Staff Directory 10645461

Chris Miller

Editor | Pro sports
phone: 612-673-4428
Chris Miller is responsible for overseeing coverage of the Vikings, Wild, auto racing, road racing and golf.
Recent content from Chris Miller
Ohtani

GM Thad Levine says again that Twins plan free-agency push

Top starters and relievers, Japanese star are in play.
Julio Becquer gets a hug from manager Sam Mele after his game-winning grand slam on July 4, 1961.

Former Twins manager Mele dies at 95; led team to '65 pennant

Sam Mele managed 953 games for the Twins, taking over the team in its first season in Minnesota. He guided the team to a 102-60 record and the World Series in 1965.
Wild center Eric Staal was helped off the ice after crashing headfirst into the end boards during the second period. Staal was taken to Regions Hospit

Wild's Staal hospitalized after going headfirst into end boards

Staal grabbed his head and lay on the ice for several minutes as he was attended to by team medical personnel. He was released from Regions Hospital later Saturday night.
Target Field.

James Rowson takes on challenge with youngsters as Twins hitting coach

The new Twins hitting coach caught Derek Falvey's attention a few years ago.
Defenseman Christian Folin

Confident Folin no longer worried about demotion

This season's strong start — he's 10th among NHL defensemen at plus-8 — has secured Christian Folin a spot on the Wild's second defensive pair with Jonas Brodin.
Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar was a minor league coach until Aug. 25.

Wild's old foe Colorado has a new face behind the bench

When volatile Colorado Avalanche coach Patrick Roy quit on Aug. 11, the team went through a quick courtship and pilfered 44-year-old Jared Bednar from the AHL.
Vikings punter Jeff Locke

Jeff Locke got help in his best game

Special teams coach Mike Priefer thought it might have been Locke's best game in four seasons.
Minnesota Gophers head coach Don Lucia

Gophers hockey coach Don Lucia hopes to sign contract extension soon

Don Lucia has not signed a contract extension as Gophers men's hockey coach, but indicated he met with new athletic director Mark Coyle and hopes something can be worked out soon.
Vikings Coach Mike Zimmer assured the media and fans on Tuesday that he’s “not going to let this team feel sorry for itself.”

With Bridgewater's knee injury, high hopes for Vikings crumble

Zimmer's voice quavered as he spoke following the injury, saying: "He's a great kid. Let's let him get healthy and get taken care of. … I love this kid. Our fans love this kid."
Cordarrelle Patterson ran through drills during a player offseason workout at Winter Park last week.

Vikings pick up options for Floyd, Rhodes, but not Patterson

The options will keep Xavier Rhodes and Sharrif Floyd under team control through 2017. But Cordarrelle Patterson will be a free agent after this season.
Minnesota Wild interim coach John Torchetti

Wild's Torchetti will take the two points any way he can get them

Wild interim coach John Torchetti wasn't about to apologize for Tuesday's victory over the Kings, even if the Wild played far from its best game.
Mikko Koivu.

Koivu leads five Wild players on World Cup rosters

Mikko Koivu is expected to captain the Finnish team for World Cup of Hockey 2016. The tournament runs Sept. 17 to Oct. 1 in Toronto.
By sticking with it, Mikko Koivu’s production has taken off.

Mikko Koivu's hot streak is contagious

The Wild captain has seven points in the past two games for a team that has gone from a dominant defensive stretch to an offense factory.
Vikings safety Antone Exum Jr. (32) recovered a fumble by Falcons running back Tevin Coleman (26) that was forced by linebacker Anthony Barr (55) in t

Exum picks up teammates with fill-in work at safety

Antone Exum's first NFL start was challenging. The Vikings were facing Atlanta's Julio Jones, the league's leading receiver, on Sunday as Exum stepped in for injured safety Harrison Smith.
Minnesota Wild's Jason Zucker, right, reaches for a puck alongside St. Louis Blues' Alex Pietrangelo.

Zucker will play for Wild on Saturday; Parise is close

Wild coach coach Mike Yeo looked ahead to a four-game homestand Friday with positive news about Jason Zucker and Zach Parise.
Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson (84) during the preseason.

Oct. 3: Injuries at WR could mean more snaps for Patterson

Cordarrelle Patterson played 16 offensive snaps in the first three Vikings games, and has one reception for 1 yard. That could change Sunday in Denver.
Minnesota Vikings kicker Blair Walsh (3) ] CARLOS GONZALEZ cgonzalez@startribune.com - September 14, 2015, Levi's Stadium, Santa Clara, CA, NFL, Minne

Vikings notes: Zimmer puts onus on Walsh to end slump

Blair Walsh will get a little tough love from Vikings coach Mike Zimmer after Walsh's unsteady preseason spilled into the regular season.
Babatunde Aiyegbusi came to Winter Park and signed a three-year, $1.575 million deal.

Vikings notes: Project at tackle believes he's improving

Babatunde Aiyegbusi is the very definition of an NFL project.
Fans evacuated TCF Bank Stadium and headed to Mariucci and Williams arenas after lightning struck nearby in the second quarter.

Lightning forces 65-minute delay of Vikings-Raiders game

The Vikings' 20-12 preseason victory over the Raiders at TCF Bank Stadium was interrupted for slightly more than an hour Saturday night because of visible lightning nearby.
Carter Bykowski left tried to block Everson Griffen during Vikings training camp at Minnesota State University Mankato Wednesday July 29, 2015 in Mank

Vikings tackle Bykowski lost for season because of torn pectoral

Reserve offensive tackle Carter Bykowski, an Eden Prairie native, is out for the season after surgery for a torn pectoral muscle, the team's fifth such injury in 11 months.
Ex-Minnesota Vikings linebacker Matt Blair, whose career spanned from 1974 to 1985, experienced numerous injuries over his pro playing career, includi

Judge OKs $1 billion settlement for NFL players' lifetime injuries

Appeals could delay payment as many are dissatisfied.
Matthews

Vikings sign free agents Matthews, Mays

The Vikings signed two free agents Tuesday, adding former Eagles linebacker Casey Matthews and ex-Bengals safety Taylor Mays.
Wild defenseman Matt Dumba, who was recently promoted to the first unit, paused during a recent game. Coach Mike Yeo said he moved Dumba to “take ad

Streaking Wild aim to fix ailing power play

The Wild's power play percentage during its 18-4-1 post All-Star break run has been terrible — as in 7-for-56 (.125) in that 23-game stretch and 3-for-35 (.086) in the past 15.
In this 2003 file photo, University of North Dakota star Zach Parise talks with a friend on the phone and plays with a puck in his father J.P. Parise'

NHL standout, hockey mentor J.P. Parise dies at 73

J.P. Parise, a star player for the old North Stars, and a longtime coach and administrator in Minnesota, had a yearlong battle with lung cancer.

Zimmer sings Bridgewater's praises

Bridgewater has completed 70 percent of his passes for the past four games. His record as a starter is 5-6 heading into Sunday's season finale against Chicago.
Peterson

Peterson accuses NFL of lying, adopting 'new process of discipline'

Running back says NFL not honoring the rules in place at the time of his placement on commissioner's exempt list.
Vikings owner Zygi Wilf, left, and ownership partner Reggie Fowler made note of features of the Seahawks' Qwest Field in 2005. Fowler, who has been pl

Reggie Fowler no longer has a stake in Vikings

Reggie Fowler, who attempted to buy the Vikings in 2005 before settling in as a limited partner, no longer has a stake in the team.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph was attended to after suffering his injury Sunday

Vikings' Rudolph facing surgery, likely out six weeks

Amid the hubbub of Teddy Bridgewater taking over as the Vikings quarterback was a definite din regarding the Vikings’ injury situation. Tight end
Jerome Simpson

Vikings release Simpson after learning of another drug citation

Hours after it was reported Jerome Simpson had been cited this summer for marijuana possession, the Vikings released him without comment Thursday.

Freshmen playing big role for Frozen Four-bound Gophers

A youth movement this season has paid off in the Gophers’ 21st trip to the NCAA Frozen Four. Eight freshmen played regularly, and seven were…
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel (16) made a hand-off to Minnesota Vikings running back Matt Asiata (44) for a first down in the second quart

Cassel, Vikings agree on two-year, $10M deal

The contract that Matt Cassel opted out of was a two-year deal he signed in 2013 that was worth $3.7 million per season. His new contract is worth $10 million over two years, according to cbssports.com.
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel

Vikings QB Cassel expected to opt out of contract

The veteran quarterback has until Friday to opt out of the second year of his two-year contract.
Mike Zimmer hugged his daughter, Corri, before the Bengals-Ravens game on Oct. 11, 2009 — three days after Vikki Zimmer’s death.

Vikings notes: Tragedy struck Zimmer in 2009

In 2009, Mike Zimmer's life changed in an instant.His wife, Vikki Zimmer, died unexpectedly of natural causes at age 50 on Oct. 8,…
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson

Peterson wants Vikings offense to be 'more physical'

Last season's NFL MVP played despite a right hamstring injury, and said after the game the offense is "out of whack."
Minnesota Vikings quarterback Josh Freeman spoke to members of the media Thursday October 17, 2013 Eden Prairie, MN. Freeman will get his first start

Giants' lacking pass rush might benefit Freeman

The Giants might be looking at Monday's game as a chance to improve their tepid sack totals against a Vikings team starting its third quarterback in four games.
Vikings linebacker Desmond Bishop suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during Sunday's game against Carolina.

Vikings linebacker Bishop lost for season

The former Packer tore his right ACL in the loss to Carolina.
Vikings left tackle Matt Kalil, right.

Kalil brothers face each other for first time

The parents will root for sons Ryan (Panthers) and Matt (Vikings) while daughter Danielle sings the anthem.
Quarterback Matt Cassel made his first start for the Vikings on Sept. 29 and led the team to a victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers in London.

QB audible doesn't faze Cassel

The veteran knows to expect the unexpected in the NFL.
National 20K champion Meghan Peyton would earn $25,000 — besides an award — with a win in the Twin Cities Marathon. She plans to stay with the lea

Richfield's Peyton should challenge for Twin Cities Marathon title

Meghan Peyton of Richfield easily won the U.S. national 20K last month. Now her sights are on the Twin Cities Marathon on Sunday.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said learning the team’s history and past sacrifices is a continuing process for his younger players.

Like Vikings, Steelers are desperate for victory

After two losses, holdovers from the 2008 Super Bowl team insisted younger players get more serious.
Minnesota Vikings offensive guard Jeff Baca, right, reacts as trainers assist injured Minnesota Vikings guard Seth Olsen.

Lineman Seth Olsen is OK after being carried off the field

The 27-year-old reserve guard hit his head on a Titans player's knee while blocking, and had his neck snap back.
Vikings Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton likely will miss the rest of the preseason after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday afternoon.

Felton undergoes emergency appendectomy

Vikings Pro Bowl fullback Jerome Felton likely will miss the rest of the preseason after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on Wednesday afternoon.

Vikings notes: Mauti's determination shows through in rehab

Mauti, a seventh-round draft pick out of Penn State, had surgery to repair a torn left anterior cruciate ligament during the 2011 season and again for the same injury following his 2012 season
Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg

Vikings add 16 undrafted college free agents

James Vandenberg will try to show the form he flashed in his standout junior season with the Hawkeyes.
Mikko Koivu celebrated with teammate Ryan Suter after scoring the winning goal in overtime

Wild finds a way to win, tops Phoenix in OT for seventh straight

For 59 minutes, the Coyotes had the better play. Then Ryan Suter tied the game in the final minute of the third period and Mikko Koivu settled it in OT.

Compressed NHL schedule produces playoff feel every night

The last month of a condensed schedule promises to be frantic.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28).

Even a hernia couldn't stop Peterson this season

Adrian Peterson had surgery for a sports hernia, an injury the NFL MVP played through over the final seven games.
Coach Wren Blair behind the North Stars bench in 1968.

Wren Blair, first North Stars coach, dies at 87

Wren Blair was the amusing GM/coach of the expansion North Stars.
Packers star Clay Matthews says the Green Bay defense has been much improved this season.

Packers are somewhere in between

Green Bay is not the surprise champion of two years ago nor the juggernaut of last year, but it's peaking.
Adrian Peterson followed Jerome Felton’s block against the Bears. Both were picked for the Pro Bowl, along with rookie kicker Blair Walsh and defens

Peterson rushes to fifth Pro Bowl

Adrian Peterson's pursuit of the NFL rushing record made him an easy choice for the Pro Bowl.
Minnesota Vikings cornerback Chris Cook.

For Vikings' Cook, it's easy to see the room for improvement

Vikings cornerback Chris Cook missed the past three games vs. the Packers after they shredded him twice as a rookie.
Antoine Winfield (26) sacked Houston's Matt Schaub (8)

Winfield expects to play despite broken hand

Antoine Winfield has a broken hand but should be able to play against Green Bay.
Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher (54).

Bears defense: Aging but plenty dangerous

The Windy City's defensive unit has sputtered a bit lately but remains loaded.

Ponder sees 'obvious' mistakes, vows to correct them

Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, coming off a 23-14 loss to Green Bay where he fell under heavy criticism, admitted Wednesday that his poor performance was a "wake-up call."

Ward, veteran of two Vikings Super Bowls, dies

John Henry Ward, who was the Vikings' first-round selection (25th overall) in the 1970 NFL draft, died of cancer Tuesday.
Head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman attended to Vikings receiver Percy Harvin during the third quarter in Seattle.

It's still too early to tell if Harvin will be available vs. Bears

The Vikings' shattered passing offense could use the return of Percy Harvin, who was leading the NFL in receptions when he badly sprained his left ankle Nov. 4 in Seattle.

Harvin misses practice again, lowers chances of playing

Percy Harvin still hopes to play against Chicago on Sunday. But after again missing practice Thursday, the odds of the Vikings receiver giving it a go appear to be growing slimmer.
Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman attended to Minnesota Vikings receiver Percy Harvin

Harvin's ankle better, but he misses practice

Percy Harvin wanted to practice Wednesday as the Vikings prepared for their Sunday game in Chicago but was held out as he tries to recover from a severely sprained left ankle.

Ponder insists knee, self-esteem both fine

Christian Ponder doesn't agree with the people who say his recent accuracy issues stem from a knee injury.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) took a handoff during the afternoon practice on Monday. .

Practice will be big factor in Peterson decision

The Vikings insist they will not decide whether Adrian Peterson will play in the season opener against Jacksonville until Sunday morning.
A.J. Jefferson, a third-year cornerback picked up by the Vikings on Friday from Arizona for a conditional 2013 draft pick, started seven games for the

Jefferson savors new opportunity with Vikings

A.J. Jefferson, a third-year cornerback picked up by the Vikings on Friday from Arizona for a conditional 2013 draft pick, started seven games for the Cardinals last season before "it got a little rough for me," but said he was looking forward to a new beginning. was one of the last men off the field at Vikings practice Monday.
Christian Ponder talked to team trainer Eric Sugarman on Saturday.

Hope is that Ponder will start finale

Christian Ponder appears likely to start Sunday despite suffering a concussion Saturday.

Replay: Vikings 33, Washington 26

GAME BALLS Joe Webb, Vikings quarterback How do you get a perfect passer rating of 158.3? Four-for-five, 84 yards and two TDs. Also ran for a…
Washington quarterback Rex Grossman against the Patriots earlier this month.

Vikings' next opponent: Washington

The Redskins (5-9) are the only team in the NFC East that isn't in the hunt for a playoff spot, but they are playing the…

Replay: New Orleans 42, Vikings 20

GAME BALLS DREW BREES, Saints quarterback  A 149.2 rating on 412 yards and five TD passes. And don't forget a TD-saving tackle after a bad…
Carson Palmer was magnificent in his third appearance for the Raiders, throwing for 299 yards on 20 passes against the Chargers on Nov. 10.

Palmer gets up to speed in a hurry

After sitting out to start, the veteran QB was called upon by the Raiders to save their season when Jason Campbell went down.
Lions defensive end Willie Young sacked Bears quarterback Jay Cutler on Monday.

Bears' Jay Cutler finds he needs more protection

The Bears don't seem inclined to provide either, leaving the quarterback open to attacks from both pass rushers and critics.
Michigan's Jon Merrill pulled down UMD's J.T. Brown for a penalty as Brown crashed the net.

Younger Brown comes through for Bulldogs

J.T. Brown, the son of former Vikings running back Ted Brown, was named the Frozen Four's Most Oustanding Player.

Title loss in '84 still stings Bulldogs

Minnesota Duluth is in the NCAA Frozen Four title game for the second time, and its first appearance still is a sore spot for the Bulldogs.
Wade Bergman, left, Joe Basaraba, center, and Trent Palm were part of the bleach-blond Bulldogs on display at Xcel Energy Center.

Bulldogs hope blond ambition comes through

The team bonding concept for Minnesota Duluth meant players dyed their hair peroxide blond before the NCAA playoffs.
The Gophers' Taylor Matson took a shot on MSU Mankato goalie Phil Cook during the first period Saturday. Cook made 49 saves in the Mavericks' 2-1 vict

Sturdy Mankato goalie stymies Gophers for sweep

The U peppered MSU Mankato's Phil Cook with 50 shots, but he turned away 49 and made it a Mavericks sweep.
The Gophers' Nico Sacchetti and Minnesota State Mankato's Tyler Elbrecht battled for the puck during the second period of Friday night's game in Manka

Home at last, Mavericks trudge past Gophers

MSU Mankato returned from an extended road swing and rode goalie Phil Cook's strong play to beat the U.
Katie McGregor of Team Minnesota.

Taking competition in stride

Team USA Minnesota runner Katie McGregor's season hasn't gone as planned, but she's still shooting for success at the worlds.
Kristin Armstrong, third from left

Kristin Armstrong's golden cycling career at final stage

The Olympics seems a faraway event with incomparable athletes to many, and Kristin Armstrong was no exception ... until she became an Olympian.
E.J. Henderson forced a Jon Kitna fumble in the fourth. “Our schedule will never be favorable no matter who’s on [it] if we play like we played to

Kitna alone on the defensive

Detroit couldn't stop the Vikings, who had more than 400 yards in offense. And the Lions QB felt he had been abandoned.
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