Devin Setoguchi and Mikael Granlund, demoted to sharing a spot on the Wild's fourth line during practice Sunday, Feb. 3, each pasted on a brave smile and talked about accepting a major step down or -- for one of them -- being benched for Minnesota's Monday game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena.
"You can't really sit and sulk about it and dwell on it," Setoguchi said. "If I'm in, I'm in. If not, then try to get back in the lineup."
Granlund, too, tried to shrug off coach Mike Yeo's decision to insert rookie Charlie Coyle on the Wild's second line for their game against the Coyotes.
"I know I haven't played so well lately," Granlund said. "So I just need to work hard and try to do things better."
Expectations for both players were high this season, but Granlund is a 20-year-old rookie still adjusting to the North American game in his first season away from Finland.
Setoguchi, 26, was acquired from San Jose with Coyle and a future draft pick for Brent Burns and has played 4-1/2 seasons in the NHL. He arrived in Minnesota with the reputation of a speedster and a sharpshooter who produced 31 goals and 34 assists during the 2008-09 season.
The unfamiliar environs and an ankle injury took a toll on Setoguchi last season when he went 19-17--36 and never really clicked.
He knew it.
Minnesota Wild send a message, dropping Setoguchi, Granlund to fourth line
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Feb 4