Three days in advance of the trade deadline, the Wild added forward depth Sunday by signing veteran Ryan Carter to a two-way contract worth a prorated $575,000 for the rest of the season.
Carter was placed on waivers. Provided he clears at 11 a.m. Monday, Carter can continue to play games for the AHL Iowa Wild, where he’ll make a prorated $250,000, as he continues to work his way back from the shoulder surgery he underwent in October.
“I’m not in any kind of rush,” Carter said by phone. “I really want to be playing good hockey, strong hockey when I get up there. I just want to make sure I’m in the right spots, I’m making the right reads, I’m doing the right things and my mind’s in the right place — no apprehension — that if I do get the chance to play NHL games that I’m ready to go 100 percent, not overthinking the game, dipping my toe in. I’d like to be jumping in 100 percent.”
Carter, who has played 473 career games, won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 and went to the Stanley Cup Final with New Jersey in 2012. He spent the past two seasons with the Wild and is a popular fixture in the dressing room. He’s a quality checker and penalty killer.
The Wild signed him to a pro tryout during training camp, but his right shoulder proved not to be 100 percent. General Manager Chuck Fletcher told him to get healthy and they’d revisit a job before the trade deadline, which is Wednesday at 2 p.m.
Signing Carter now makes him playoff eligible. He says his shoulder has responded well during three games for Iowa.
“Chuck’s been a man of his word,” Carter said. “At the time [of surgery], I thought a guy that’s 33 coming off labrum surgery having not played a game in awhile that it’s going to be tough to get a job in late February. But here we are. I’m happy about it. Who knows what happens from here.”
No angel, Gabriel
Iowa Wild enforcer Kurtis Gabriel was suspended by the American Hockey League pending review of a fight he got into with a Chicago Wolves defenseman in front of their locker room during Saturday’s game in Rosemont, Ill.
With 3 minutes, 51 seconds left in Saturday’s game, Gabriel cross-checked St. Louis Blues prospect Vince Dunn up high, then fought him. As both were headed to their locker rooms afterward, video shows Gabriel confronting Dunn, grabbing his jersey and jabbing at him with his left hand as security guards rush over.
Dunn responded by landing a wicked right on Gabriel’s left cheek that left him bleeding.
Gabriel, 23, has 39 penalty minutes and seven fights in 16 NHL games. He has been in 37 fights in 179 Iowa games.
• In need of a center for back-to-back games against Los Angeles and at Winnipeg, the Wild recalled Zac Dalpe from Iowa. If he plays Monday (he might not because of the acquisition of Arizona’s Martin Hanzal), it would be Dalpe’s first NHL game since undergoing surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee Oct. 31.
• The Wild placed Dalpe and winger Teemu Pulkkinen on waivers to reset their 10-game/30-day waiver clocks. Both have played nine NHL games this season. According to a source, if Pulkkinen clears waivers, the Wild’s willing to trade him before Wednesday’s deadline.