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Tough cuts: Wild send Zucker and Dowell to Iowa

Sep 29, 2013, 10:59 AM EDT

Jason Zucker AP

Competition to stick with the Minnesota Wild for opening night was fierce and one player the team is high on is now headed back to the AHL.

Jason Zucker and Jake Dowell were re-assigned to the Wild’s farm team in Iowa and as Michael Russo of The Star Tribune shares, it’s not meant to be a permanent move.

Again, as the Wild has said over and over this camp, in its mind, whoever didn’t make the opening-night roster simply won’t be in the lineup opening night vs. L.A. on Thursday. It’s not, “not making the team.”

Forwards Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter, and Justin Fontaine all are sticking with the team for now. The curious name here is Fontaine as he doesn’t have the sort of offensive or overall upside Zucker does or the defensive abilities of Dowell.

What Fontaine does have going for him, however, is his career playing at Minnesota-Duluth during his college days. Can’t be bad for appearances to have a good local guy sticking around… right?

This won’t be the last we hear from Zucker, but Wild fans are likely not going to be too pleased at getting the season started like this.

  1. chopzilla - Sep 29, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Are you kidding me with this line “Can’t be bad for appearances to have a good local guy sticking around… right”? Fontaine made the team because he busted his hump all last year and all camp and preseason. He is not like Zucker who needs to be put in a top 6 role to succeed and is a defensive liability. Fontaine can be put on any line but will most likely make the bottom 6 better.

  2. jrmehle - Sep 29, 2013 at 12:25 PM

    The “not going to be too pleased” Wild fans need to get a grip. I bet everyone of Fontaine, Zucker, Granlund, and Neiderreiter spend time in the AHL this season. If you’ve been following Mike Russo, then you already know this and that the team sees these guys as interchangeable parts. If one of them is slumping you can swap another one in.

    Zucker was on this team last year because he showed he had some chemistry with Cullen and Setoguchi. This year all he’s shown is that he can hurt his groin. He’ll heel up, dominate in Iowa, and get called up.

  3. tougie24 - Sep 29, 2013 at 1:36 PM

    Have to admit, I was really hoping to see Dowell crack the opening day roster. He always seems to be just an inch away from reaching success. Then again, watching the E60 episode he was featured on has made me a bit bias.

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