At some point yesterday somebody asked me on Twitter if the Wild may claim Nate Prosser off waivers.
I immediately dismissed it. Wrong!
In a move that caught me by surprise, the Wild reacquired defenseman Nate Prosser this morning by snagging him off waivers from the St. Louis Blues (coincidentally tonight's Minnesota opponent in a preseason game).
Prosser, 28, a native of Elk River and product of Colorado College, played 126 games for the Wild over parts of five seasons. Here's that big personality profile I wrote on Prosser last season.
"I'm excited to get back to the locker room I'm so familiar with," Prosser said via text. "Pretty whirlwind of a day, but I'm excited to get back home and get that Wild jersey on."
The irony is the Wild had an internal debate this past summer about whether or not to re-sign Prosser. See this blog to refresh your memory. But Prosser wanted a one-way contract. The Wild wanted to sign him to a two-way contract. Now the Wild gets him back on that two-way.
I'm at the airport on my way to St. Louis, so I'll grab GM Chuck Fletcher prior to the game on the move.
But the old adage is you can never have too many NHL defensemen in your organization, so this was a move to add veteran depth. The coaches trust his game and he's a character kid, Fletcher said via text. If he doesn't make the team, Prosser would have to be placed on waivers again. He is on a two-way contract.
Basically, it sounds like right-shot depth if the organization decides there's not room for BOTH Christian Folin and Matt Dumba inside the top-6. As I have written a lot the past week, the only way BOTH make the team is if the Wild feels there's room for BOTH inside the top-6.
If there's a chance one would be the seventh or eighth defenseman, he'll go to the minors to develop.
Here's more from Prosser courtesy of my St. Louis Dispatch buddy Jeremy Rutherford:
Apparently, he had his house in Minny on the market. Hurried this morning and told agent not to sell.
Here's some quotes from his scrum:
"What a day here. I was just on the ice, expecting to go through a morning skate, got pulled off at like 10:50. Doug (Armstrong) said he doesn't know which team has claimed me yet, but he'll come back and talk to me at 11 and let me know. He came back at 11 and told me it was Minnesota. It's a pretty funny business, you know. You don't know what's going on. It's the nature of the business right now."
Going back to Wild?
"I know the coaches, I know the players. It's not like it's going to be unfamiliar to me. I'm going to go back to a place where I'm from obviously. I'm excited for this new journey."
Talk to Minnesota in summer, surprised their interested?
"We talked. There was a little bit of communication there from the beginning of July to mid-July. But then it just kind of broke off there. That's when I kind of looked elsewhere. I knew there was some interest but we couldn't keep waiting and waiting. That's when we moved on."
Get on their plane tonight?
"Yeah. They're here ... I'll probably just get on the plane with them tonight. I'm like literally at a loss for words. This whole situation, the way the summer went down, coming into camp here, a whole new organization, a whole new team ... put on waivers. I've never been put on waivers, so I didn't really know the situation at all. Get pulled off the ice and tell me the team that I've been playing for the last few years claims me ... what am I supposed to think. That's bizarre and exiting and funny business all wrapped up in one."
The Wild is playing a very young lineup tonight. The Blues are playing their big guns and toughies. It should be interesting. I'll update the blog with stuff from today's skate either right before my flight or from the air.