Undermanned Wild dealing with salary cap problems

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Chuck Fletcher will be working the calculator hard over the next few days.

The Minnesota GM finds himself in a financial quandary ahead of tomorrow’s tilt against Buffalo — with Zach Parise, Marco Scandella and Zach Dalpe out week-to-week, Erik Haula out 7-10 days and Chris Stewart sick, the Wild only had 14 skaters at Monday’s practice.

Now, Fletcher will try to get some healthy bodies in the lineup — if he can.

From the Star-Tribune’s Mike Russo:

The Wild’s using eight real forwards in practice and defenseman Nate Prosser, so only three lines.

The Wild’s currently trying to figure out how it can afford three or four callups for Tuesday’s game for Buffalo. Will it have to play shorthanded? Will Prosser have to play wing?

Right now, yes, unless the Wild figures out a way to create cap space by putting Scandella and maybe Victor Bartley on LTI (Long-term injury allows you to surpass the cap, but you must get compliant when the player returns), although the rule is convoluted on Bartley because the Wild’s not absorbing his full cap hit in the first place after his training camp injury.

Per CapFriendly, the Wild are pushed right up against the cap ceiling. In Saturday’s 4-0 win over Dallas, the club gave AHL Iowa recalls Tyler Graovac and Cristoph Bertschy their season debuts, and both played well — Bertschy registered his first NHL point (an assist) while Graovac scored his first big-league goal.

It would be unfortunate if all these injuries and a tight cap situation derailed what’s been a great start to the year. The Wild are 6-2-1 and atop the Central Division, and have received terrific netminding from Devan Dubnyk, the NHL’s reigning second star of the week.

Related: They ‘don’t have superstars,’ but the Wild are off to a hot start