Saturday’s game is not only the Minnesota Wild’s seventh and final game of the preseason but a sneak peak of what to expect for Thursday’s opener.
Outside of a few last-minute tweaks, the vast bulk of the lineup against the Stars is likely the one that will be in place when the Wild host the New York Rangers to begin the regular season.
Or it seems pretty safe to believe so, including a spot for Marco Rossi.
“To say something like that is a little premature right now,” Wild coach Dean Evason said during a media availability session on Friday. “We like all the guys here … and (Steven) Fogarty, we liked his game this preseason. We have a lot of people, including if we do send somebody down from here (to the minors), that could come and give us quality, quality minutes.
“Not just play on our fourth line, but give us an opportunity to continue to have success,” Evason said, “if in fact we need somebody (due to) injury, or what have you. Are we anticipating keeping everybody? Probably not. But we’re not in a big rush to do anything either”
The Wild placed Fogarty on waivers on Thursday for the purpose of assigning him to the Iowa and the AHL. That brought the Wild’s training camp roster to 26 players heading into Saturday’s game. It came on the heels of a series of moves the franchise made on Wednesday.
Forwards Adam Beckman, Mitchell Chaffee, Nick Swaney and defenseman Ryan O’Rourke were all assigned to Iowa, In addition, defenseman Carson Lambos was assigned to the Winnipeg Ice of the Western Hockey League, and forward Brandon Baddock and goalie Zane McIntyre were both released with the plan to assign the two to Iowa.
Teams are allowed to have a maximum of 23 players on the active roster during the regular season and dress 20 for each game.
Wild forward Marcus Foligno, who is in his sixth season with Minnesota, said on Friday., said he has liked the way the franchise is trending with the mix of veterans and prospects during training camp.
“We’ve seen a lot of young guys and prospects … a lot of guys who have played really well in this camp,” Foligno said. “It’s just exciting to see the promise we have with the future of this team. What’s cool with being a older guy is just seeing the younger guys coming up and a lot of good, good dudes. with great backgrounds work-ethic wise. Me being a blue-collar guy, it’s nice to see.
“Everyone has bought into Dean (Evason) and the message and the way that we play,” Foligno said. “It’s been a great preseason as a team. It’s exciting for Wild fans to see what we have down the pipeline.”