The Wild still haven't ruled out having Zach Parise in the lineup for Thursday's season opener at Detroit.
Parise has been limited during training camp with a back issue and hasn't skated with the team in a few days. But coach Bruce Boudreau outlined a potential Parise return plan after Saturday's morning skate, as the team prepared for its final preseason game (7 p.m., vs. Dallas, Xcel Energy Center).
"I know he wants to practice Monday, and if he can practice three real good days with contact, I think he’d like to play on Thursday," Boudreau said.
Winnik not in Saturday lineup
Veteran forward Daniel Winnik, who is fighting for a roster spot, won't play in Saturday's game.
"I pulled him aside, and I talked to him and said, 'Danny, you’ve done great. I know exactly how you play. We just want to look at a couple of the young kids,'" Boudreau said. "So it’s not like he would have to come in here and play great to either make the team or not make the team."
Joel Eriksson Ek and Luke Kunin, two other forwards on the bubble, will both play Saturday. Both of them could go down to Iowa, but Winnik is on a professional tryout. To keep him, the Wild would need to try to fit him under the salary cap, and he made $2.25 million last season.
"It's known that we don’t have a lot of money left, but if we want to sign a guy, we can sign a guy," Boudreau said.
Winnik said he wasn't upset by the decision not to let him play Saturday.
“I don’t think it’s difficult [sitting out]," he said. "I think I played well the five games I played. I figured that’s what I’d get, five of seven, maybe six. I don’t think it has anything to do with my play or anything like that, so they just want that lineup in, and I’m fine with it.”
Grasping the new faceoff rules
With the NHL's stricter new faceoff rules, linesmen ejected Mikko Koivu from 10 faceoffs Thursday against St. Louis. The Wild submitted video of all 10 to the NHL, looking for clarification on what the team needs to do differently.
The rule where a team gets a two-minute penalty for a second violation on the same faceoff reared its head Thursday, when Koivu and Mikael Granlund were both ejected from a critical late-game faceoff. With the game tied 2-2, the Wild was on the power play, and Granlund got sent to the box at the 18:04 mark.
Boudreau said there will be a meeting tonight with the Wild's centers and the linesmen: Brandon Gawryletz and Brian Mach.
"Just show us what we’re doing wrong so we won’t do it wrong again," Boudreau said. "That’s all we want. If we’re doing something wrong, great. Do whatever you have to do to penalize to get it right, but just show us where the mistakes are."