The Minnesota Wild‘s forward depth was already looking thin. It got even worse as Charlie Coyle, Marcus Foligno and Nino Niederreiter suffered injuries in the team’s 5-2 win over the Chicago Blackhawks on Thursday night. The Wild had 11 forwards going into this game, but finished with just eight forwards.
Coyle is expected to miss six to eight weeks with a right fibula fracture. Niederreiter will miss about three weeks with a high ankle sprain. And Foligno will miss at least one week with a left facial fracture.
Charlie Coyle, Nino Niederreiter and Marcus Foligno to IR as Minnesota Wild Injury Crisis Hits
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) October 13, 2017
Out of the three Wild players injured Thursday night, Coyle is the most notable. He had played in 316 consecutive games for the Wild, which was a franchise record. This included Coyle appearing in all 82 games in each of the past three seasons. The injury was sustained when he was hit by a shot from teammate Jared Spurgeon.
Coyle is coming off a career best 56 point year as he posted 18 goals and 38 assists. The 38 assists are also a career high. He has two assists in three games this season. Coyle was placed on long term injured reserve, undergoing successful surgery Friday afternoon.
Before placing Coyle on LTIR, the Wild were only $206,000 away from the salary cap floor. By making the move to LTIR, it allowed the Wild the flexibility to call up three players prior to their home opener tonight.
Niederreiter suffered the high ankle sprain after an opponent fell on him during Thursday night’s game. He was placed on injured reserve. Niederreiter had career highs in all categories as he posted 25 goals and 32 assists last season. In three games this season, he has been help pointless.
The move to put Niederreiter on IR gave Minnesota additional space on its active roster.
Foligno suffered a facial fracture after getting into a fight with Chicago’s John Hayden. He has recorded two assists in three games. Foligno had a career high 13 goals last season to go along with 10 assists. The 23 points tied a career high from 2015-16.
Goodnight sweet prince pic.twitter.com/WI2FhepIjB
— Pete Blackburn (@PeteBlackburn) October 13, 2017
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“What a great challenge,” Head coach Bruce Boudreau said on Thursday, “If we can come away from this in a good frame, that’s great. You have to accept challenges, and this is a real big challenge early on in the year.”
Luke Kunin was recalled earlier in the day on Friday. He will be making his NHL debut when the Wild welcome in the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight.
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