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) Agent: Wild to sign UMass forward Casey Wellman

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news Updated: March 15, 2010 - 6:34 PM

Just got off the phone with agent George Bazos, and he says the Wild is close to signing UMass forward Casey Wellman to a two-year entry-level deal. It'll be for the rookie cap of $900,000 per year, but the first year is basically three weeks long. Wellman arrives Tuesday morning and it's unclear as of now if he could potentially make his NHL debut against the Edmonton Oilers. He will be eligible and he IS NOT going to Houston.

Wellman, 22, is tied for sixth in the nation with 23 goals. Bazos said GM Chuck Fletcher went above and beyond, visiting Wellman twice. He said Wellman received interest from 22 teams.

Here is Wellman's bio

Wellman is a right-shot centerman. He's got a great shot, is excellent on draws. Fletcher undoubtedly sold the Wild's weakness at center as being a reason for Wellman to come here. In other words, he can play right away and will have an excellent chance to make next year's club. He won't be eligible to play in the playoffs if the Wild makes it. This is about the future.

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