Staff Directory 10645841

Michael Russo

Reporter | Wild, NHL
Michael Russo has covered the NHL since 1995 and the Minnesota Wild for the Star Tribune since 2005.
Recent content from Michael Russo
Wild ponders options as NHL trade deadline nears

Wild ponders options as NHL trade deadline nears

If the Wild wants to survive potential injuries and fatigue during the stretch run and chore through what it hopes is four playoff rounds, improving the forward depth may be the team's biggest need.
Fair play? Parise questions double standard of penalty calls at net

Fair play? Parise questions double standard of penalty calls at net

Few players — especially lately, it seems — get mugged as frequently as Zach Parise does around the opposing net.
One line does all the damage as Chicago powers past Wild

One line does all the damage as Chicago powers past Wild

Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews, 13 days after scoring twice against the Wild, lit Minnesota up with three goals and two assists in the Wild's last game before a bye week.
Wild likes the results of its recent tinkering

Wild likes the results of its recent tinkering

It's not often that a team is so secure with its position in the standings that it can enter into a few weeks' worth of experimentation two months before the playoffs.
Wild grabs big lead, holds on to beat feisty Nashville

Wild grabs big lead, holds on to beat feisty Nashville

The Wild won its 39th game, topping last season's 82-game total 24 games sooner.

Wild's AHL club in the hunt for playoffs

First-year coach Derek Lalonde took over an Iowa team that had the fewest points in the AHL the past two seasons and now has them over .500
Olofsson making most of second chance with Wild

Olofsson making most of second chance with Wild

The Wild's Gustav Olofsson went from struggling prospect to steady NHL pro.
Kuemper sparkles in goal as Wild matches last season's win total

Kuemper sparkles in goal as Wild matches last season's win total

With the Wild having not lost two in a row in 2½ months and having lost two in a row in regulation only once, Darcy Kuemper was "by far" the Wild's best player, according to coach Bruce Boudreau.
Battling cancer, Dallas Stars TV voice Strader ready for return to airwaves Saturday

Battling cancer, Dallas Stars TV voice Strader ready for return to airwaves Saturday

Dave Strader, battling a rare form of bile duct cancer for 8½ months, will return to the TV booth in Dallas on Saturday to call the first of five straight Dallas Stars games. "I've missed it a ton," he said.
The verdict: Nyquist out for six games after high-sticking Wild's Spurgeon

The verdict: Nyquist out for six games after high-sticking Wild's Spurgeon

The NHL said the Detroit forward's actions were not accidental or inadvertent.
Wild's 37 shots aren't enough in 1-0 loss to Anaheim

Wild's 37 shots aren't enough in 1-0 loss to Anaheim

Despite dominating the contest, the Wild was shut out for the first time in 41 games and suffered its third 1-0 loss of the season, second at home.
Tuch struggles in first game back from AHL

Tuch struggles in first game back from AHL

Alex Tuch may have played his worst of four NHL games during Tuesday's 1-0 loss to Anaheim.
A year later, Wild is having a happier anniversary

A year later, Wild is having a happier anniversary

Last year at this time, the Wild lost for the 13th time in 14 games, held ninth place in the Western Conference, fired coach Mike Yeo and was in danger of missing the playoffs. Now it is one of the glamour teams in the NHL.
Wild's fourth-line struggles land Graovac on waivers

Wild's fourth-line struggles land Graovac on waivers

Tyler Graovac paid the price for the Wild being unhappy with the play of the fourth line of late. The Wild center was placed on waivers Monday. If Graovac clears at 11 a.m. Tuesday, he'll be assigned to AHL Iowa.
Stick job: Nyquist offered in-person hearing after cutting Spurgeon

Stick job: Nyquist offered in-person hearing after cutting Spurgeon

The incident was reminiscent of last April when Chicago's Duncan Keith was suspended five regular-season games and a playoff game for swinging his blade wildly at Charlie Coyle's face
Wild scores three power-play goals in 'ugly' victory over Detroit

Wild scores three power-play goals in 'ugly' victory over Detroit

Mikael Granlund, Nino Niederreiter and Zach Parise scored for the Wild with the man advantage on Sunday. But three times Minnesota allowed the Red Wings to answer after taking a two-goal lead.
Now with Detroit, Vanek heaps praise on Wild

Now with Detroit, Vanek heaps praise on Wild

'It's a team that can win the Stanley Cup,' the former Gophers star says.
Rooted in roller hockey, Wild's Zucker blooming on ice

Rooted in roller hockey, Wild's Zucker blooming on ice

When Jason Zucker was growing up in Las Vegas, his entire life was roller hockey. His dad, a general contractor at the time, built what's now the Las Vegas Ice Center — but the facility then was only roller rinks.
Blackhawks beat Wild in overtime in 'playoff game environment' at the X

Blackhawks beat Wild in overtime in 'playoff game environment' at the X

Jonathan Toews scored the winning goal with 3:09 into overtime on a 4-on-3 after a Ryan Suter holding penalty.
Wild winger Pominville puts early struggles in the past

Wild winger Pominville puts early struggles in the past

For the second consecutive second half of a season, Jason Pominville is heating up.
Juggled lines, Coyle's play boost Wild past Winnipeg to end road trip

Juggled lines, Coyle's play boost Wild past Winnipeg to end road trip

Charlie Coyle's move to center -- and then to wing when the game tightened up -- paid off in the 4-2 victory at Winnipeg.
Ironman Charlie Coyle credits health, Wild's training staff

Ironman Charlie Coyle credits health, Wild's training staff

If all goes according to plan, Charlie Coyle will break the Wild's ironman record of 283 games, set from 2000-03, Wednesday against the Blackhawks.
Offense, depth are new contributors to Wild's success on the road

Offense, depth are new contributors to Wild's success on the road

In addition to excellent goaltending, the Wild has benefited from improvements over its past success -- most notably improved depth and playing the same way at home and on the road.
Wild's Granlund-Koivu-Zucker line shuts 'em down and lights 'em up

Wild's Granlund-Koivu-Zucker line shuts 'em down and lights 'em up

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau loves the line because he can use it against any opposing top line and fully expect it will get the job done.
Mikael Granlund's hat trick leads Wild to 6-3 bounce back victory

Mikael Granlund's hat trick leads Wild to 6-3 bounce back victory

The Wild rebounded from its most lopsided loss of the season to top Vancouver
Wild's Staal hoping to rediscover first-half success

Wild's Staal hoping to rediscover first-half success

In the first 41 games, Staal led the Wild with 15 goals and 39 points. In nine games leading into Saturday's game at Vancouver, Staal had one goal and one assist.
You're up, rook: Tuch's Wild debut slated for first line, Coyle demoted

You're up, rook: Tuch's Wild debut slated for first line, Coyle demoted

If Friday's practice was any indication, the Wild's Alex Tuch, 20, will make his NHL debut Saturday in Vancouver as first-line right wing.
Wild's long-awaited call-up of Tuch could trigger shake-up

Wild's long-awaited call-up of Tuch could trigger shake-up

The arrival of young star Alex Tuch to the Wild's roster coincides with Charlie Coyle's slump.
Flames extinguish Wild's road points streak

Flames extinguish Wild's road points streak

The Wild on Wednesday gave up two power-play goals for the first time since Nov. 29 in a 5-1 stinker at Calgary.
Suddenly, Wild's Graovac is finding his game

Suddenly, Wild's Graovac is finding his game

Tyler Graovac, who had no points in 17 consecutive games and one in the previous 30, scored three goals in two games before Wednesday.
Wild continues climb with victory over Oilers

Wild continues climb with victory over Oilers

The Wild's win, coupled with Washington's loss, puts Minnesota at a league-best .724 points percentage and provided the Western Conference leaders with 71 points in 49 games
Friendly competition heats up Wild lines

Friendly competition heats up Wild lines

The Wild arguably has four scoring lines. "I feel that's what makes us really strong," Erik Haula said.
Despite All-Star loss, Boudreau and the Wild on the go all weekend

Despite All-Star loss, Boudreau and the Wild on the go all weekend

Coach Bruce Boudreau's team lost his All-Star debut badly, but the weekend in Los Angeles gave him a chance to call attention to the Wild's play.
Wild reps give young fan a boost from afar

Wild reps give young fan a boost from afar

The weekend task of Chris Guertin, a Wild fan and Minneapolis resident who does business with the NHL, was to find things to cheer up his son, Owen, who has been diagnosed with an arteriovenous malformation (AVM), a tangle of abnormal blood vessels connecting arteries and veins in the brain.
Ryan Suter enjoying life in Minnesota on, off the ice

Ryan Suter enjoying life in Minnesota on, off the ice

He gave up a lot to come to the Wild but gained so much more, with his son following Dad's every move during his latest All-Star season.
Former Wild goalie Bryzgalov finds fun in new role

Former Wild goalie Bryzgalov finds fun in new role

Ilya Bryzgalov, the lovable former Wild goalie and quote machine, was a correspondent for Players' Tribune during Saturday's media day during All-Star Weekend.
Dubnyk's family savors moment of NHL All-Star trip

Dubnyk's family savors moment of NHL All-Star trip

Devan Dubnyk's parents and siblings rode out the lows of his long pro career, and are in Los Angeles this weekend to join him at NHL All-Star weekend.
Wild assistant coach Stevens, former coach Lemaire among NHL's 100 Greatest

Wild assistant coach Stevens, former coach Lemaire among NHL's 100 Greatest

Scott Stevens was recognized with 99 others Friday night, including everybody from Wayne Gretzky and Mark Messier to Eric Lindros and Mike Bossy.
Wild's All-Star caravan readies for its L.A. close-up

Wild's All-Star caravan readies for its L.A. close-up

Private planes on Friday will carry Devan Dubnyk, Ryan Suter and Bruce Boudreau to the NHL All-Star game in Southern California.
Wild rolls into All-Star break with romp over Blues

Wild rolls into All-Star break with romp over Blues

With 69 points in 48 games, the Wild has the second-most points in the NHL and sits atop of Chicago in the Western Conference and Central Division standings by four points with three games in hand.
Wild could look to upgrade fourth-line center spot via trade

Wild could look to upgrade fourth-line center spot via trade

Tyler Graovac entered Tuesday's game against the Stars with three goals and no assists in 37 games and one point in the previous 28 games.
Wild coughs up another two-goal lead but beats Dallas in shootout

Wild coughs up another two-goal lead but beats Dallas in shootout

For the fifth time in seven games, the Wild gave up at least a two-goal lead. But in the end, the Wild was able to snag two points anyway after Chris Stewart scored to cap a five-round shootout
Boudreau: Coyle must shoot his way out of annual scoring slump

Boudreau: Coyle must shoot his way out of annual scoring slump

Coach Bruce Boudreau said he met with Charlie Coyle before Saturday's game and it's clear the coach is frustrated. "He's not looking to shoot … ever."
Fatigued Wild starts quickly, then falls to Predators

Fatigued Wild starts quickly, then falls to Predators

If you're a Wild fanatic who doubles as a worrywart, there was a laundry list of things to be concerned about Sunday night.
In-season goalie gear switch irritates Wild's Dubnyk

In-season goalie gear switch irritates Wild's Dubnyk

The Wild goaltender doesn't like changing equipment as it is, let alone in the middle of the hockey season.
Furious 3-goal rally ignites Wild over Anaheim

Furious 3-goal rally ignites Wild over Anaheim

Erik Haula, Ryan Suter and Jason Zucker scored three goals in a span of 1 minute, 59 seconds late in the third period to boost the Wild over the Ducks.
Wild's Stewart making the most of ice time

Wild's Stewart making the most of ice time

Chris Stewart entered Saturday's game against his previous team tied for sixth on the Wild with 10 goals despite ranking 16th in total ice time (454 minutes, 56 seconds) and 19th in ice time per game (10:20).
Transplanted Staal boys loving Wild, and Minnesota winter

Transplanted Staal boys loving Wild, and Minnesota winter

Eric Staal's sons have taken a quick liking to their new surroundings after moving from North Carolina.
Wild believes defenseman Reilly will return as 'a different player'

Wild believes defenseman Reilly will return as 'a different player'

The former Gopher didn't play Thursday against the Arizona Coyotes, but he will surely draw into the Wild lineup this weekend.
Wild's Granlund, full time at wing, is taking flight

Wild's Granlund, full time at wing, is taking flight

Moving to wing has given Mikael Granlund the ability to show off his offensive creativity. In 43 games this season, he already has 10 goals and 36 points and is plus-23.
NBC analyst Pierre McGuire sees a Stanley Cup in Wild's future

NBC analyst Pierre McGuire sees a Stanley Cup in Wild's future

"I give them a ton of credit," the well-traveled analyst said. "They've put themselves in a great position to win a Cup. This is the best team they've had in Minnesota ever."
'We threw it away.' Wild loses two-goal lead, game to Devils

'We threw it away.' Wild loses two-goal lead, game to Devils

Devan Dubnyk slammed a door. Bruce Boudreau's face was as red as his tie. The coach his team did 'uncharacteristically dumb things' on each New Jersey goal in the 4-3 loss.
Stewart-Schroeder combo clicking for Wild

Stewart-Schroeder combo clicking for Wild

The Chris Stewart-Jordan Schroeder duo is making things happen on the fourth line, and glib coach Bruce Boudreau will leave it at that.
Boudreau says Kuemper is 'going to have to get better'

Boudreau says Kuemper is 'going to have to get better'

The backup goaltender, who surrendered a 4-0 lead Saturday in Dallas before Jason Zucker's late winning goal bailed him out, has allowed four or more goals five times and three goals two other times in his nine starts.
First-place Wild rallies from two down to beat Chicago

First-place Wild rallies from two down to beat Chicago

Jason Pominville snapped a 19-game goal drought with the third-period game-winner to help the conference- and division-leading Wild take a two-point lead on Chicago while playing four fewer games than the Blackhawks.
Staal's presence with Wild is perfect complement for Koivu

Staal's presence with Wild is perfect complement for Koivu

The addition of Eric Staal has, in Wild coach Bruce Boudreau's words, "taken a little bit of pressure" off team captain Mikko Koivu.
Wild destroys Canadiens, Price with seven-goal outburst

Wild destroys Canadiens, Price with seven-goal outburst

The Wild tied its most lopsided home victory in team history during a 7-1 dismantling of Montreal and its star goalie Carey Price.
Science Museum exhibit lets visitors challenge Haula, other local stars

Science Museum exhibit lets visitors challenge Haula, other local stars

Guests can study the body in motion and see what it takes to hit a basket, swing a racket or score a goal. The exhibit opened Jan. 6.
Owner Craig Leipold thrilled by his new coach and Wild's success so far

Owner Craig Leipold thrilled by his new coach and Wild's success so far

Leipold is thrilled the Wild pounced on Bruce Boudreau the instant the coach was sacked last spring by the Ducks.
Halfway through season, Wild showing it can win the tough games

Halfway through season, Wild showing it can win the tough games

Nearing the halfway point of the season, the Wild continues to show it's a very different team that it has been in recent years.
Boudreau will coach Central Division team in NHL All-Star Game

Boudreau will coach Central Division team in NHL All-Star Game

Because the Wild is assured of the best points percentage in the Central Division through Tuesday's NHL action, Bruce Boudreau will return to Los Angeles to coach the Central during All-Star Weekend from Jan. 27-29.
Wild gives Boudreau a victory in return to Anaheim

Wild gives Boudreau a victory in return to Anaheim

The Wild marked the end of a successful California trip with a comeback victory on the eve of the coach's 62nd birthday.
Wild picks up a point, and Boudreau makes his after OT loss

Wild picks up a point, and Boudreau makes his after OT loss

Wild coach Bruce Boudreau saw plenty to correct after Saturday's matinee, even after his team forced overtime with the Kings.
Wild's junior prospects impress TSN analyst

Wild's junior prospects impress TSN analyst

Ray Ferraro says Wild fans have good reason to be excited about prospects Jordan Greenway, Luke Kunin, Karill Kaprizov and Joel Eriksson Ek.
Parise plays best game of the season after talk with Boudreau

Parise plays best game of the season after talk with Boudreau

In the first half of the season, Zach Parise hasn't produced the way he's accustomed, so Bruce Boudreau reminded Parise of his strengths. In the next game, Parise had three points.
Four-goal third period rallies Wild past San Jose

Four-goal third period rallies Wild past San Jose

Mikko Koivo tied the score and then added the game-winner while Eric Staal also scored twice to beat the Sharks, who twice held two-goal leads.
Struggling Parise gets pep talk from Wild coach Boudreau

Struggling Parise gets pep talk from Wild coach Boudreau

Bruce Boudreau met with Wild winger Zach Parise on Tuesday to discuss his game of late. It seemed to work as Parise looked like the Zach Parise of old against the Sharks.
Goalie, family man Dubnyk has firm grip on what's important

Goalie, family man Dubnyk has firm grip on what's important

Dubnyk leads the NHL in goals-against average, save percentage and shutouts, but he's all about being a dad to his two young sons when he's off the ice.
Wild is moving Schroeder to top line, Pominville to fourth

Wild is moving Schroeder to top line, Pominville to fourth

The Wild coach indicated it's more to find the right mix on the Zach Parise-Eric Staal line rather than to downgrade Pominville, whose 14-game goal drought is the fourth longest of his career.
Scoring is up, and that's bad for Wild's success formula

Scoring is up, and that's bad for Wild's success formula

Recent scoring sprees mark a departure from coach Bruce Boudreau's team-first, disciplined system.
World juniors has been showcase for Wild talent

World juniors has been showcase for Wild talent

Wild prospects Kirill Kaprizov, Jordan Greenway, Luke Kunin and Joel Eriksson Ek have played big roles in this year's world junior championships.
NHL Insider: 2016 turned into 'Wild' and newsy ride

NHL Insider: 2016 turned into 'Wild' and newsy ride

Seven things that happened to the Wild over the calendar year.
Wild must add goalie to keep Devan Dubnyk expansion draft-proof

Wild must add goalie to keep Devan Dubnyk expansion draft-proof

The Wild doesn't want to risk losing Devan Dubnyk to the Las Vegas expansion draft.
Columbus ends Wild's 12-game winning streak with 4-2 victory

Columbus ends Wild's 12-game winning streak with 4-2 victory

The Wild's winning streak reached its end, while the Blue Jackets' run is at 15 and counting.
A look back at the Wild's 12-game winning streak

A look back at the Wild's 12-game winning streak

Some key players and key moments from the franchise-best win streak.
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