The Carterstache could be back soon.
NHL veteran winger Ryan Carter, four months after surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder, will be attempting a comeback with the Wild, sources tell the Star Tribune.
According to sources, Carter, 33, will take the ice for the first time at Xcel Energy Center on Friday morning with his old teammates during their pregame skate. The Wild hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday night.
With the Wild on an eight-game homestand, Carter is expected to take part in practices and morning skates the rest of the month.
It'll be a tryout of sorts.
The timeframe makes sense. It'll be an opportunity for the team to assess whether Carter's healthy enough and still good enough to potentially help down the stretch. If the Wild ultimately determines he can, Carter could be signed to a contract for the rest of the season.
If signed by the March 1 trade deadline, Carter would be eligible for the playoffs.
Carter, who spent the past two seasons with the Wild, only wanted to sign with the Wild last summer. The Wild wasn't able to commit a contract to him, so the team brought him to camp on a professional tryout.
Ultimately, he was released from the tryout because his shoulder wasn't healthy enough to perform. He underwent surgery, but GM Chuck Fletcher didn't close the door on a potential signing before this season's trade deadline.
“He was really good and fair,” Carter said of Fletcher last September. “He just told me to get surgery, get healthy and depending where we both stand when I get healthy enough to play, we can go from there. He just said it’s not fair to me to play hurt and it’s not fair to the coach and team to not know if I can play through it.
“He said they’d help me with surgery, and I don’t think they have any responsibility to take care of me, so I appreciate that.”
Turns out, Fletcher is a man of his word and will give Carter a shot to prove he can still play.
Carter has been skating for the past month with Wild skating specialists, mother and son team, Diane and Andy Ness.
The Wild conceivably could use a depth player that is physical, brings energy and can kill penalties, especially since the 23-man roster size increases after the trade deadline as long as a team is cap compliant.
Carter, who has played 473 career games, won a Stanley Cup with Anaheim in 2007 before even playing a regular-season game. He went to the Stanley Cup Final with New Jersey in 2012.