Chalk one up for those who are staunch supporters of their star players not engaging in fisticuffs.
Fans of the Minnesota Wild would have wished that Matt Dumba wouldn’t have thrown a “wild punch” at Matthew Tkachuk in a game against the Calgary Flames on Dec. 15.
The fight happened just 40 seconds into the first period. The result? A torn pectoral muscle, surgery, and an indefinite timeline for return.
Dumba, who led the NHL in defenseman scoring prior to the injury, told the Star Tribune’s Sarah McLellan that he was “angry.”
“I was angry and threw a wild punch that didn’t connect,” Dumba said Friday. “I had a bunch of stitches in my face and I think he rubbed those, had hit those a couple times, and it made me pretty angry.”
Dumba, wearing a brace around his right arm, told reporters that he didn’t feel the pain of the injury until he had a chance to calm down in the penalty box.
Dumba’s surgery came on Dec. 26 and along with it, a three-month timetable to return. On Friday, Dumba didn’t have a firm return date.
“It’s pretty slow to start here,” he told NHL.com. “Everything is just letting it heal, letting it get the rest that it needs. That’s our focus right now. I’ve been doing that and making sure this repairs the right way.”
Dumba will be stuck in that brace for a few more weeks before he can start rehabilitating the injury.
The Wild could sure use their best defenseman in the fight for a playoff spot. They could use that scoring — the Wild are 25th in goals-for this season. It appears that if he’s to play again this season, it might not be until the playoffs begin in early April.