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At last, Parise back on the ice with the Wild

After his first practice session of training camp, Wild forward Zach Parise isn’t predicting when he might be able to play a game. He was happy just to finally get on the ice with his teammates Friday at Xcel Energy Center, one week after camp began.

 

 

Parise, who reportedly injured his back before camp started, was vague about the nature of his injury. Though it wasn’t a particularly fast-paced practice, he skated full-bore during a couple of drills. He also scored a nice goal on goalie Alex Stalock while showing his good hands and quickness around the net.

He still doesn’t feel he’s at 100 percent—“I think I’m getting there,’’ he said--and he won’t play a game until he is. Parise said he would love to be in the lineup for the season opener Oct. 5 at Detroit, but he can’t put a timetable on his progress.

“It’s frustrating,’’ Parise said, after a practice that lasted a little less than an hour. “But at the same time, there’s still a good chunk of time before the season starts. Right now, it’s about being smart.

“I’m hoping to get in some good practices up until when I am ready and go from there. Ideally, I’d love to be with the team full time and playing in the games, but that’s just not the case right now.  At this time of the season, you want to go in feeling good. You want to go in without nursing something or at 80 percent. You want to go in and not have that stuff be on the top of your mind. Just go in, relax and play. And that’s what I’m shooting toward.’’

Asked whether he would have to monitor the injury throughout the season, Parise answered, “Probably. It’s one of those things, you always want to stay ahead of it and make sure you’re taking care of your body, regardless of what part it is.’’

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said he isn’t concerned about Parise’s readiness, and he knows he must be patient regarding Parise’s return. “We’ll make sure it’s done right,’’ he said.

Other news from camp Friday:

The team made several player moves Friday to reduce the training camp roster to 40. Assigned to the Wild's AHL affiliate in Iowa were defensemen Gustav Bouramman, Dylan Labbe and Hunter Warner; forwards Adam Gilmour, Pavel Jenys, Chase Lang, Mario Lucia, Gerald Mayhew and Dante Salituro; and goaltender Adam Vey. Defenseman Zach Palmquist was put on waivers and will be assigned to Iowa on Saturday if he clears waivers.

Joel Eriksson Ek, who hasn’t played in the first two preseason games, will play the last four beginning Sunday at Colorado. “I think he’s looking great,’’ Boudreau said of the young forward, who could become the Wild’s third-line center. “He was happy to be here last year. This year, he’s taking it a lot more serious.’’

Forwards Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund and Eric Staal, as well as goaltender Devan Dubnyk, are expected to make their preseason debuts Saturday against Colorado at Xcel.

Here's the Wild lineup for Saturday's game:

 

 

Will Zach Parise start practicing with the Wild soon?

Zach Parise still didn’t join his teammates on the ice Thursday morning at Xcel Energy Center. But Wild coach Bruce Boudreau said the winger is getting closer to participating in practice for the first time since training camp began last Friday.

 

 

Boudreau said Parise, slowed by a back injury, was “looking to talk to the doctors tonight’’ about beginning practice. “I think he’s feeling better,’’ Boudreau said. “It’s still a day-to-day type thing, but from my reports, he’s skating good on his own, and he can’t wait to join the group.’’

The group of players not in the lineup for tonight’s home game against Winnipeg held a practice Thursday morning, before the pregame skate for those who are playing. Those getting a second look after playing Monday’s preseason opener in Winnipeg include defensemen Carson Soucy and Ryan Murphy, forwards Charlie Coyle, Marcus Foligno, Luke Kunin, Daniel Winnik, Zack Mitchell and Tyler Ennis; and goalie Niklas Svedberg.

Regulars who will play for the first time this preseason include Matt Cullen, Nino Niederreiter, Jason Zucker, Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin and Jared Spurgeon.

Soucy, the former Minnesota Duluth defenseman, looked strong and poised in his debut Monday. Boudreau likes what he’s seen from the 6-4, 212-pound prospect, though he plans for Soucy to hone his game in Iowa before seeing time with the Wild.

“Carson Soucy has improved,’’ Boudreau said. “He’s going to need time. He’s a first-year guy, and defense is an awful hard position to come in as a first-year guy. So I think he’s going to need games in the American League. But he’s definitely a high prospect.’’

Murphy hasn’t generated as much chatter as others contending for spots on the blue line, such as Mike Reilly and Gustav Olofsson. But Boudreau wants to give him a good look in camp. Murphy was chosen 12th overall by Carolina in the 2011 NHL draft but has struggled to establish himself as an everyday NHL defenseman.

“Murph is sort of flying under the radar right now, because everybody else is getting the attention,’’ Boudreau said. “I thought he played a pretty good game in Winnipeg. He’s going to get the opportunity to play a few more games, just to see where he stands and stacks up against these guys.’’

Alex Stalock, the leading contender in the No. 2 goaltender race, is expected to start tonight.

Final, 9/21 1 2 3 F
Winnipeg 0-2-1 0 0 0 0
Minnesota 2-0 0 1 0 1

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