The Minnesota Wild has no shortage of black aces.
The club announced this afternoon that it had recalled eight players from the Iowa Wild, Minnesota’s top minor league affiliate. Forwards Raphael Bussieres, Jake Dowell, Tyler Graovac, Carson McMillan and Zack Phillips, defensemen Steven Kampfer and Jon Landry and goaltender Johan Gustafsson have all made the trip up to St. Paul.
Per the team:
Bussieres, 20, collected 19 points (5-14=19) and 51 penalty minutes (PIM) in 61 games during his first season with Iowa.
Dowell, 29, had 19 points (7-12=19) and 56 PIM in 57 games with Iowa. He was named the Fred T. Hunt Memorial Award recipient as the AHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of sportsmanship, determination and dedication to hockey on April 11, 2014. Dowell also appeared in one game with Minnesota this season at Chicago on April 3, 2014.
Graovac, 20, led Iowa rookies in scoring with 25 points (13-12=25) in 64 games.
Gustafsson, 22, went 12-20-4 with a 2.98 goals-against average (GAA), a .903 save percentage (SV%) and one shutout in 40 games with Iowa.
Kampfer, 25, recorded 26 points (6-20=26) and 48 PIM in 69 games with Iowa.
Landry, 30, notched 18 assists in 50 games and led the team with a plus-10 rating.
McMillan, 25, tallied 28 points (12-16=28) in 68 games with Iowa and skated in one game with Minnesota vs. New Jersey on Nov. 3, 2013.
Phillips, 21, ranked second on Iowa in scoring this season with 33 points (12-21=33), including four power-play goals in 76 games.
Bussieres (second round, 2012), Graovac (seventh round, 2011), Gustafsson (sixth round, 2010) and Phillips (first round, 2011) are four of the club’s more notable youngsters, and are poised for a big 2014-15 season after a valiant effort in the Baby Wild’s first season since being relocated to Des Moines from Houston. They’ll practice separately from the big club, ready to suit up if needed.
Finally, we have more news on the Matt Cooke front. For his hit on Colorado defenseman Tyson Barrie, the Wild grinder will receive an in-person hearing tomorrow at 12:30 PM Eastern Time in New York. Avalanche fans have until then to craft a noose to their liking for no doubt the worst player to ever lace up his skates.
For what it’s worth, TSN’s Scott Cullen had this to say:
Matt Cooke (2008-11): 1.56 PIM/gm Matt Cooke (2012-2014): 0.63 PIM/gm There's no excusing hit on Barrie, but he has changed how he plays.
— Scott Cullen (@tsnscottcullen) April 22, 2014
Inconceivable, I know, but the fact remains, if it was Cooke’s intent to injure anyone, he would have made the more logical move to eliminate the guy killing Minnesota–Nathan MacKinnon. Make of that what you will. We’ll have more on Cooke after tomorrow’s hearing.