Kind move here from Minnesota d-man Mathew Dumba, who will be switching from No. 55 to No. 24 this season:
Boogaard, who passed away in 2011 from an accidental drug and alcohol overdose, wore No. 24 in Minnesota from 2006-10 and emerged as something of a cult figure, thanks in large part to his pugilistic skills.
His jersey eventually became one of the Wild’s top sellers.
Two other players have since worn No. 24 for Minnesota — Martin Havlat and, most recently, Matt Cooke. Like Dumba, Cooke reached out to Boogaard’s family to get their blessing.
“The team told me they’re OK with me wearing it because Marty [Havlat] wore it after [Boogaard],” Cooke said, per the Star-Tribune. “I don’t really feel comfortable putting it on without his mum and dad’s blessing. I’ve sent emails off to them. I want to let them know that by putting it on I’m absolutely not doing anything disrespectful. It’s been my only number in the NHL, but at the end of the day, I don’t want anyone’s feelings hurt.
“I don’t want anyone to think that I am being disrespectful and I want to make sure I take care of that before I even entertain the thought of putting it on.”
Cooke was bought out of the final year of his deal last month, which paved the way for Dumba to inherit No. 24.
The Minnesota Wild are making a lineup change in the hopes of living to play another day.
Veteran defenseman Jordan Leopold, who’s appeared in all nine playoff games thus far, will be dropped from the lineup in Game 4 against Chicago in favor of Nate Prosser, who’ll make his postseason debut.
Prosser appeared in 63 games during the regular season and finished with two goals and seven points. According to head coach Mike Yeo, Prosser will help the club on the penalty kill; it’s also worth noting Leopold was barely used in the Game 3 loss to the ‘Hawks, getting just 8:36 of ice time.
As for other lineup notes:
— Prosser looks like he’ll be on a pairing with Mathew Dumba.
— Chris Stewart briefly participated in this morning’s skate, but looks like he’s still struggling with his upper-body injury and won’t suit up tonight.
— Projected lines, per the Star-Tribune:
The Tampa Bay Lightning could get a true defensive depth test tonight against Toronto.
Slater Koekkoek, the 10th overall pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, has been recalled and could make his NHL debut this evening in place of Victor Hedman, who’s questionable after barely playing in the third period of Monday’s win over Montreal.
Should Hedman miss, he’d join fellow blueliners Jason Garrison and Braydon Coburn on the shelf. Garrison, who suffered an upper-body injury on a questionable hit from Detroit’ Justin Abdelakder over the weekend, is out 3-4 weeks; Coburn, who suffered a lower-body injury earlier this month, isn’t expected back until the playoffs at the earliest.
While those ailments have made for some tough times on defense, the Bolts have to be excited about Koekkoek’s arrival. The 21-year-old is enjoying a solid campaign with AHL Syracuse — 24 points in 66 games — and has some serious pedigree, the seventh d-man taken in first round absolutely loaded with quality defensemen (like Hampus Lindholm, Morgan Rielly, Jacob Trouba, Cody Ceci, Olli Maatta, Ryan Murray, Mathew Dumba and Derrick Pouliot.)