Charlie Coyle’s days in the American Hockey League are likely over. Within the span of just one year, the Massachusetts native went from playing for Saint John of the QMJHL to suiting up for the NHL’s Minnesota Wild while making a brief half-season stop with the Houston Aeros—Minnesota’s farm team.
After making his NHL debut Monday night against the Phoenix Coyotes, a game in which he certainly didn’t look out of place skating on the second line with Pierre-Marc Bouchard and Matt Cullen, young Mr. Coyle was promoted to Minnesota’s top line in practice. Coyle, a natural center who has seen a lot of time at right wing, took Dany Heatley’s spot on the line that also features star players Zach Parise and Wild captain Mikko Koivu. Heatley has struggled during the past few games, firing eight shots in goal in the last six games and has been held off the score sheet in the past three. He was moved down to the Bouchard-Cullen line for the day’s practice.
While Wild Head Coach Mike Yeo said that the lines were just for practice, don’t be surprised if Minnesota does switch Heatley and Coyle for tomorrow’s game against the division rival Canucks. According to Michael Russo of the Star Tribune, Devin Setoguchi and Mikael Granlund, two forward that had a great outing on the fourth line with Zenon Konopka against the Coyotes, were switching out on the Wild’s third line. With Setoguchi being shopped to prospective buyers, it’s likely Granlund will be the odd man out. Torrey Mitchell, who also looked fantastic against the ‘Yotes after being moved up to the third line, is back on the newly revamped fourth line with Konopka and Mike Rupp, who will be skating in his Wild debut.
Gone Puck Wild will have more as the story develops.