Darcy Kuemper Recalled By Minnesota Wild


The Minnesota Wild have recalled goaltender Darcy Kuemper from his conditioning stint with the Iowa Wild.

Kuemper came off injured reserve just prior to the NHL All-Star break and was sent down to Iowa on a conditioning stint just after the break ended. He got in five games while in the AHL with lows including getting pulled from his first game after allowing five goals on 28 shots through two periods. The highs swung all the way in the other direction with a 28-save shutout against the Adirondack Flames.

All in all, it wasn’t the trip down to the AHL that the Wild were hoping for. He didn’t find a rhythm and thrive in the AHL. He finished his five-game run with a .891 Sv%, allowing 15 goals in those five games.

Iowa is in last place in the AHL, but that can’t really be used as an excuse for his sub-.900 performance. Kuemper’s stint is a small sample size, but Josh Harding posted a .920 Sv% in two games, John Curry has a .917 through 21 games, and even Johan Gustafsson, who has been criticized for his performance this season, has a .896 through 26 games. Kuemper ranks below all three of them.

The Wild are a long way from giving up on Kuemper — and, frankly, if they were ready, there aren’t better options to back-up Devan Dubnyk, so they couldn’t give up on him. Fans could see Kuemper enter the lineup as soon as Tuesday, which will be the back end of a back-to-back for the Wild.

In fact, we could see a fair amount of Kuemper before the end of the season. It’s expected that Dubnyk will be starting the vast majority of the games from now until the end of the season, but the team has six back-to-backs left this season and while Yeo has tried riding a goalie through the back-to-back this season, knowing how well that goes historically even for the best of goaltenders will derail that plan. At a minimum there’s a good chance we’ll see someone other than Dubnyk in those six games, if not more. That spot is Kuemper’s to lose. He’s played better than Niklas Backstrom this season and has a future. The team will turn to him first.