Michael Russo has covered the National Hockey League since 1995. He has covered the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005, after 10 years of covering the Florida Panthers for the Sun-Sentinel. He uses “Russo’s Rants” to feed a wide-ranging hockey-centric discussion with readers, and can be heard weekly on KFAN (100.3 FM) radio and seen weekly on Fox Sports North.

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(updated) Injury updates; Wild accepting non-perishable food donations

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild practice Updated: November 17, 2009 - 8:41 PM

Tuesday night update: Got a few emails from folks who know Danny Irmen. Appears as if he's the callup. No confirmation though from the Wild. We'll find out in the morning. But if he's the callup, I'd suspect he's here to make his NHL debut. Wild needs to secure every ounce of cap space, so if he's up, I'd assume it's to play.


Wild opens a four-game homestand Wednesday night against the Phoenix Coyotes. The Wild still trying to avoid its first non-sellout in history, and normally Phoenix is a sure 'W.' But lots of good young talent on the Coyotes, and a sensational coach in Dave Tippett.

Wild has won nine of its past 10 against Phoenix, seven in a row at home. During the home winning streak, the Wild has NEVER trailed to Phoenix.

Just talked with Rachel Blount, who covered practice. Here's your injury update: Benoit Pouliot, Chuck Kobasew and Petr Sykora are all out against the Coyote. None of them practiced, although Pouliot and Kobasew skated beforehand.

Sykora had a setback working out last week, meaning he got concussion-like symptoms. When that happens, you have to be shut down. He's feeling better and will try to get back on the bike and into the workout room this week.

The Wild may call up a forward today. However, I don't expect an announcement until tonight or the morning.

The Wild's trying to save every piece of salary-cap space available, and since the cap is technically added per day, it makes no sense to call up a player until after 4 p.m. CST (end of a day in the NHL).

Also, here's a press release from the Wild


SAINT PAUL/MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – The National Hockey League’s (NHL) Minnesota Wild announced today that the fourth annual Toyota Tundra Food Drive to benefit Second Harvest Heartland, the Upper Midwest’s largest hunger-relief organization, will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 18 when the Wild hosts the Phoenix Coyotes at 7:00 p.m.

Wild fans are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items and/or monetary donations to the Toyota vehicles located at Gates 1-4 on Nov. 18 starting at 6:00 p.m. through the start of the second period. For every $1 donated, Second Harvest is able to distribute up to $9 in grocery products to the most vulnerable members of our community.

Donations can also be made through the Wild Toyota Tundra Food Drive page located at http://www.2harvest.org/goto/WildToyotaTundra.

Our community’s working families, children and seniors are in need like never before. Food delivery to the food shelves, soup kitchens and shelters that make up the distribution network for Second Harvest Heartland’s Food Bank program has increased over 40% in just the last year.


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