After two practices with the Iowa Wild and still getting over the disappointment of not being on the Wild’s opening-night roster Thursday in Denver, Jordan Schroeder played in Saturday’s home opener against the St. Louis Blues.
Even with Tyler Graovac out with a lower-body injury, Schroeder was reassigned after the game.
The Wild is in salary-cap hell. Schroeder’s arrival put the Wild within $600,000 of the $71.4 million ceiling. In a league where the salary cap is calculated daily, the fact the Wild has four days between Saturday’s game and its next one didn’t bode well for Schroeder.
Schroeder, 25, could be in for another year of shuttling between Iowa and Minnesota.
“I’m aware of it. It’s unfortunate, but it is what it is,” Schroeder said. “That’s part of this business. You have to be able to take some punches. It’s how you respond and get back up that shows your character.”
Schroeder had a tough training camp. He suffered a groin injury, shoulder injury and came down with strep throat all in the same week.
That affected his camp production and availability, but he was still stunned when General Manager Chuck Fletcher informed him last week he was AHL-bound.
“I was really disappointed. I’m not going to lie,” Schroeder said. “I took it pretty hard. That day was hard on me, but [I] manned up, put it behind me and got my head straight.”
Schroeder played right wing on a line with Thomas Vanek and Charlie Coyle, who moved from right wing to center, Saturday and looked at it as another opportunity to prove himself. But with Justin Fontaine close to returning from an injury, Schroeder doesn’t have much breathing room.
Shaking it off
Nino Niederreiter, who fell awkwardly into the boards in the third period at Colorado, played against the Blues.
The Wild has complained that nobody from the Avalanche medical team came to the Wild dressing room Thursday to examine and potentially clear Niederreiter of concussion-like symptoms so he could return to the game. That is NHL protocol on the road.
“I tried to get it checked out, and the doctor wasn’t ready, I guess,” Niederreiter said. “I was just sitting there and then all of a sudden the doctor showed up and told me he had to stitch up another guy [believed to be Colorado’s Gabriel Landeskog], so he was late and he’s the only guy [that can administer the SCAT] exam.”
The league says a minimum of three doctors were at the game, so the Wild has asked them to investigate why none showed up until it was too late.
“You want to go back and can’t,” Niederreiter said. “It was more frustrating that he didn’t check me out right away. You never know what happens if the game goes to overtime or a shootout, who knows?”
Wearing the blue note
Blues center Kyle Brodziak, seventh in Wild history with 446 games, played against Minnesota for the first time. Former Blues winger Chris Porter played his old team for the first time, too.
Wild prospect Mike Reilly scored his first professional goal Saturday night for Iowa.