The Red Deer Rebels could use a puck-moving defenceman right about now — yesterday, actually — and Mathew Dumba would fit the bill nicely.
But the Minnesota Wild will decide where Dumba will play this season and that decision may come later than sooner.
The 19-year-old rearguard has appeared in nine regular-season NHL contests with the Wild this fall and one more appearance will start the clock ticking on his three-year entry-level contract. Dumba has registered two points (1-1) with Minnesota but struggled mightily in his last outing — Monday’s 5-1 loss to the visiting Chicago Blackhawks.
Nevertheless, head coach Mike Yeo, for one, isn’t in a hurry to reassign Dumba to the Rebels and in fact may never feel that way.
“No decision right now,” Yeo told the Minneapolis StarTribune. “If he played his best game (Monday), we were not going to overreact one way and if he played his worst game, we were not going to overreact one way. We were just going to judge this as a whole and we’ll keep going day-by-day and see what happens.”
While Wild GM Chuck Fletcher might not even be focused on the 10-game rule, clearly the club needs more time to decide on Dumba’s fate for this season.
Asked if Dumba will be a healthy scratch when the Wild host Montreal tonight, Yeo responded: “Yeah.”
l Still with the Rebels, who open a six-game road trip tonight against the Victoria Royals, GM/head coach Brent Sutter reassigned 16-year-old defenceman Austin Shmoorkoff to the midget AAA Edmonton Canadians Thursday.
Shmoorkoff had zero points and two minutes in penalties in six games with the Rebels.
l Forward Steven Hodges, a third-round NHL draft pick of the Florida Panthers in 2012, will return to the Royals lineup for the first time tonight after undergoing leg surgery.
However, the Rebels won’t have to face star defenceman Joe Hicketts, who is out indefinitely due to upper-body surgery that followed an injury he suffered last weekend.
“We’re obviously disappointed. You can’t replace Joe,” Royals head coach Dave Lowry told the Victoria Times Colonist.
Call it an apparent low-risk experiment that went sour.
When the Moose Jaw Warriors acquired Todd Fiddler from the Spokane Chiefs in May, they had visions of him repeating his 42-goal season as a 20-year-old veteran. But Fiddler, who cost the Warriors a third-round pick in next year’s bantam draft, managed a mere two goals and 10 points — with both goals and five points coming in one game — in 14 games when his time in Moose Jaw came to an abrupt end earlier this week.
Warriors GM Allan Millar told the Moose Jaw Times Herald that he met with Fiddler to discuss his status with the team and the player ultimately left.
“Basically things hadn’t been going very well with Fiddler in terms of his play and his production. He was a healthy scratch in two of our last three games. I guess the writing was on the wall that something was going to give,” said Millar, who added that Fiddler admitted his preference was to play at the junior A level for the rest of the season.
Millar admitted that he doesn’t expect he’ll be able to trade Fiddler to another WHL team.
“I think those avenues are exhausted,” he said. “I’m unsure if there’s an opportunity for him in the league and furthermore I’m unsure that Todd wants that opportunity.”
Red Deer native and former Calgary Hitmen star defenceman Paul Postma will be lost to the Winnipeg Jets for an indefinite period after a blood clot was discovered in his leg.
Postma most recently played in a 2-1 shootout win over the Dallas Stars last Saturday and told reporters he had an “awkward pain” in his calf a few days earlier.
“It didn’t feel right. There was part of me that didn’t know why it was hurting so much. I talked to our trainers about it and went and got it checked out, and it turned out to be a blood clot,” said Postma, who was told that he might be out for several months.
“I don’t really know much about blood clots. You don’t really hear about them too often,” he added.
“When (the doctor) told me the timeline that they were thinking of, it really startled me and I was in shock. I can’t really believe it happened.”