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Ailing Wild lose captain Mikko Koivu for next month with broken ankle; Harding on IR, too

Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding (37) deflects a shot by the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

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Minnesota Wild goalie Josh Harding (37) deflects a shot by the Vancouver Canucks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in St. Paul, Minn., Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Ann Heisenfelt)

ST. PAUL, Minn. - The Minnesota Wild will be without captain Mikko Koivu for the next month.

The Wild placed Koivu and goalie Josh Harding on injured reserveMonday, when their first-line centre and leading scorer with 35 points in 44 games underwent surgery to repair a broken ankle. Koivu was hit by a puck Saturday against Washington. The Wild said the operation went as planned and Koivu was expected to be fully recovered and playing again in approximately four weeks.

Koivu has eight goals and 27 assists. He's third among NHL forwards in time on ice with an average of 21 minutes and 34 seconds per game.

The Wild play at Los Angeles Tuesday, and left wing Zach Parise and defenceman Jared Spurgeon are already on injured reserve with foot injuries. Harding has missed the last two games due to an unspecified illness; he's been adjusting to new medication for multiple sclerosis. Harding leads the league with a 1.65 goals against average.

Defenceman Jonathon Blum and forward Erik Haula were recalled from AHL affiliate Iowa Monday to fill out the roster.

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Is going with four alternate captains rather than giving one player the 'C' a good move by the Canadiens?




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