The Minnesota Wild will be without one of their best defensemen for at least a month.
The Wild announced Wednesday that Jared Spurgeon suffered a partially torn right hamstring Tuesday during a 5-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche, and will be out for at least four weeks.
Spurgeon appeared to lose an edge in the third period while collecting a pass from goaltender Devan Dubnyk along the goal line, colliding awkwardly with the boards.
Now in his eighth season with Minnesota, Spurgeon ranks third amongst Wild defensemen this season with 37 points (nine goals, 28 assists) and seventh overall. He frequently plays on Minnesota’s top pairing alongside Ryan Suter.
It’s a major blow for the Wild, who are in the midst of a battle for playoff positioning in the Western Conference with just 12 games remaining in the regular season. Spurgeon could still return in time for the first round of the playoffs, which begin on April 11, based on the timetable presented by the Wild.
Minnesota ranks third in the Central Division with 85 points. The Avalanche and the Dallas Stars, who currently occupy both wild-card spots, have 82 points. The top three teams in each division, as well as two wild-card teams per conference, make the playoffs.
Spurgeon is the second Wild defenseman to miss significant time this year, joining Jonas Brodin, who missed nine games in February after breaking his left hand.
The Wild also recalled forward Zack Mitchell and defenseman Ryan Murphy from their AHL affiliate, the Iowa Wild, Wednesday. Murphy last appeared in a game for Minnesota in December and, like Spurgeon, is a right-handed shot.