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) Sykora, Earl clear waivers; What's next?

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: January 20, 2010 - 1:11 PM

(updated on bottom) Veteran Petr Sykora and winger Robbie Earl cleared waivers this morning.

The Wild hasn't announced its plans for Earl as of yet. Either he'll stay with the club for up to 10 games/30 days before waivers are required again, or he'll be reassigned to Houston. Brian Stensaas emailed me that Martin Havlat's not practicing today, so if he's sick or hurt, the Wild probably needs Earl, who did practice today, to stay since he's the only extra with Sykora seemingly out of the loop.

As for Sykora, GM Chuck Fletcher and Sykora have to resolve this issue. Re-entry waivers are an option (assign him to Houston, recall him so a team could possibly take him at half the cap with half the cap being charged to the Wild, roughly 340K each).

A trade is another option, and I think the most likely. A team interested in Sykora may need the Wild to take a player back to rid salary for budgetary/cap purposes. I do hear that Fletcher's had trade talks regarding Sykora and something could be close.

Europe, even though there is a European assignment clause, is not an option, I'm told. That option has to be mutually agreed to, and Sykora't not going there, I'm told.

Buyout's an option, too. Sorry, forgot the deadline's passed.

Stensaas is at practice. I'll update blog when there's a Havlat update or if Fletcher talks to the media. Clayton Stoner's skating on his own and defenseman Marek Zidlicky, who's been banged up, didn't practice.

Havlat and Zidlicky were maintenance issues and aren't expected to be serious.

More maybe to come.

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