The bad news is Minnesota Wild top-4 defenseman Marco Scandella is out with a sprained MCL and won’t return until possibly February 27th. The good news is that the team only has one more game before the Olympic break, meaning Scandella could very well miss just one game. That’s what the team is hoping at least, as reported by Star Tribune Wild beat writer Michael Russo.
Sprained knee for Scandella. It's sprained MCL, I hear, which again is best news possible. #mnwild hopes he'll be close to ready by Feb 27
— Michael Russo (@Russostrib) February 5, 2014
In the meantime, it looks like tomorrow night’s defensive pairs will be:
Ryan Suter – Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin – Nate Prosser
Clayton Stoner – Keith Ballard
Not shabby by any means, but it could use an upgrade prior to the trade deadline. Defensemen rumored to be in play include the Rangers’ Dan Girardi, the Islanders’ Andrew MacDonald and the Penguins’ Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen.
With a game to go until the Olympic break, and four until the March 5th NHL trade deadline, Wild GM Chuck Fletcher needs to assess the team’s injury situation and depth at all positions. Minnesota has been fortunate so many players have stepped up and played well when key players have been forced on the shelf, but there’s no guarantee the team can continue to do so should matters get any worse. He’s certainly got a lot to think about heading into the break.