating offense. That’s a role, that’s an identity that he has. But at the same time, when things aren’t going as well offensively as you would like, can you up the other parts of your game? Can you be better defensively, can you be more effective on the forecheck, can you bring more momentum?"

Yeo has been hesitant to scratch Heatley all season. I haven't looked it up, but if it ever gets to the point Heatley is scratched, it's got to be his first healthy scratch maybe ever in the NHL.

On Brodziak being on the ice for three goals yesterday and losing 8 of 11 faceoffs, Yeo said, "Last game to me was not what I saw the two previous games. Wasn’t crazy about last game. As far as the two previous games, I thought it was two of his best games since before the Olympic break. And that’s what we have to try to get him back to. Before the Olympic break, he was playing a real important role for our team. Last game wasn’t as good. Maybe it was fatigue, whatever, but we have to get him back."

ADVERTISEMENT

Chicago 17 FINAL
Detroit 34
Philadelphia 33 FINAL
Dallas 10
Seattle 19 4th Qtr 2:30
San Francisco 3
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Buffalo
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Indianapolis
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
Atlanta
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
Miami 12/1/14 7:30 PM
NY Jets
Edmonton 0 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 1
ULM 54 FINAL
Robert Morris 71
Santa Clara 57 FINAL
Tennessee 64
Oklahoma 59 FINAL
Butler 46
Austin Peay 79 FINAL
Brown 58
Princeton 56 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 62
Coastal Carolina 67 FINAL
Chattanooga 78
Kansas 76 FINAL
Rhode Island 60
Wisconsin 68 FINAL
Georgetown 65
FIU 53 FINAL
USC Upstate 68
Long Island 54 FINAL
Stony Brook 73
San Diego 71 FINAL
Xavier 82
Illinois 88 FINAL
Indiana State 62
Cal State Fullerton 67 FINAL
Wright State 62
Western Ky 62 FINAL
Saint Josephs 59
Michigan State 77 FINAL
Rider 45
UCLA 56 FINAL
North Carolina 78
Long Beach State 73 FINAL
Western Mich 55
Marquette 72 FINAL
Georgia Tech 70
Stephen F Austin 73 FINAL
Prairie View 61
UAB 47 2nd Half 0:23
Florida 55
Rice 57 2nd Half 2:40
Mercer 59
San Jose St 5 1st Half 11:49
Washington 12
Washington St 10:59 PM
UC Santa Barbara
Baylor 10:59 PM
Memphis
LSU 23 FINAL
Texas A&M 17
(6) TCU 48 FINAL
Texas 10
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Iowa
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
SMU
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Massachusetts
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
Tulsa
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Indiana
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Northwestern
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Temple
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Troy
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Colorado
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
USC
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Maryland
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Memphis
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
California
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Duke
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Miami-Florida
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
UNLV
UCF 12/4/14 6:30 PM
East Carolina
Hamilton 11/30/14 5:00 PM
Calgary
Hartford 43 FINAL
Furman 53
Clemson 77 FINAL
Ohio State 86
Idaho State 53 FINAL
San Diego State 68
East Carolina 58 FINAL
(22) Syracuse 69
Santa Clara 0 Cancelled
Texas-El Paso 0
Florida State 68 FINAL
Washington 80
Wichita State 39 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 56
Wisconsin 44 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 67
Kansas State 0 Cancelled
LSU 0
BYU 73 FINAL
BYU-Hawaii 52
Charlotte 58 FINAL
Montana 67
Illinois 77 FINAL
(9) Kentucky 71
Central Michigan 61 FINAL
Richmond 56
Oklahoma 68 FINAL
South Florida 83
Princeton 72 FINAL
Wake Forest 55
(19) Oregon State 85 FINAL
Butler 53
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Wild player?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT