Coincidentally, two times this season I got to break to Bruce Boudreau that Tyler Graovac cleared waivers.
The first time was over a lunch interview during training camp for that big opening night profile I did on the first-year Wild coach.
Graovac went unclaimed today and was assigned to AHL Iowa.
Maybe his contract scared off teams because while he's on a two-way this year, he's on a one-way worth $625,000 next year. If he had no term left or was just on a two-way, taking him probably would have been a no-brainer. But a one-way next year, you usually have to think long and hard about that one.
BUT, in a league where multiple teams could use a center this time a year (especially for free), Graovac probably should use as a wake-up call that 29 teams passed him up and he was put on waivers in the first place by a team that drafted him and doesn't have a lot of center depth in Iowa.
Six goals, no assists in 45 games and, especially, a 38% Corsi also probably scared teams off.
Remember, the hope is Zac Dalpe gets back from a knee injury, but GM Chuck Fletcher told me last week that he's not sure if that's in one, two, three weeks. Plus, how much can the Wild rely on Dalpe after he has missed most the season with a knee injury that didn't heal 100 percent after surgery?
So, it's probably good that Graovac wasn't claimed because now he's at least still around as a depth player if the Wild sustains injuries up the middle.
Interesting tidbit I didn't realize: If you're a team that takes a player that multiple teams put in waiver bids on, if you want to eventually send that guy to the minors, you have to first try to trade him to one of the other teams that put in bids. That's the only time you can find out from Central Registry what other teams put in bids for a player you chose.
So that makes me think, for instance, that nobody other than the Wild put in a claim for Teemu Pulkkinen earlier this season UNLESS the Wild first tried to trade him to other teams that put in a claim and couldn't work something out.
Devan Dubnyk gets the start for the Wild, which looks to beat Anaheim for a third and final time this sesaon. The Wild has never swept the Ducks in a season series.
The Ducks, 1-3-1 on its road trip, is in the final day of a six-game, 14-day trip that spanned 7,500 air miles.
Jordan Schroeder will the lone Wild healthy scratch. Matt Dumba is out with what appears to be a minor knee injury.
The lines, however you want to label them, will be
If you didn't read my feature today on the one-year anniversary of Mike Yeo's firing and how much has changed, here's that link
The Wild, 2-0-1 on its franchise-record eight-game homestand, is 14-3-2 in 2017 and 26-4-3 since Dec. 2. By beating Detroit on Sunday, the Wild reached the 80-point mark in its 55th game – 12 fewer games than any other campaign in its 17-year history (67 games in 2013-14 and 2014-15).
Jason Pominville has 17 points in the past 12 games. Nino Niederreiter has four goals and two assists in the past four games and is a goal from his third straight 20-goal campaign. Mikael Granlund has at least a point in 14 of the past 16 games. Zach Parise has four goals in the past five games. Ducks center Ryan Kesler is a goal from his ninth 20-goal season. Corey Perry has 18 goals and 35 points in 40 games against Minnesota. Ryan Getzlaf, coming off a three-point game, has 34 points in 39 meetings with the Wild.
In the past four seasons, Kesler ranks third 3,371 faceoff wins and Mikko Koivu fourth with 3,337.
The Wild has had 24 4-plus-goal and 15 five-plus goal games this season. … The Wild has 13 power-play goals in the past 13 home games and is a league-best 30.1 percent (22 for 73) at home on the power play; the Wild is 20-4-2 when it scores a power-play goal.
Tomorrow's game notebook will be on Alex Tuch talking about what he has learned in the NHL, how Zack Mitchell thinks his game has changed since zeroes across the board during a 10-game stint earlier this season and Jason Zucker talking about why he's tied for 14th in the NHL with 18 drawn penalties, per Corsica Hockey.
Fun Fact: Connor McDavid leads the league with 37 drawn penalties. The next closest guy has 28.
Busy multi-media day for me: Already did PA's show, will be on SiriusXM Channel 91 at 2:30 p.m. CT and on NHL Network's Bald Spot Cam at 5:15 p.m.
If you bought tickets for the Star Tribune Chalk Talk, that starts at 5:45 p.m. Wes Walz is always worth the price of admission.