Justin Falk Recalled By Minnesota Wild


The Minnesota Wild recalled defenseman Justin Falk on Tuesday. Falk’s recall was necessitated by Nate Prosser getting sick, presumably with the virus that has been winding it’s way through the team.

Falk has been up and down a lot this season — this is the fifth time the team has recalled Falk.

The glut of recalls highlights the Wild’s problems on defense this year. It’s not just the ridiculous number of man-games lost to illness and injury this season, but lack of options on the left side, particularly for the third pairing.

I talked about it a bit yesterday in a post on the team’s slump, but there’s a real problem on the left side. With Keith Ballard on IR (here’s an update on Ballard), Yeo has been playing Prosser, a right-handed shot, on the left side. Prosser is a right side guy and Yeo was reluctant to let him play there last year. But, he’s been willing to play Prosser on his off-hand more often than he’s interested in playing the team’s top left-handers remaining: Falk and Stu Bickel.

After those two on the depth chart it’s Danny Syvret and then Guillaume Gelinas and Corbin Baldwin (who is actually in the ECHL with the Aces). Gustav Olofsson would also be an option if he was healthy.

Point being: It’s thin. The best option is a guy who was benched instead of having to play his off-hand last year.

Chuck Fletcher hasn’t been secretive about the desire to find a defenseman, but the problem on the left side may change the priorities of what kind of a defenseman the team should acquire and how quickly they’ll need to make a decision. (Which can easily effect the quality of the players available.)

Stop gap solutions, guys who are true third pairing guys and won’t be the first choice to play up the roster if there’s injury in the top four, have passed the team by, including when the team showed interest David Schlemko when he was placed on waivers, but the Stars claimed him first.

The Wild need to address the problem soon. We keep seeing injuries and illness forcing players out of the roster, which serves as a weekly reminder of the issue.