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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Backstrom going to Nashville, No Burns, Hnidy or Boogaard; Falk reassigned; Wellman debut on hold

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild practice Updated: March 17, 2010 - 12:37 PM

Good afternoon, real quick updates from today before I get back to my article I'm trying to cram out before my flight to Nashville:

1. Casey Wellman's NHL debut is likely delayed at least another game. Coach Todd Richards said today he doesn't anticipate making any lineup changes against Nashville. The Wild's won three in a row, all the centers are playing well and the game's suddenly mean something again as it climbs back to within six of a playoff spot and in 10th place.

2. Niklas Backstrom told Wild radio personality Kevin Falness he will go on the trip. Josh Harding, red-hot, obviously will start vs. Nashville. So far, Wade Dubielewicz is still with the team.

3. According to Richards, Shane Hnidy and Clayton Stoner may have suffered minor "setbacks" or "tweaks" in practice today. They came off the ice early.

4. Injured Hnidy, Brent Burns and Derek Boogaard are not coming on the trip this afternoon to Nashville and Columbus.

5. Assistant coach Dave Barr is home sick and may join the team in Nashville later today or tomorrow.

6. With Jaime Sifers and John Scott playing well and Greg Zanon able to play last night, Justin Falk was reassigned to Houston.

7. I'll have a big Wellman profile in tomorrow's paper. Got lots of good stuff on the kid. Just talked to Chris Chelios, who is very close with Casey. Casey and Chelios' son Dean are former teammates and close friends. That's what I love about the NHL. There's almost nobody you can't get on the phone. So many thanks to Atlanta's PR guy, Rob Koch.

Talk to you Thursday after the morning skate in Nashville.

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