Skip to content

Wild place enforcer Konopka on waivers

Jan 2, 2014, 12:40 PM EDT

Montreal Canadiens' Brandon Prust, right, fights with Minnesota Wild's Zenon Konopka during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Nov. 19, 2013 in Montreal. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Graham Hughes) AP

Zenon Konopka might have played in his last game in a Minnesota Wild’s jersey. The 33-year-old forward has been placed on waivers by the Wild.

Konopka has two points and 55 penalty minutes in 36 games this season. He didn’t establish himself in the NHL until his late 20s, but once he did, he led the league in penalty minutes in back-to-back campaigns. He’s also strong on the draw with a 65.7 faceoff winning percentage in 2013-14.

He’s in the final campaign of his two-year, $1.85 million contract with the Wild.

This decision comes at a time when Minnesota has lost six straight contests and is struggling to find its way offensively. The Wild will play against Buffalo tonight.

  1. esracerx46 - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Penalty minutes is an antiquated stat.

  2. Wineshard - Jan 2, 2014 at 12:52 PM

    Yeah this will save Yeo his job. It must be the 4th Line enforcer’s fault.

  3. hosewater2 - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    I guess I’d reserve the title of enforcer to guys like Boogaard, Scott, etc. Konopka is not an enforcer, he’s a 4th line grinder faceoff winner who fights.

  4. strictlythedanks - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:34 PM

    Great on the faceoffs, but does nothing else at all to help the team.

    Kind of like brodziak

  5. cmmorgan32 - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:35 PM

    Who said it was going to save jobs? Regardless of who the coach is, Minnesota’s inability to score is still going to be an issue. Considering the fact that Konopka doesn’t do much offensively, it’s no surprise that he got placed on waivers.

  6. endusersolutions2013 - Jan 2, 2014 at 1:40 PM

    I consider high PIM a liability as it places the team at a disadvantage when no matching penalty. You need more out of 3rd and 4th line players to succeed. That was a key to the ‘Hawks 2 cup wins and where they are this year. John Scott was the last “enforcer” on their roster and there is a reason he no longer is with the Hawks.

  7. joeyashwi - Jan 2, 2014 at 2:47 PM

    Dump Stoner, Heatley, and Backstrom. Bring up any three young players to replace them.
    Fire Yeo and replace him with ANYBODY!
    Actually, trade the whole team for draft picks and start from scratch. This team has done nothing by being mediocre for so long. No high skill players, average coaches, and average management. Blow it up and start fresh!

    • mp1131211 - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:44 PM

      Well said. I can’t believe they have the gall to keep three olympians signed on their team. Its kind of ridiculous.

  8. hardkor07mn - Jan 2, 2014 at 3:43 PM

    ^^^^^idiot

  9. mp1131211 - Jan 2, 2014 at 5:50 PM

    I wonder what’s going on with this one. Seems there’s a lot of other adjustments that could be made. I’m not sure this is necessarily a good move. Unless of course there is a goal scorer to bring in to take his place. Konopka might not have scored goals but he brought out smiles in the other players. This Wild team is so emotionally fragile that it seems like he relaxed others and that they enjoyed his company.

    But…. whatever it takes to get back in the competition is fine. I’m just not sure this will do that.

  10. greatmiamisportsmind - Jan 2, 2014 at 8:46 PM

    It’s quite simple why this move was made. Harding being sick, the Wild needed an emergency backup goaltender on the roster. Harding, presumably isn’t sick enough to be on the IR to create an open roster spot. The minute Harding is better, is the minute Kuemper is sent back down to Iowa and Konopka is presumably recalled, assuming he isn’t claimed.

    My question is, why wouldn’t the Wild have placed Veilleux on waivers instead? Veilleux is a 4th line guy at most with limited upside. Konopka has value as a faceoff specialist.

    • cmmorgan32 - Jan 3, 2014 at 11:57 AM

      The problem is Konopka hasn’t provided an “offensive upside” for Minnesota. If you look at Minnesota’s roster, Konopka is one of the few guys that does become easily expendable. There are guys on the roster who can (arguably) pick up the slack and fill the void left by Konopka.

      If Minnesota wanted Konopka to stay, the easiest way to do it would’ve been to keep Stoner on IR last night. The way I see it, if anyone with a one way contract would be put on waivers Konopka or Rupp would be the most likely candidates. For whatever reason, it was decided that Rupp is the lesser of two evils (for now).

Featured video

Caps' 'culture change' proving positive

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Spezza (3160)
  2. P. Stastny (2808)
  3. E. Kane (2763)
  4. V. Hedman (2705)
  5. E. Staal (2437)
  1. J. Drouin (2413)
  2. M. Gaborik (2404)
  3. C. Crawford (2248)
  4. P. Datsyuk (2194)
  5. S. Varlamov (2130)