ST. PAUL — As the Wild progress through training camp, with coach Bruce Boudreau saying cuts would happen faster than usual this season, some players are doing everything they can to stand out.
That would explain why winger JT Brown and defenseman Louie Belpedio — both fringe players — dropped the gloves during Monday, Sept. 16’s scrimmage.
“You could see there are guys, when I say fighting for jobs, are really fighting for jobs,” Boudreau said. “That’s what we want to see. Just guys competing with everything they have for jobs.
“That comes with it. It’s something we expected to see a lot from (Brown) last season. He’s there doing it and he knows he’s fighting for a job and he wants to stay relevant, I guess is the right word. I think the competitiveness is there, so I didn’t mind it.”
In that same breath, Boudreau recalled how it used to be much worse than it is now, suggesting that the spat during Monday’s scrimmage was relatively minor in the grand scheme of things.
“You used to have to call the scrimmages off because there were so many fights, and I’m not exaggerating one iota,” Boudreau said. “In the late ’80s and early ’90s, there were 15 fights per scrimmage.”
Though Brown and Belpedio tried their best to prove their worth during Monday’s scrimmage, neither was in danger of being cut this early in training camp.
The Wild did cut 14 players, trimming their training camp roster to 55.
Adam Beckman, Shawn Boudrias, Damien Giroux, Fedor Gordeev, Matvey Guskov and Hunter Jones were assigned to their junior teams, while Gabe Gagne, Shawn O’Donnell, Brett Pollock, Jordan Topping, Josh Atkinson, Lester Lancaster, Matt Register and Keaton Thompson were released from their professional tryouts.
As the Wild shift to mobile entry for all home games at Xcel Energy Center this season, fans are encouraged to add their tickets to their devices prior to arrival for Tuesday’s preseason game. Tickets will be accessible through Apple, Android or Google devices.