Jonas Brodin could be in the lineup Saturday when the Wild faces off against the Blues in the Winter Classic at Target Field.

"That's our hope," coach Dean Evason said.

The Wild wasn't expecting Brodin to play after the defenseman tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, a result that was confirmed at 3 a.m. Tuesday.

But since then, the NHL has shortened the isolation period following a positive test to five days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended the same change.

To clear the NHL's COVID protocols after five days, a player must still meet testing requirements and get the green light from the team's physician. The player then must wear a mask around others for five additional days, other than for practices and games.

"I would think he'd be able to play," said Wild General Manager Bill Guerin, who mentioned Brodin is asymptomatic.

If Brodin isn't available, the Wild has defensemen Calen Addison and Dakota Mermis on hand after recalling the two from Iowa in the American Hockey League.

Brodin is the fourth Wild player sidelined by COVID-19 this season. Teams undergo daily testing except on off days; players who test positive are exempt for three months.

With the Winter Classic looming, the Wild has been mindful of trying to stay clear of the virus to be eligible to compete in the New Year's Day showdown.

"We're always around each other, and I know some of those guys have hung out with each other over Christmas break," winger Marcus Foligno said. "It is what it is. You can't go against that stuff. We're just hoping that that's the end of it, and [Brodin's] able to join us come the First."

Injury update

Captain Jared Spurgeon and center Joel Eriksson Ek will be out "a couple of weeks," Guerin said.

Spurgeon aggravated a lower-body injury suffered Dec. 16 vs. Buffalo, an issue that sidelined him eight games, while Eriksson Ek suffered an upper-body injury in the Wild's last game Dec. 20 at Dallas.

"We can't deny that those guys are huge pieces," Guerin said. "But we can't sit here and, 'Oh God. We're missing those guys. We'll wait until they get back.' No. Everybody has to pick up their game, and we have to cover for those guys. They are big pieces, but we'll be OK."

Additions to the taxi squad

Aside from Addison and Mermis, the Wild also recalled forward Connor Dewar from the AHL.

All three are on the Wild's taxi squad, which the NHL reimplemented until the All-Star break after the recent rash of COVID-19 cases in the league.

A maximum of six players can be on the taxi squad, and Guerin anticipates the Wild bringing the players on road trips.

Looking ahead

Guerin said he expects the five games that were postponed by COVID-related issues to start appearing on the Wild's schedule in mid-January.

After the Winter Classic, the Wild is scheduled to play at Ottawa on Monday.

The Senators canceled practice Thursday for precautionary reasons and later in the day, the Ontario government restricted attendance at indoor events to 1,000 after previously being at 50% capacity.

"I haven't heard otherwise," Guerin said Thursday morning on whether Monday's game was still on deck. "So we're planning to move forward and if we find out we're not going, then we won't go."