Afternoon from the beautiful Consol Energy Center, where the Wild and Penguins are about to face off at 2 p.m. CT (NHL Network, KFAN, @russostrib).
It's been a busy day for Wild coach Mike Yeo, who had trouble getting his pregame work done because he had visitor after visitor. Yeo was an assistant with the Penguins for five seasons, but other than construction tours, this is the first time Yeo's stepped foot in Pittsburgh's beautiful rink.
The Wild will be going with mostly roster hopefuls today as a number of players try to make one final impression before a huge cutdown day tomorrow. The Guillaume Latendresse-Matt Cullen-Pierre-Marc Bouchard line is playing though, as well as Eric Nystrom and Colton Gillies. The plan is to play Niklas Backstrom in goal for the full 60.
Casey Wellman will make his preseason debut from a back injury, and Marco Scandella, whom I really believe suddenly will make the team at least out of camp, will play his third in three nights.
Also, Zack Phillips was returned to his junior team.
But the big news today was the suspensions handed down by the NHL stemming from last night's Wild-Blue Jackets game.
The Wild's Brad Staubitz has been suspended indefinitely pending a hearing with discipline czar Brendan Shanahan for his hit from behind on Cody Bass, while James Wisniewski was suspended indefinitely pending a hearing for his illegal hit to Cal Clutterbuck's head. That drew a minor penalty, which after much asking around, was the right call.
The ref's can hand out a minor and then let the league deal with it from there.
Staubitz's hearing hasn't been set, Chuck Fletcher said.
The league is cracking down on both infractions, with the proof being that the Staubitz penalty was the third boarding major in three Wild preseason games (second for a Wild player -- Darroll Powe in Edmonton).
Staubitz has been suspended once in his career, I believe, for one game for a hit on an icing in 2008-09.
Wisniewski, as far as I can tell, has been suspended twice -- once two games for an obscene gesture at Sean Avery and once for eight games for a hit to Brent Seabrook's head. He could be in big trouble for this. It was an intentional, retaliatory elbow to Clutterbuck's head after Wisniewski chased Clutterbuck around for six or seven seconds, finally clocking him at the end of regulation (leading to Dany Heatley's OT winner).
Talk to you after the game.