Wild forward Matt Boldy week to week with upper-body injury: How big of a loss is it?

Minnesota Wild forward Matt Boldy is week to week with an upper-body injury, general manager Bill Guerin said Monday. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Boldy sustained the injury midway through the third period Saturday night in Toronto on a fall after he hit awkwardly into the boards after a check from Maple Leafs defenseman Morgan Rielly.
  • Boldy, a 22-year-old third-year forward, has one goal and two points in two games this season. He scored 31 goals and 63 points in 2022-23.
  • Guerin said that this is not a situation in which the team will be using long-term injured reserve.

How big of a loss is this?

This is significant. Boldy was the Wild’s second-leading goal scorer last season with 31 goals, the fourth drafted-and-developed Wild player to hit the 30-goal mark while wearing their sweater (after Kirill Kaprizov, Marian Gaborik and Jason Zucker). He’s the right wing on an important point-producing line with Marcus Johansson and Joel Eriksson Ek, and the Wild don’t have a lot of scoring depth beyond him. Plus, since captain Jared Spurgeon (already out with an upper-body injury) and Boldy aren’t considered long-term injuries, the team doesn’t get cap relief. The Wild are essentially one more short-term injury to a forward away from having to play one game a man short up front. If that happens, they’d be allowed to call up a forward making $875,000 or less the next game.

How will the Wild initially handle Boldy’s absence?

At least for one game Tuesday in Montreal, instead of reassigning defenseman Dakota Mermis and recalling a forward like Jujhar Kaira, Vinni Lettieri or Nic Petan (the Wild can’t currently afford Sammy Walker), they will dress seven defensemen and 11 forwards. They probably won’t use the extra defensemen as a forward but will double-shift Kaprizov in an attempt to get him going. Admittedly a slow starter, Kaprizov has no goals on six shots and two assists in two games and was playing too much of an east-west game with Mats Zuccarello on Saturday night. They got too pass-happy, something coach Dean Evason noted after the game.

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(Photo: Bruce Bennett / Getty Images)

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