Forward Patrick Dwyer missed practice again Wednesday and will not play against the Minnesota Wild on Thursday, Canes coach Kirk Muller said.
Dwyer sustained an upper-body injury Monday in practice at Raleigh Center Ice. Although Dwyer accompanied the team on its road trip to Minnesota and Colorado, general manager Jim Rutherford indicated he could be placed on injured reserve.
Dwyer going on IR would resolve a roster numbers game. Defensemen Tim Gleason has been on injured reserve and could be activated Thursday, although Muller said no decision had yet been made on Gleason playing against the Wild.
Forward Nathan Gerbe, out the past two days with a lower-body injury, returned Wednesday and is set to play. Muller also said rookie Elias Lindholm, who has missed the past four games with a shoulder injury, could return to the lineup for the Wild game.
Muller said a decision on Lindholm would be made after Lindholm had given trainer Pete Friesen an update on his physical condition following three rigorous practices this week.
"They want me coming back with the confidence the shoulder, when I get hit into the boards, doesn't get injured again," Lindholm said.
“If he’s ready to go, he’ll be in,” Muller said. “If we think he needs more time we won’t throw him in (Thursday).”
Lindholm worked with the fourth line Wednesday with Drayson Bowman, Brett Sutter and Kevin Westgarth. The other lines had Eric Staal centering Jiri Tlusty and Alex Semin; Gerbe on Jordan Staal’s line with Radek Dvorak; and Riley Nash centering Jeff Skinner and Tuomo Ruutu.
Defensively, Justin Faulk was paired with Andrej Sekera and Jay Harrison with Ryan Murphy. Gleason worked with Mike Komisarek and Brett Bellemore with Ron Hainsey.
Muller noted the Wild’s number of power-play opportunities this season -- Minnesota is second in the NHL with 40 -- and said a decision on the sixth defenseman could hinge on having the best penalty killers in the lineup. The Wild is fifth in the NHL in power-play percentage at 25 percent.
‘We know ‘Gleas’ is hungry and ready to go and everything, but we have to look at the big picture with everybody and appreciate the fact we have eight healthy defensemen capable of going in the lineup,” Muller said.