UPDATED WITH QUOTES
The Wild has signed veteran forward Ryan Carter to a two-way contract for the rest of the season. The deal is worth a prorated $575,000 (42 days by the time the contract is likely registered). He'll make a prorated $250,000 when in the minors.
Carter, 33, underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum in his right shoulder in October.
He joined the Wild during practices and morning skates earlier this month and last week signed a pro tryout for Iowa.
Carter, a quality checker and penalty killer and very popular locker-room guy, provides more depth and is playoff eligible because he signed before Wednesday's 2 p.m. trade deadline.
He was placed on waivers today, meaning he can't play in today's Iowa game. Assuming he clears Monday at 11 a.m., he can begin playing games again for Iowa.
"I’m not in any kind of rush," Carter said by phone. "I really want to be playing good hockey, strong hockey when I get up there. I just want to make sure I’m in the right spots, I’m making the right reads, I’m doing the right things and my mind’s in the right place – no apprehension – that if I do get the chance to play NHL games that I'm ready to go 100 percent, not overthinking the game, dipping my toe in. I’d like to be jumping in 100 percent."
Carter's timeline after surgery was five months. He's well ahead of that in large part because there'd be no point in coming back if he wasn't playoff eligible.
He says his shoulder has responded really well in the three games he has played for Iowa.
"If the Wild aren’t having such a good year, I probably wouldn’t be playing," Carter said. "There’s value knowing I fit around the guys and the chemistry inside the locker room goes a long way.
"Chuck’s (Fletcher) been a man of his word. At the time [of surgery], I thought a guy that’s 33 coming off labrum surgery having not played a game in awhile that it's going to be tough to get a job in late February. But here we are. I’m happy about it. Who knows what happens from here."
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.
Also, with the Wild in need of a center with three games in four nights beginning Monday against the L.A. Kings, Zac Dalpe was recalled from Iowa.
Dalpe, 27, has a goal and two assists in nine games with Minnesota and two goals and 40 shots in 12 games with Iowa this season.
He underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee on Oct. 31. He came back to Iowa's lineup, had some scar tissue complicating matters and underwent a second procedure. He has a goal in five games since his return.
Dalpe and Teemu Pulkkinen are on waivers, too.
Dalpe was placed on waivers I'm guessing to reset his waiver clock. He's at nine games, so if the Wild wants to send him down after tomorrow's game, he'd need waivers.
If he gets taken tomorrow, at least the Wild can react. I can't imagine the Wild would want to find out somebody grabbed him on waivers Wednesday -- three hours before the deadline, so that's why you do it today.
Pulkkinen is way more complicated. This resets his waiver clock, too, but he's not happy he has been stuck in Iowa and wants to be elsewhere.
By placing him on waivers, the Wild's giving him that ability. If he clears waivers, this is also a way of the Wild letting all 29 GM's know that he's available for trade by Wednesday's 2 p.m. deadline without sending a memo to all 29 teams.
So bottom line with Pulkkinen: If he clears waivers, Wild's no doubt willing to trade him by Wednesday.