TAMPA, Fla. — The Wild will be without Jared Spurgeon for “approximately” two weeks after he injured his right hand in Tuesday night’s game against the Florida Panthers.
The veteran defenseman wasn’t at the team’s practice Wednesday as they prepared for Thursday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Spurgeon was injured in the first period Tuesday when he took an Aleksander Barkov shot to the hand during a Panthers power play.
Wild captain Mikko Koivu also left that game because of an undisclosed injury and wasn’t practicing Wednesday. His status is day-to-day, the team said in a release that also termed Spurgeon’s injury “upper body.”
The Wild’s three-game East Coast swing ends Saturday in Carolina.
Spurgeon plays on the Wild’s top pair with Ryan Suter; the Wild could plug his spot with a right shot from Iowa in the American Hockey League.
Louie Belpedio, one of the final cuts in training camp, and Woodbury’s Brennan Menell are both healthy and have had steady starts to their seasons in Des Moines.
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Right shot Greg Pateryn, who’s on the mend from core muscle surgery, is also with Iowa for a conditioning assignment. His first game is scheduled for Wednesday, and the plan is also for him to play Friday. But that could change.
Pateryn has already been activated from injured reserve. Matt Dumba is the only right-shot defenseman among the six currently with the team; Nick Seeler has been a healthy scratch for 24 games and has remained with the team all season. He would need to clear waivers to be sent to Iowa.
Despite being one of the NHL’s smallest defensemen at 5-foot-9 and 170 pounds, Spurgeon has been durable during his 10-year NHL career. He played in all 82 games last season and had career highs with 14 goals and 29 assists.
In September, Spurgeon signed a seven-year, $53 million contract extension that begins next season.
The Wild has a spare forward on the trip to replace Koivu if necessary. Ryan Donato sat out Tuesday’s game.
Lines at practice were Jason Zucker-Eric Staal-Mats Zuccarello, Zach Parise-Luke Kunin-Kevin Fiala, Jordan Greenway-Joel Eriksson Ek-Ryan Hartman, and Donato-Victor Rask-Marcus Foligno.
Defensive pairs were Suter-Dumba, Jonas Brodin-Carson Soucy and Seeler-Brad Hunt.