Losers in seven of their last 10, the Minnesota Wild shook things up on Monday.
The club recalled a trio of veterans from AHL Houston — forwards Jake Dowell and Stephane Veilleux, goalie Josh Harding — and sent down a trio of youngsters in forwards Mikael Granlund and Jason Zucker, and goalie Darcy Kuemper.
Of the three call-ups, Veilleux is probably the most surprising. The 31-year-old hasn’t played in a game this season and appeared in just 21 contests for the Wild last season after being acquired from New Jersey in the Marek Zidlicky deal.
Veilleux spent eight years with the organization before joining Tampa Bay for the 2009-10 season.
Dowell, 28, has also yet to appear in a game this season for the Wild, but did play in 52 games for Dallas last season, recording 2G-5A-7PTS.
Both players have a bit of NHL postseason experience (Veilleux 11 games, Dowell two).
As for Harding, the recall marks his return to the club after a setback with multiple sclerosis.
It was clear the Wild needed a more veteran presence than Kuemper to back up Niklas Backstrom — head coach Mike Yeo seemed hesitant to play the 22-year-old down the stretch and, as a result, Backstrom has started the last 11 games.
The 35-year-old Finn may be showing signs of fatigue, as he’s surrendered 14 goals on his last 92 shots — a .848 save percentage.