NHL News & Notes: Koivu, Demko & More

In today’s News & Notes, Mikko Koivu will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL, Thatcher Demko is set to miss approximately 10 days with a slight sprain and Josh Morrissey is out against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday.

Related: NHL News & Notes: Boyle Trade, Murray, McLeod & More

Koivu out for Season

The Minnesota Wild got some very bad news Wednesday when they found out that Koivu would be forced to miss the remainder of the 2018-19 season with a torn ACL and meniscus. The injury occurred Tuesday and will keep the Wild’s captain out until next season which is bad news given the Wild currently hold the first wildcard spot in the Western Conference.

Mikko Koivu, Minnesota Wild
Mikko Koivu has torn his ACL and will be out for the remainder of the 2018-19 season, Minnesota Wild, January 14, 2019 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Koivu’s season ended with eight goals and 29 points in 48 games. The 35-year-old center was set to play in his 1,000th game this season but he’ll have to wait until the 2019-20 season to do so having played in 973 games to date. In that time, the sixth-overall selection from the 2001 NHL Entry Draft has scored 201 goals and 688 points.

For the Wild, this also creates an issue as far as the NHL’s Trade Deadline is concerned as it puts them in limbo. With the playoffs well within reach, the Wild will now have to decide whether or not they want to sell off pieces and forgo a postseason push given the severity of this injury to one of their best players.

Demko out 10 Days, DiPietro to Serve as Emergency Recall

The Vancouver Canucks will be without Demko for the next 10 days as the young goaltender is suffering from a “slight sprain.”

The 23-year-old goaltender has played in one game at the NHL level this season and had a very good .923 save percentage in a winning effort despite allowing three goals. In 16 AHL games this season, Demko has gone 8-5-0 with a 2.58 goals-against average and .911 save percentage.

Vancouver Canucks' goalie Thatcher Demko
Vancouver Canucks’ goalie Thatcher Demko (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)

This injury puts the Canucks in an interesting situation and they now have to rely upon Michael DiPietro, the team’s third-round selection from the 2017 NHL Entry Draft, as their backup for Jacob Markstrom until Demko is healthy. DiPietro is in his fourth season in the OHL and has been recalled as an emergency option.

DiPietro had a very good start to his season, posting career-bests in goals-against average (2.32) and save percentage (.920) with the Windsor Spitfires this season. Following a trade tot he Ottawa 67’s, however, DiPietro has struggled a bit, posting a 2.82 goals-against average and a .896 save percentage. Still, DiPietro holds a 7-2-0 record in those nine games and has been successful where it counts.

Morrissey out Against Canadiens

The Winnipeg Jets will be without Morrissey on Thursday when they take on the Canadiens. The 23-year-old Morrissey was injured Tuesday against the San Jose Sharks when he blocked a shot in the first period, forcing him to leave the game.

Josh Morrissey – Winnipeg Jets vs Philadelphia Flyers – November 17, 2016 (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

There’s a good chance that he can return Saturday against the Senators but for now, the Senators will have to make do without one of their better blueliners.

In 51 games this season, Morrissey has scored six goals and 29 points.