By Chip Scoggins
Our guy Russo had this solid story on the contract status of Marek Zidlicky today. Wild GM Chuck Fletcher told Russo that there's a good chance he will trade Zidlicky if the two sides can't reach an extension before the Wednesday trade deadline.
Zidlicky returned to practice Monday after participating in the Olympics, but he had little to say about the situation.
"It’s still a couple of days so we’ll see what happens," he said.
Asked if he's optimistic a deal can't get done, Zidlicky said: "I don’t want to say something so we’ll see."
Zidlicky said he met with Fletcher before the Olympics. He said he's trying not to think about his contract situation too much the next few days, although he admitted he's "ready for everything."
"It’s not easy," he said. "I just focus on practice. We still have a couple of days so we’ll see. It’s tough to say right now.
"I would like to stay here obviously. I like the city, I like the fans, I like the team. We will see."
Coach Todd Richards said rookie defenseman Clayton Stoner suffered a "minor setback" early in his first practice after having sports hernia surgery on Feb. 12. Stoner went through a few team drills in Sunday's practice before leaving the ice for good.
"He came out yesterday and went a little too hard at the beginning instead of warming up," Richards said. "I think he re-aggravated it a little bit. We’re just keeping him off. I don’t think it’s really bad but it’s a minor setback."
Richards said Stoner won't travel with the team to Calgary. He'll stay in the Twin Cities for treatment.
Richards ended Monday's practice with a 10-minute scrimmage. He said he was trying to simulate game conditions as much as possible before Wednesday's game at Calgary.
"Whenever you scrimmage against your own teammates you’re not going to get the same intensity or battle level," he said. "The ice wasn’t great so it was tough to make plays. It might not be the best thing to do at the end of practice. But it’s just getting guys ready for Wednesday because it’s going to be fast. I think from our last game against Vancouver to our game against Calgary, it’s going to be 17 days without playing a game. That first period is going to seem real quick. Guys are going to seem like they’re on top of you fast. It’s just trying hopefully get our guys ready for that first period."
Back to practice
Zidlicky and Martin Havlat returned to practice Monday. Havlat got knocked to the ice in a collision with Kyle Brodziak during the scrimmage. Havlat came back with a terrific move through traffic for a goal a few shifts later.
Zidlicky said he had "heavy legs" but he said he should be fine by Wednesday.
"Well, they weren’t rusty from days off," Richards said. "They both looked good. The big question is going to be, maybe two weeks from now how do they look? Or three weeks from now when we get into the middle of all these games? They just played a lot of games in a short amount of time. I feel fresh and I’m sure the other guys feel fresh and I’m sure right now they feel pretty good coming back. There’s that adrenaline or that emotional high that they’re on from playing in the Olympics and having some success and being part of something special. Now you come back and you get back into the daily routine and eventually that’s going to wear off."