A day after switching up his forward lines, Mike Yeo tinkered some more.
The Minnesota head coach confirmed newly-acquired Mike Rupp will make his Wild debut tonight against the Vancouver Canucks — Yeo also dropped prospect Mikael Granlund from the lineup, making him a healthy scratch.
From Mike Russo of the Minnesota Star-Tribune, here’s Yeo on Granlund:
“I think it’s good for young players to have to work for everything that they get. Not to say that he hasn’t, but he’s never had to push through something like this. These kind of things make you stronger. And that’s what we want around here.”
And here he is on Rupp, who jumps ahead of Matt Kassian for the “big, tough guy” spot:
“Rupper has got experience, for one thing. They’re different players, they’re different people. I think a lot of people would say they have similar roles, but it might look like that on the outside, but the reality is we brought Rupper in because of who he is and the way that he plays the game we think fits.”
Granlund, the 20-year-old Finn taken ninth overall at the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, has been up-and-down in his rookie campaign.
He’s scored three points in nine games while averaging over 15 minutes a night, but hasn’t notched a goal in eight games and has just five shots on goal in his last four games.
Rupp was acquired from the Rangers earlier this week and will skate with Zenon Konopka and Devin Setoguchi on the fourth line.
As for Minnesota’s other lines…
Zach Parise — Mikko Koivu — Charlie Coyle
Dany Heatley — Matt Cullen — Pierre-Marc Bouchard
Torrey Mitchell — Kyle Brodziak — Cal Clutterbuck