Just when everything seemed to get back to normal, with a fully healthy Minnesota Wild roster that would hopefully reclaim they’re spot among the best teams in the NHL, another key piece is out with an injury.
During Thursday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres, captain Jared Spurgeon lasted just one shift in the third period, but had to leave off the bench and head down to the trainer’s room. According to head coach Dean Evason, the 32-year-old has reaggravated the lower-body injury that kept him out for eight games.
“It’s not good,” Evason said. The coach also confirmed that Spurgeon will not play in the Wild’s upcoming game against the Florida Panthers on Saturday.
The two-way stalwart that has led this team from the back so many times, returned for just four appearances — and earned three points along the way — but it seems like the spot just unfortunately did not heal completely. Similar to his initial injury on Nov. 20, Spurgeon didn’t have any significant collision, or a noticeable moment that caused the injury. He was just on the bench one minute, and gone the next.
Where the Wild go from here can be certainly interesting, especially considering that they did their eight-game win streak without their captain on their blue line. Jordie Benn would be the most predictable answer, as he was on the bottom pairing during that run, and then they would call-up a stand-in like Kevin Czuczman to serve time as the extra defenseman. Or, they can go ahead and grab Calen Addison away from Iowa and hope that he plays well enough consistently to earn a more regular spot whenever someone is missing from the cemented six-man blue line. Those are the only two realistic options and either could honestly work. There’s no replacing Jared Spurgeon, but this would at least put a familiar band-aid over the hole that he leaves.