Wild loses defenseman for two months

Oct. 14, 2001 at 11:04 PM
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ST. PAUL, Minn., Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Minnesota Wild defenseman Brad Bombardir will be sidelined two months after suffering a broken right ankle in the third period of Sunday's 3-3 tie with the Edmonton Oilers.

Bombardir was checked hard into the end boards by Ethan Moreau and twisted his ankle as he crumpled awkwardly to the ice. He had to be helped to the locker room.

"It's a big loss, especially the way Brad is playing for us," Wild coach Jacques Lemaire said. "He's always been very steady. You could use him on a power play, penalty-kill and against the top players. We'll miss him, no doubt."

One of the more experienced players on the Minnesota blue line, Bombardir failed to record a point during the Wild's season-opening five-game unbeaten streak. Last season, he had 15 assists and 42 penalty minutes in 70 games.

"Brad is a tough defenseman, playing a lot of minutes every game. And he's a big leader in the locker room," defenseman Filip Kuba said. "So it's a big loss for us. But we've got other guys who can step up."

Lemaire mentioned rookie Nick Schultz and free-agent acquisition Brad Brown as candidates to fill Bombardir's spot in the lineup.

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