by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
What Wild fans will remember as a bizarre season of extreme highs and lows will always be a special one for Elk River native Nate Prosser because 2011–12 was the year he first became a full-fledged member of the team (a two-year, $1.65 million deal Feb. 6) and also the year he and wife, Brittani, got settled in one place, buying their first home and expecting their first baby.
Otherwise the season wasn’t always quite so peaceful. During his 14-game call-up from Houston early in the season, the Wild went 10-4, on the way to a 20-7-3 start through Dec. 10. Sent back down Nov. 28, by the time he got back the club was free-falling out of playoff contention. In fact the Wild were in the running for worst record, and first pick in the next draft two weeks ago, only to come alive with four wins in five games, all overtimes or shootouts. They’re back at .500 at 35-35-11 with one game left, Phoenix at home Saturday, 7 p.m.
Prosser’s season ended one game early. The 6-2, 195-pound defenseman got ejected for head-butting Chicago’s Jamal Mayers (not his first fight of the year) in the first period of a 2-1 shootout win Thursday, and got a one-game suspension so he was ineligible for the finale. Prosser told the Star Tribune it was unintentional.
Prosser, 25, slumped a bit after signing. He has a goal, 11 assists and minus-16 rating in 50 games, while leading the team in blocked shots.