Koivu has missed Minnesota’s last eight games — and the 2012 All-Star Game in Ottawa — after injuring his left shoulder on Jan. 14. The Wild have gone 3-4-1 without him in the lineup, scoring one goal or fewer in five of the eight games.
It’s expected that head coach Mike Yeo will load up his first line, putting Koivu between Dany Heatley and Devin Setoguchi. Heatley leads all Wild scorers with 17 goals this year while Setoguchi has chipped in with 10, despite missing 13 games with a knee injury.
[Setoguchi has struggled since returning from the injury and has just two goals in 11 games — things got so bad that Yeo demoted him to the third line in a 3-1 loss to Columbus on Tuesday. The hope is that Koivu’s presence can salvage what’s been a disappointing year thus far.]
“We have to make sure with Mikko coming back — he’s such an important part of the team — that we surround him the right way,” Yeo told the St. Paul Pioneer Press. “Putting him with Seto and Heater gives us a chance to get that line going.”
To make room for Koivu, Minnesota placed forward Jed Ortmeyer on waivers.
Video: Rangers shut out red-hot Sidney Crosby and the Penguins
The New York Rangers are likely too far behind the Washington Capitals to take any legitimate run at the Atlantic Division down the stretch.
But winners now of four straight, the Rangers have opened up a bit of a gap between them and other Eastern Conference teams in the playoff race. New York scored a 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins, winners in six of their last seven games, on Wednesday.
“Now, ultimately what they’re hoping from a Wideman perspective and the Players’ Association is that commissioner Gary Bettman will rule and he will reduce the number of games suspended down from 20,” said Dreger during a segment on NBCSN.
“Is he going to reduce it by three games? Five games seems a bit of a stretch. And when might he do that? There’s no timeline on this.”
7 hours of back and forth legal speak…otherwise known as the Wideman appeal has concluded in NYC.
Matt Frattin was traded by the Leafs to Ottawa yesterday as part of the Dion Phaneuf blockbuster.
But for now, he’s staying in Toronto.
On Wednesday, Sens GM Bryan Murray announced that Frattin will remain with the Leafs’ AHL affiliate — the Toronto Marlies — on loan, but will be available for selection should Ottawa require his services down the road.
Frattin, 28, has spent all of this season with the Marlies, scoring nine goals and 22 points in 47 games. His last NHL appearance came during the ’14-15 campaign, with the Leafs.
Prior to that, the former North Dakota standout had spent time in Los Angeles and Columbus.