The Wild is still waiting for next season to start, but its manpower continues to take a hit.
Backup goalie Alex Stalock is out indefinitely because of an upper-body injury, the team announced Wednesday. Forward Mats Zuccarello is also sidelined after undergoing surgery on his right arm.
With Stalock unavailable, and to boost the team's depth, the team signed veteran Andrew Hammond to a one-year, two-way contract ($700,000 if he's in the NHL and $200,000 if he's in the minors).
Hammond is familiar to the organization, having suited up for Iowa in the American Hockey League in 2018-19 when he went 19-12-2 with a .908 save percentage and 2.81 goals-against average.
In 56 career NHL games with Ottawa and Colorado, the 32-year-old is 27-15-6 with a .923 save percentage and 2.31 goals-against average. The former Bowling Green University start spent last season with Rochester in the AHL, going 16-12-3 with a .908 save percentage and 2.53 goals-against average.
Andrew Hammond career statistics
Stalock's injury comes on the heels of his best season in the NHL.
Not only did he set career numbers in games, wins and shutouts, but Stalock became the team's go-to goalie as the season progressed and started all four of the Wild's playoff games.
Overall, Stalock went 20-11-4 with a .910 save percentage, 2.67 goals-against average and four shutouts.
Even before his injury, the Wild was going to have a different look in net next season.
After the team traded longtime starter Devan Dubnyk to San Jose, the Wild signed free agent Cam Talbot to a three-year, $11 million contract to become its new No. 1. The team also re-signed prospect Kaapo Kahkonen to a two-year, two-way contract.
Initially, it looked like Kahkonen would be destined for another season in the minors despite an impressive rookie debut last season in the NHL that included a 3-1-1 stint. But with Stalock out, Kahkonen would figure to slot behind Talbot.
Still, Hammond could get face time with the Wild if the team decides to carry three goalies. And that's a real possibility.
Although plans for next season have yet to be finalized, a shorter-than-usual schedule is expected and that could entice teams to have more options in net handy since the turnaround between games might be tight.