Minnesota Wild Reassigns Goaltender Johan Gustafsson


Dec 19, 2013; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Minnesota Wild goalie Johan Gustafsson (31) on the ice before playing the Pittsburgh Penguins at the CONSOL Energy Center. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Wild has reassigned rookie goaltender Johan Gustafsson to Iowa of the American Hockey League.

For now, the status of Minnesota’s top two goaltenders–Josh Harding and Niklas Backstrom–is unknown. However, there are no back-t0-back games between now and the Olympic break, and Darcy Kuemper’s impressive play almost guarantees Gustafsson will see zero action as a starter for the big club in that span. With that in mind, this is likely just a short demotion to give him a start in Iowa tonight before Minnesota’s Thursday night showdown with the Central division-leading Chicago Blackhawks.

For now, Gustafsson isn’t likely to see any action in Minnesota, but that doesn’t mean his development hits a brick wall. Any time he can get a start, whether it’s with Minnesota or Iowa, is another opportunity for growth and maturity as he continues to develop into a serious No. 1/No. 2 option for the club in St. Paul. In 16 games with Iowa this season, Gustafsson has gone 7-7-1 with a 2.75 goals against average, a .910 save percentage and one shutout.