Just when you thought maybe the Wild were done making moves and that this year’s NHL trade deadline would come and go with the Wild keeping their team as is, everything changed.
The Wild first added some depth at defense by getting Jordan Leopold from Columbus. It was no secret Leopold wanted to get to Minnesota. He grew up here, played college hockey here, his wife and kids still live here and now Jordan will get to join them and play for his hometown team the Minnesota Wild.READ MORE: St. Paul School Board Chair Jeanelle Foster Recovering From COVID
With injuries to Jared Spurgeon and Marco Scandella, there’s no question the Wild were looking to add to their D-line. Leopold should be a great fit and we’ll find out Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Center when he makes his debut in a Wild sweater. He’ll likely take Scandella’s spot playing opposite Matt Dumba.
Talking to the media, Leopold said, “It will be pretty nuts” — referring to putting on a Wild jersey and stepping on to the ice. No question you’ll hear a lot of family and friends cheering for Jordan tonight, and he said “anyone who know me and has my number has contacted me.”
Leopold is excited to be home and to be on a team that is a playoff contender.
“This team is hot right now,” Leopold said. “I’ve always followed the Wild, they’re my hometown team.”READ MORE: What Is Proper Fall Clean-Up Etiquette? And What Methods Are Best For Your Lawn?
The Wild weren’t done adding to their roster, just before the 2 p.m. deadline they also added forward Chris Stewart from Buffalo. Stewart — at 6-foot-2, 231 pounds — will add some much needed size to the Wild lineup. Something they’ve been missing since losing Matt Cooke and Ryan Carter to injuries.
Stewart is also expected to make his Wild debut at the X Tuesday. He’s expected to play on a line with Thomas Vanek and Mikko Koivu.
Talking to media after practice Tuesday, Stewart talked about the prospect of playing with Vanek and Koivu, saying “Those are some good line mates to have.” He added, “my job is to get in the corners and create space for those guys to do their thing and get to the net.”
Much like Leopold, Stewart is also excited to be joining a team that’s making a run for the playoffs.
“It’s a dream come true,” Stewart said.MORE NEWS: Online Learning Apps Helping Kids Catch Up From Pandemic-Compromised School Year
If you haven’t been following the Wild very closely, now’s the time to jump on board. They’ll host the Ottawa Senators Tuesday night at the Xcel Energy Center. The Sens are coming in pretty hot and they’ve scored at least a point in 8 of their last 10 games. But the Wild are pretty hot right now too, losing only 3 games in the month of February.