ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild gained some salary cap space but lost some on-ice toughness and locker room unity Monday when physical winger Chris Stewart was claimed off waivers by the Calgary Flames.
It has been increasingly obvious that the Wild were not counting on Stewart for their playoff push as he has been a healthy scratch a dozen times already in 2018. Through the weekend he had registered 13 points in 47 games, but his teammates will tell you that Stewart's impact ran far deeper than numbers.
“He brings us together in here both game time and on the road. He’s a big part of our team," goaltender Devan Dubnyk told The Athletic. "We know what he brings. He’s a rare commodity nowadays. He’s as tough as they come, he looks after all of us and he puts pucks in the net as well. It’s always tough when this (salary cap issues) becomes part of it.”
“That’s the tough thing about this business, losing a good friend like that," said defenseman Matt Dumba. "But you can text...I’m happy he’s getting an opportunity.”