Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba / Instagram

NHL on NBCSN: Dumba raising awareness for Australia wildfire relief

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NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with Tuesday’s matchup between the Minnesota Wild and Pittsburgh Penguins. Coverage begins at 6 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Matt Dumba had an early start to his off-season last April, something he’d never experienced in the NHL. After the Minnesota Wild failed to make the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2012, the defenseman wanted to use the time off for a unique vacation.

Dumba ended up choosing Australia and spent two and a half weeks traveling up and down the country’s East Coast with his best friend.

Aside from the relaxation that vacations offer, the trip served another purpose for Dumba. It allowed him to mentally unwind after missing the final four months of the season after suffering a torn pectoral muscle following a December fight.

“It was amazing over there,” Dumba told reporters last week. “I don’t think I realized how much the injury weighed on me. I went back home and just wasn’t myself. I was able to get away to Australia with my best friend and we just took it all in.”

So when Dumba saw the images coming out of the country following wildfires that have destroyed thousands of homes and killed 24 people and countless animals, he felt the need to help. Last Tuesday, the defenseman was at home watching the Minnesota Timberwolves game and posted to his Instagram that he would donate $100 for every point they scored that night to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service to help fight the fires and help victims. He also urged followers to donate and spread awareness about the issue on their own social channels. 

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As you all have seen across the news and Instagram, Australia is currently in a state of emergency with devastating fires sweeping across the lands, affecting habitats, communities, killing millions of animals and taking human lives. It’s hard to understand the dramatic impact this is having sitting safely on the other side of the world, but not to long ago I was on that side of the world. After the season last year I was able to travel to Australia with my one my best friends. We travelled the entire east coast top to bottom over 2 1/2 weeks. After a long hard season dealing with injury I was able to escape and take my mind off all the what if’s. I fell in love with this beautiful country. It breaks my heart seeing the tragedy they are facing. So I want to do my part and personally donate funds to help fight these fires and hopefully motivate you to do whatever you can to help. With Minnesota being my home and the TWolves being my team I’ll be most definitely watching them tonight against the Grizzlies, I’ve decided to donate $100 for every point the T Wolves score directly to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service. Please help me by donating whatever you can to help with this cause and put an end to these fires. Whether that’s $5, $100 or even just sharing this post if you are not in a position to donate right now, every small action helps when we come together. Click the link in my bio to donate directly to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service to help fight the fires and care for the victims of this tragic event.

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The T-Wolves put up 112 points that night and Dumba donated $11,200 to the cause. He’s also put the donation link to the New South Wales Rural Fire Service in his Instagram bio.

As Dumba goes through the photos of his trip now, he can’t help but notice that many of the same areas he enjoyed in April are now destroyed.

“I’ve seen on social media some of the exact pictures I had taken, with those landscapes ablaze,” he said. “That was hard for me to even picture. When I was there, it was gorgeous. To see it all up in flames, it’s crazy. It’s just so sad.”

Tuesday night’s studio coverage will be hosted by Kathryn Tappen alongside Keith Jones and Anson Carter. John Forslund and AJ Mleczko will call the action from Pittsburgh.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Q&A: Matt Dumba on fighting, Wild’s busy offseason

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No NHL team had fewer home wins (16) than the Minnesota Wild last season. Matt Dumba had to watch a lot of losing nights as he sat out injured for the final three-and-a-half months after rupturing his right pectoralis muscle in a December fight.

It wasn’t easy for the Wild defenseman to be unable to help his teammates out and right the ship of a season that would end with their lowest point total over a full season since 2011-12 and lead to a summer of change.

“Yeah, that was a tough. That was hard for me watching that, but there’s no real explanation for it,” Dumba told NBC Sports. “It can be electric in there, especially if we get a good run going. People in Minnesota, it’s the state of hockey, it’s just waiting to erupt. I know the new guys who come on board and say how crazy it is here when we are in the playoffs. For the guys who missed out on that last season, it’s unfortunate. We’ve got to get back there and show them.”

We spoke to Dumba at the NHL Player Media Tour earlier this month about his season-ending fight, the Wild’s offseason, and more.

Enjoy.

Q. Have the Wild been running in place?

DUMBA: “I think so, yeah, since I’ve been with the squad. The scenery’s nice in the playoffs but you’ve got to work your way up the mountain. I think that’s where we’re trying to climb. The climb this year is just take that next step and really just start getting up there.”

“We’re not satisfied with just making it to that first round or to the second round. I’ve done that. We want bigger and better things for our team. I think everyone on our squad, just the morale and talking to the guys, that’s what we need to do is band together and find a way to make this happen.”

Q. Front office change. Did you see that coming? Does it affect anything you guys do on the ice?

DUMBA: “No, I don’t think really affects all that much just initially. I’ve heard all good things about Bill [Guerin] and his vision, what he wants to do here and how he wants to play, I think you’ll definitely see the transition this year. We plan on making some big moves in this division.”

Q. You were injured in a fight. What happened there?

DUMBA: “It was just kind of a wild punch that just kind of got away from me, just kept extending away from the body. There was a pop and I knew it wasn’t good. That was unfortunate, just a freak accident.”

Q. Have you retired as a fighter?

DUMBA: “I can’t say that. Like any fighter, any competitor, athlete, that’s why you come back, that’s why you train so hard, to get back to where you once were. I still believe it’s part of this game and a necessary part of this game. I’m not ruling myself out or jumping into a fight in my first game. Whatever happens, happens.”

Q. Were you upset a team in your division won the Stanley Cup?

DUMBA: “That rattles me. I don’t want to see anyone win. I just turn off the TV. I missed hockey a lot this year, so I did watch the playoffs, but certain teams I had a tough time watching and my friends knew that. It’s tough, it’s really hard to say. But like any guy, you want to be there, you want to see your team have that success. It’s hard when you see one of your rivals do so well.”

Q. Do you see red when you see Blues?

DUMBA: “I think there’s little rivalries in the Central with every team. I think that’s what gets you up for those games. It kind of pushes you and your your game to another level. I’m always happen and excited to play those games, but there’s no love there, that’s for sure.”

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Matt Dumba’s ‘anger’ led to indefinite stint on sidelines

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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.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Wild’s Dumba out at least 3 months after surgery

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota Wild defenseman Matt Dumba is expected to miss at least three months after surgery to repair a ruptured right pectoralis muscle.

The Wild said Wednesday that Dumba’s surgery was performed by Dr. Brad Nelson at TRIA Orthopaedic Center.

The 24-year-old Dumba didn’t play in the last two periods of the Wild’s 2-1 loss to the Calgary Flames on Dec. 15. He leads NHL defensemen with 12 goals and has 22 points overall in 32 games.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/tag/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Flames’ Lomberg ejected for jumping Wild’s Dumba after questionable hit

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(UPDATE: Lomberg has been automatically suspended for one game and Flames head coach Bill Peters has been fined $10,000, per the NHL Department of Player Safety, as per rule 46.22, Instigating in the Final Five Minutes of Regulation. He’ll also have a hearing today for “a legal line change for the purpose of starting an altercation.” That could end up being a fine or multi-game ban. In other discipline news from the gameMark Giordano will have a hearing today for kneeing Mikko Koivu.)

A wild finished between the Calgary Flames and Minnesota Wild saw a massive (questionable?) hit, an ejection and a seven-minute power play on Thursday.

A heated contest came to a head with under a minute left in the third period with the Flames holding a 2-0 lead.

Wild defenseman Matt Dumba stepped up in the Flames zone and delivered a hit to Mikael Backlund. There are a couple of angles to watch. One of them shows Dumba jumping into the hit and the other shows his shoulder hitting Backlund square in the face.

Here’s the tape:

Backlund was forced out of the game and could be out for a while, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.

Appears he was in concussion protocol, as well.

The Flames didn’t take too kindly to the hit and Ryan Lomberg came off the bench on a line change and made a b-line right to Dumba, jumping him and getting one punch in before the refs piled on top of the two.

Lomberg got two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting and a game misconduct for his efforts. The power play for Minnesota didn’t amount to anything as Mike Smith stood tall for the 31-save shutout.

Dumba was not penalized on the play.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck