Stephane Veilleux Up, Brett Sutter Down


In corresponding moves on Wednesday, the Minnesota Wild reassigned Brett Sutter to the Iowa Wild and recalled Stephane Veilleux for just the second time this season.

Sutter was called up on Tuesday after both Jason Zucker and Ryan Carter were injured in Monday’s game. Both players are out long-term and the team is likely searching for a long-term solution to the problem. Zucker will miss at least the rest of the regular season and Carter is out upwards of a month.

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Sutter was a bit invisible in Tuesday’s OT loss to the Winnipeg Jets. He logged just 10:31 of ice time, 2:12 of which was on the penalty kill. He had two hits and no shots.

The loss of Zucker and Carter created the need for a penalty killer to enter the lineup in addition to Justin Fontaine being taken off injured reserve. Sutter wasn’t a huge difference maker on the penalty kill and the team likely doesn’t want Mikko Koivu to be one of the guys absorbing a lot of PK minutes. He played 3:14 on the penalty kill on Tuesday, second most among Wild forwards, and played 22:31 overall, the most among Wild forwards.

The loss of Matt Cooke for 5-6 weeks also adds to the pressure to find players who can chew up penalty kill minutes. As does Erik Haula‘s struggles. He’s not played well offensively this season and has been scratched regular in 2015. His abilities on the penalty kill may make him a roster fixture though.

The loss of Cooke, Zucker, and Carter has the Wild without three of their top six forwards, in terms of minutes per game on the PK.

The recall of Veilleux may be with an eye on this problem. Sutter probably offers more offensively than Veilleux. He can play up into the third line if necessary, offers physicality, and has a more deft scoring touch than Veilleux. (Sutter has seven goals and 11 assists through 45 AHL games, Veilleux has two goals and 12 assists through 43 games.)

However, Veilleux is a big asset on the penalty kill and can eat some of those minutes the way Cooke or Kyle Brodziak can. Veilleux played five games with the Wild earlier in the year, averaging just 6:48 of ice time per game and registering no points and four shots.

Next: Is Christian Folin Playing Worse Than Nate Prosser?