Minnesota may be without physical defenseman Clayton Stoner for the rest of the regular season, the Pioneer Press reports.
Stoner, 29, was thought to have suffered a knee injury last week against the Devils, and has been ruled as week-to-week. The club has already called up Jon Blum in Stoner’s absence and has reportedly made a call to WHL Red Deer about the possibility of a Mathew Dumba emergency recall — Dumba, the seventh overall pick at the ’12 NHL Entry Draft, appeared in 13 games for the Wild this year, scoring two points.
Losing Stoner will hurt the Wild, though, as he’s provided them with an aggressive presence on the back end throughout the year. The 6-foot-4, 215-pounder sits third on the team in hits this year, with 95, and leads all Wild skaters with 82 PIM.
The Stoner absence is also exacerbated by the fact another of Minnesota’s depth defensemen, Keith Ballard, is out with a groin injury. That’s left the Wild with just six healthy defensemen and forced Blum to play nearly 15 minutes in Sunday’s OT win over Detroit.