The Wild trimmed its roster to 24 players, sending former Minnesota Duluth defenseman Carson Soucy to Iowa and releasing NHL veteran Ryan Malone from his professional tryout.
NHL teams can carry 23 players during the regular season, though it’s doubtful the Wild would keep that many because of salary cap concerns. Only 20 players are active for each game. If Parise starts on injured reserve, that’s one less cut for the Wild to make.
Players on the bubble include forwards Daniel Winnik, Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin, and defensemen Ryan Murphy, Gustav Olofsson and Mike Reilly.
The 6-4, 212-pound Soucy, coming directly from college, made a strong impression in training camp at age 23.
“He’s a young guy and he needs to play,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Hopefully when we do see him again — he’s good, but hopefully he’s a lot better.”
Malone, 38, who last played in the NHL in 2015, came to training camp hoping to play for Iowa and then for Team USA in the Olympics.
“If you give him the puck around the front of the net, he could score,” Boudreau said. “As the players became more ramped up, speed became a little bit of a hindrance to him. He’ll be a great leader for that [Iowa] team, and who knows what can happen?”
Murphy’s long look
Murphy remains in the mix after scoring zero goals with two assists in 27 games last year for the Carolina Hurricanes. He was Carolina’s first-round pick (No. 12 overall) in 2011 and got passed up by rising young defensemen JaccobSlavin and Brett Pesce.
“The last few years of my career, I kind of lost what got me into the league, and that’s my offensive instincts,” Murphy said. “I’m just trying to get it back. I’ve got to get my confidence back. And in this camp so far, I think I’m on my way to doing that.”
In five preseason games, Murphy is minus-3 with no points, though he does have 10 shots on goal.
“He’s played well,” Fletcher said. “He has a lot of experience in this league. He can move the puck. In junior, he was a big point producer, and I think at the pro game, he’s still trying to find his game to balance that offensive ability with defensive responsibility. Probably not too dissimilar to a Mike Reilly here.”