Minnesota Wild Recall Stu Bickel


The Minnesota Wild have recalled defenseman (and occasional forward) Stu Bickel from the Iowa Wild.

After the team reassigned rookie Matt Dumba and Justin Falk to Iowa before the All-Star Break, it was clear the Wild would need to recall a defenseman once the break ended.

However, many were beginning to believe that Dumba had finally secured himself a place on the roster and that he’d get to play a few games with Iowa during the break, then get into the AHL All-Star Game (taking place Monday night), then return to the NHL. With the AHL All-Star game happening tonight, there’s still a chance (outside though it may be) that he plays in that game then gets recalled to the NHL. That… we’ll say theory… would have Bickel called up as insurance and another body for practice, which resumed this afternoon in Edmonton.

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But we’ve seen this movie before and know that Bickel is probably staying for a little while.

Bickel has worked his way into nine games with the Wild this season, recording no goals, one assist, 46 penalty minutes, three shots, and an average of 5:26 of ice time per game.

Therein lies the problem with the call-up of Bickel. I could understand and be sympathetic to the call-up if the team was calling him up because they trusted him and wanted his style of play in the game. I don’t necessarily think they should want that in the game, but if they had that conviction their returning to Bickel wouldn’t be so baffling.

The team has nine times this season given a spot on the roster to a player they barely trust to play. 5:26 is no ice time at all. Playing anyone else, anyone, would almost guarantee that the roster spot being used by Bickel would get more ice time.

As it stands, having any player at all who the coaches trust to only play roughly five minutes per game is a waste of roster space.

Here’s a look at usage and relative Corsi for Minnesota Wild defenseman to this point in the season.

The Wild begin a three-game Western Canada road trip on Tuesday with a game against the Edmonton Oilers, followed by the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks.