WILD: Coach Yeo, on Minnesota teen's paralysis: 'Believe me, we're hurting'
ST. PAUL Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo's job is to get his team back on track following 11 losses in its past 12 games. But the human element of the sport takes precedence when his thoughts turn to Benilde-St. Margaret's player Jack Jablonski, wh...
Minnesota Wild coach Mike Yeo's job is to get his team back on track following 11 losses in its past 12 games. But the human element of the sport takes precedence when his thoughts turn to Benilde-St. Margaret's player Jack Jablonski, who is paralyzed after being checked from behind.
"We feel we represent the state of hockey," Yeo said, "and the players that play hockey in this area, the people that support hockey in this area, we have an attachment to. So we feel that this is one of our own here that had this accident, and believe me, we're hurting."
The Wild posted a message of support on their bench for their game in Calgary on Saturday night, and Yeo says Jablonski's situation is important to everyone in the Minnesota organization.
"We want to do whatever we can. He's in (the players') thoughts. Our guys are very aware of how difficult that must be for him and his family," Yeo said after the Wild's practice Monday at the Xcel Energy Center.
He said he has talked with his kids, Braeden and Kyler, about the severe injury to Jablonski.
"I've got kids that play the game, and I don't know that there's anything more that I love besides coming to the rink and doing what I do, (than) to watch my kids play," Yeo said. "I just hope we can learn more about how we have to play the game and maybe the rules or whatever we can do to make sure that nothing like this happens."
Scandella reassigned: The Wild reassigned Marco Scandella to the Houston Aeros of the American
Hockey League and called up center David McIntyre.
Scandella, 21, had three goals and three assists in 37 games for Minnesota. He had a plus-minus rating of minus-10 in his past 11 games.
McIntyre, 24, played two games this season for Minnesota and scored no points. He has nine goals and six assists in 26 games for the Aeros.
Yeo, who coached Scandella with the Aeros last season, said the 6-foot-2 defenseman has been dwelling on his mistakes and needs to regain his confidence in Houston.
Many players have been dwelling on their mistakes as Minnesota has gone 1-8-3 in its past 12 games, Yeo said. Defenseman Nick Schultz said upcoming games against the San Jose Sharks, Chicago Blackhawks, St. Louis Blues, Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs might be just what the team needs.
"Maybe that kind of gets your focus back on track," Schultz said.
Briefly: Through 42 games, the Wild have 48 points. A season ago, the Wild had 47 points through 42 games. "We're in a playoff spot right now," Schultz said. "You are where you are. You've got to deal with it and move forward."
-- Matt Cullen said that although NHL realignment is on hold, he expects it to happen, "and hopefully it'll be for next year." The NHL Players Association vetoed the league's plans for two eight-team conferences and two seven-team conferences until further study is completed.
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