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Kuemper’s impending return creates awkward situation

Minnesota Wild v Detroit Red Wings

Darcy Kuemper

NHLI via Getty Images

For the first time in a long time, there aren’t any questions surrounding the Minnesota Wild’s goaltending situation. Devan Dubnyk has started in eight straight games and he’s given the Wild no reason to think twice about letting him keep the number one job. This period of relative simplicity could be fleeting though.

While Dubnyk has led Minnesota to four consecutive wins by allowing just three goals over that span, Darcy Kuemper has been playing for the AHL Iowa Wild on a conditioning stint. The Wild’s decision to send him to the minors has been a handy stopgap measure, but they have to call him up on Monday at the latest. The alternative would be to risk losing the 24-year-old on waivers.

Along with Niklas Backstrom, that would give the Wild three healthy goaltenders on their roster.

“No one is going to lie and say it’s a great situation; there’s only two nets (in practice),” Dubnyk said, per the Pioneer Press. “But that’s the way it is. I’ve always been really adamant about having a good relationship with the other guys and rooting for each other. It’s a tough enough job, and we’re the only ones in the room that really know what it’s like.”

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said there’s no sense in worrying about it as the team will just have to wait and see how it goes. Bench boss Mike Yeo is trying not to think about it for now.

While having three goaltenders isn’t ideal, there’s no question that Minnesota made the right move by acquiring Dubnyk from Arizona. For the cost of a third round pick, he’s turned this team around and put the Wild back in the hunt for a playoff spot.

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