The Minnesota Wild will get a big boost on defense tonight against Tampa Bay as defenseman Jared Spurgeon will play for the first time since breaking his foot in early January.
“We’re anxious to see where his game’s at,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said, per NHL.com. “If he can step in and be close to the level that he was at before he got hurt, we’re a lot stronger for it.”
Spurgeon, 24, has missed the last 14 game and was a key member of the Wild blueline prior to breaking his foot. He averaged nearly 22 minutes per game over his first 43 contests, recording 12 points with a plus-6 rating. He’ll pair with Marco Scandella tonight.
The Alberta native had a productive 2013 campaign, scoring 15 points in 39 games while again averaging over 21 minutes per night. As a result, the Wild inked Spurgeon to a three-year, $8 million extension this past summer.
PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.
Here’s a detailed look back at Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin‘s first 10 years in the NHL. (NHL.com)
Speaking of Crosby, he’s signed a multiyear partnership with adidas. (Newswire)
Ryan Nugent-Hopkins will play a key role in easing Connor McDavid into the NHL. (Edmonton Sun)
After two polar opposite seasons, the jury is still out on Patrick Roy as a head coach. (Denver Post)
Marc-Andre Fleury enjoys pulling off pranks on his teammates. “I play better when I’m looser, laughing and having fun,” he said. (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)
Art McDonald, a Canadian who won recently won a Nobel Prize, talked to the committee members about the Toronto Maple Leafs. (SB Nation)
The St. Louis Blues named Rob DiMaio their director of player personnel on Tuesday.
He’s been with the organization for some time. He joined as a pro scout in 2008 and was the pro scouting director starting in August 2012.
He was also a scout for the Dallas Stars before landing with the Blues (one would assume his biggest connection is GM Doug Armstrong, then).
In case his nose didn’t give it away, he also enjoyed a lengthy hockey career over 19 seasons.
No doubt about it, this is a pivotal season for the Blues after multiple campaigns in which strong regular seasons dissolved into playoff disappointments. Perhaps DiMaio can make a difference in a heightened role?