Stu Bickel

Schroeder, Bickel recalled by Minnesota Wild


The Minnesota Wild have recalled forward Jordan Schroeder and defenseman Stu Bickel from Iowa of the American Hockey League.

Schroeder, a first round pick of the Vancouver Canucks (22nd overall) in 2009, leads Iowa in points (11), assists (7) and shots (37) in 12 games this season. The Prior Lake, Minn native appeared in 56 career NHL games in parts of two seasons with the Canucks scoring six goals and 15 points. The 24-year-old signed a two-year, $1.2 million contract with Minnesota on July 11.

Bickel, 28, three assists and a team-leading 30 penalty minutes in nine games with Iowa this season. The Chanhassen, Minn., appeared in five preseason games with the NHL club registering an assist and 19 penalty minutes while playing both forward and defense. Bickel has appeared in 67 career NHL games with the New York Rangers registering nine assists and 157 penalty minutes. He also appeared in 18 playoff games with the Rangers. Bickel signed as a free agent with Minnesota on July 1.

Both players spent time with the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. If they play, Bickel and Schroeder will become the 19th and 20th Minnesota natives to appear in a game for the Wild.

Minnesota returns to action Thursday night when they entertain the Buffalo Sabres.

Wild make flurry of moves, Haula out tonight


The Minnesota Wild will enter tonight’s game against the Boston Bruins without forward Erik Haula. The good news is that he might not be dealing with a concussion after absorbing a high hit from the Rangers’ John Moore.

“It was pretty much our call to keep him out,” Wild coach Mike Yeo explained, per the Star Tribune. “We were told he’s not diagnosed with a concussion, but sometimes those symotoms, a couple days later you end up finding out. So we have to make sure and protect the player in this case. We’re not 100 percent confident that he’s not at a risk of going out and playing tonight and taking another hit.

“We have to look at the big picture and have to be concerned about the player’s health.”

Moore has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday and because the league gave him the option of appearing in person, the NHL could suspend him for more than five games. You can see the incident below:

Meanwhile, the Wild announced that Keith Ballard and Christian Folin have been placed on the injured reserve list due to an illness. The move is retroactive and they can be activated as soon as they’re healthy.

Minnesota has also called up Justin Falk and Stu Bickel. Falk should play in tonight’s contest.

Report: Wild waive tough guy Bickel


Minnesota has put veteran tough guy Stu Bickel on waivers, per the Star-Tribune.

Bickel, 28, inked a one-year deal with the Wild this summer after spending most of his professional career with the Rangers’ organization. A Minnesota native that played one season with the NCAA’s Golden Gophers, Bickel didn’t dress for either of the Wild’s opening two games of the season against Colorado.

Bickel’s best NHL campaign came under John Tortorella with the Rangers in 2011-12, when he played in a career-high 51 regular season games and appeared in 18 playoff contests during New York’s run to the Eastern Conference Final.

While this isn’t an earth-shattering transaction, it does fall in line with the recent trend of teams not carrying enforcers on their 23-man rosters. The Leafs waived Colton Orr and Frazer McLaren prior to the start of the regular season, while the Flyers did the same with Zack Stortini and Jay Rosehill.


Report: Zuccarello unsure about returning to Rangers


The New York Rangers could use a spark in their game and one familiar face from last season could provide it. The question is, do the Rangers want to bring back Mats Zuccarello?

According to a report out of Norway, shared by Andrew Gross at The Bergen Record, even he’s not sure if the Rangers are truly interested.

“The last thing I heard was that they are interested and we’ll just have to see if they still are,” said Zuccarello, his quotes translated from Norwegian. “I haven’t quite decided yet. But it’s the NHL so if the chance comes, of course it’s tempting.”

New York’s interest in wanting “The Hobbit” to come back to Broadway isn’t new as there’s been talk about this already. For Zuccarello, it’s likely he’ll want some assurances before coming back to the NHL. Locking up a one-way deal that makes it more of a financial bite for the team to send him to the AHL if need be would be a good one as coach John Tortorella went through the motions when it came to his game.

One thing’s for sure, the kind of offensive lift he can provide to even the fourth line has to be better than what they’re getting out of guys like Stu Bickel.

Rangers call up 2010 second-round pick Thomas


The injury bug has got a hold of the Rangers now.

The team is already dealing with Rick Nash being out of action through the weekend but now it looks like you can add Arron Asham to that list as well. To make up for his absence the team is dipping into their stock of youth yet again and, according to Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants, have called up 20 year-old Christian Thomas from AHL Connecticut.

As Gross notes, however, this could also mean Nash is headed for injured reserve to let the team add another body.

The Rangers used Stu Bickel as a forward in their last game, a shootout loss to Ottawa, and he played just over six minutes of game time. With the kind of wear and tear other players are taking up front, having one guy get such little time doesn’t help much.

Thomas was the Rangers’ second-round pick in the 2010 draft (40th overall) and he’s the son of former NHL power forward Steve Thomas. Don’t you feel a little older now? Good.