Wild’s Kuemper offers rule change suggestion after injury to Maatta

Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper opened the bench door that led to the injury to Pittsburgh Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta on Tuesday.
Charles LeClaire/Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

With potential rules changes all the rage in the NHL, Minnesota Wild goaltender Darcy Kuemper added a bit of food for thought on Thursday.

Kuemper, as it turned out, played an unintentionally pivotal role in Tuesday’s game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The backup netminder opened the bench door for teammate Nino Niederreiter before the latter shoved Olli Maatta, causing an upper-body injury for the Penguins defenseman.

“I think they could probably put in a rule,” Kuemper told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “Everyone seemed to think it would be a good idea if you’re changing on the fly that you had to hop the boards and only use the gates if you change between whistles. It happens once or twice a year, but if you can prevent those, why not?"

Maatta is expected to be sidelined three-to-four weeks with his injury.