Koivu moved to third line, Coyle is back, Brodin closer


There was a breakup at Xcel Energy Center on Wednesday, but it wasn't emotional.

For the first time since signing with the Wild two summers ago, Zach Parise will not be playing on the same line with captain Mikko Koivu. Coach Mike Yeo moved Koivu down to the third line. Yeo says he's making the move to add more scoring balance to each line, not to demote Koivu.

The lines used in Wednesday's practice looked like this, according to the Star Tribune.

  • Zach Parise-Charlie Coyle-Dany Heatley/Justin Fontaine
  • Matt Cooke-Mikael Granlund-Jason Pominville
  • Nino Niederreiter-Mikko Koivu-Kyle Brodziak
  • Justin Fontaine/Heatley-Zenon Konopka-Torrey Mitchell

Heatley and Fontaine will rotate between the first and fourth lines. Minnesota doesn't play until Friday, so these lines are not set in stone.

More big news for the Wild with general manager Chuck Fletcher saying Charlie Coyle will play Friday against the Montreal Canadiens.

Coyle, regarded by many as Minnesota's top young forward, missed 11 straight games with a sprained MCL. He was injured in the second game of the season.

More good news with the Star Tribune reporting defensemen Jonas Brodin and Keith Ballard practiced Wednesday. Brodin was sporting a full shield to protect his broken cheekbone. Ballard has been out with a concussion. There's a chance both could play Friday.

Notes: Stephane Veilleux was placed on waivers. If he clears the waiver wire he'll be sent to the Wild's AHL affiliate in Iowa.

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