More from the Homepage
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
Joe Thornton no longer a captain but still a Sharks leader

Joe Thornton no longer a captain but still a Sharks leader

Even minus his 'C', team turns to veteran Thornton for inspiration
Parise skating, working out after season-ending back injury

Parise skating, working out after season-ending back injury

Zach Parise opted for rehabilitation rather than surgery and hopes to represent the United States at the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto in September.
Wild assistants Wilson, Sydor won't be back behind the bench

Wild assistants Wilson, Sydor won't be back behind the bench

While general manager Chuck Fletcher had said he has ideas regarding the makeup of the coaching staff, new Wild coach Bruce Boudreau would be given "free rein" when it came to his chief lieutenants.

Wild notes: Fletcher wants Boudreau to form his own opinions on players

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher said Tuesday he doesn't want to offer too many opinions to new head coach Bruce Boudreau.
Boudreau takes over Wild: 'Hopefully I can help in some form bring a Stanley Cup'

Boudreau takes over Wild: 'Hopefully I can help in some form bring a Stanley Cup'

Known for an aggressive, offensive style and for getting the most out of his players, Bruce Boudreau had some memorable lines right out of the gate.
Fiery, funny and a bit profane: Wild coach Boudreau is a hockey lifer

Fiery, funny and a bit profane: Wild coach Boudreau is a hockey lifer

Talk to a half-dozen of Bruce Boudreau's friends and, without fail, they all describe the new Wild coach the same way: "an everyman … unassuming … not a self-promoter … no ego … honest … just a good, good guy."
'This team is good.' Boudreau's whirlwind week ends with Wild coaching job

'This team is good.' Boudreau's whirlwind week ends with Wild coaching job

The Wild made its initial offer to Boudreau on Friday night after he met with the Senators. The Wild increased the offer during back-and-forth negotiations by the time he left Ottawa on Saturday.
Bruce Boudreau agrees to four-year deal as Wild head coach

Bruce Boudreau agrees to four-year deal as Wild head coach

Boudreau, who coached the Anaheim Ducks and Washington Capitals to eight division titles in nine years, agreed to terms Saturday night on a four-year contract.
Wild coach search begins with two steps

Wild coach search begins with two steps

The Wild asked permission to contact Bruce Boudreau and met with John Torchetti.
New name in Wild coaching search after Boudreau fired by Anaheim

New name in Wild coaching search after Boudreau fired by Anaheim

Although he has little postseason success, in 681 regular-season games over nine seasons Bruce Boudreau is 409-192-80 behind the bench.
Granlund, Coyle will continue to play both center and wing

Granlund, Coyle will continue to play both center and wing

Their versatility could go a long way for the Wild.
Fletcher says Torchetti a serious coaching candidate, chemistry 'overblown'

Fletcher says Torchetti a serious coaching candidate, chemistry 'overblown'

Selecting a permanent coach is part of Chuck Fletcher's fix-it project for the Wild's offseason following this year's roller-coaster of a campaign.
Parise hopes rehab will enable him to avoid back surgery

Parise hopes rehab will enable him to avoid back surgery

Zach Parise, who dealt with a herniated disk for three months, is optimistic that offseason rehab will fix his back.
Vanek wants to stay with Wild but knows buyout is possible

Vanek wants to stay with Wild but knows buyout is possible

The injured Thomas Vanek, 32, scored a career-low 18 goals in 74 games. His 41 points were his fewest in a non-lockout-shortened season.
Dallas eliminates Wild; furious rally falls short

Dallas eliminates Wild; furious rally falls short

Potential tying goal winds up millimeters short as Wild's season ends.
Strange goals find Wild's Dubnyk and force him into offseason

Strange goals find Wild's Dubnyk and force him into offseason

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk cannot get over the one or two goofy, funky goals a game that were scored against him not only in the Wild's first-round playoff series against the Dallas Stars but pretty much every game down the stretch of the series.
Wild's Granlund dishes pucks, hits

Wild's Granlund dishes pucks, hits

The forward has been one of the Wild's most effective players.
Koivu saves the season: Tying, winning goals give Wild overtime win

Koivu saves the season: Tying, winning goals give Wild overtime win

Friday night in what could have been a season-ending Game 5, captain Mikko Koivu, who forced overtime in the final minutes of the third period, scored his first career playoff overtime winner for a season-saving 5-4 Wild victory.
Wild notes: Torchetti alters lineup for Game 5

Wild notes: Torchetti alters lineup for Game 5

With the Wild facing elimination Friday night, coach John Torchetti made a couple tweaks to the lineup in Game 5 against the Dallas Stars.
Down 3-1 in the series Wild knows, 'you need everybody'

Down 3-1 in the series Wild knows, 'you need everybody'

The Wild's attempt to climb back begins tonight.
In Dallas, old-school coach Ruff relates well to younger players

In Dallas, old-school coach Ruff relates well to younger players

In a league where coaches are hired to be fired within a few seasons, Lindy Ruff spent 15 years coaching the Buffalo Sabres before coming to Dallas in 2013.
Wild rallies past Dallas after Torchetti challenges team

Wild rallies past Dallas after Torchetti challenges team

The Wild, with injured star Zach Parise watching from the press box, got off to a slow start before being implored by interim coach John Torchetti to 'give up more for each other.'
Torchetti makes move to add bulk to Wild's lineup

Torchetti makes move to add bulk to Wild's lineup

John Torchetti was so dissatisfied with the Wild's physicality in Games 1 and 2 that the first couple of clips he showed the team on video in advance of Game 3 illustrated the fact that if the "littlest" guys on the team — Mikael Granlund and Jared Spurgeon — could play physical, so could everyone else.
Wild notes: Carter admits he likely deserved incitement penalty

Wild notes: Carter admits he likely deserved incitement penalty

"I'm good at taking penalties nobody's ever heard of before,'' Carter said. "I always get the good ones."
Agitation, aggravation from Wild after Game 2 loss

Agitation, aggravation from Wild after Game 2 loss

A controversial, fluky goal left goalie Devan Dubnyk livid and proved damaging as the Stars took a 2-0 stranglehold on the first-round series with Game 3 in St. Paul on Monday night.
Torchetti shakes up Wild lines, but Granlund can't convert

Torchetti shakes up Wild lines, but Granlund can't convert

As part of John Torchetti's Game 2 shake-up, Mikael Granlund moved from second-line center to first-line left wing. The result was seven shots … and no goals
Torchetti to shake things up as Wild prepares for Game 2 in Dallas

Torchetti to shake things up as Wild prepares for Game 2 in Dallas

In an effort to repair the Wild's psyche, coach John Torchetti shook up the lines during Friday's practice.
Wild notes: Speedy forward Haula expected back for Game 2

Wild notes: Speedy forward Haula expected back for Game 2

Erik Haula missed Thursday's 4-0 loss to the Stars because of a lower-body injury.
Star struck: Dallas blanks depleted Wild 4-0 in playoff series opener

Star struck: Dallas blanks depleted Wild 4-0 in playoff series opener

Wild players said early Thursday they'd use the underdog card as motivation. But the undermanned team that skidded into the playoffs looked like it didn't belong on the same ice with the Stars
Tuch's goal: to make Wild's 2016-17 team

Tuch's goal: to make Wild's 2016-17 team

One day after leaving Boston College after two seasons to sign with the team that drafted him 18th overall in 2014, Alex Tuch said his goal is to make the Wild next season.
Coyle, Zucker will be key for Wild in Parise's absence

Coyle, Zucker will be key for Wild in Parise's absence

With Zach Parise expected to be sidelined indefinitely, the pressure will be on other Wild players to pick up the slack offensively.
Do-it-all Benn has Stars shining bright

Do-it-all Benn has Stars shining bright

Missing the playoffs last year served as winger's motivation for a strong season.
Parise goes to Mayo; Wild go on as if he won't be back soon

Parise goes to Mayo; Wild go on as if he won't be back soon

Parise was at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester seeing a specialist Monday, according to multiple sources, a week after aggravating a back injury that has affected him since January.
Seguin practices, could return for Stars in playoff opener

Seguin practices, could return for Stars in playoff opener

The Stars' young superstar Tyler Seguin practiced with Dallas for the first time since sustaining a lacerated Achilles' tendon March 17.
Wild's Parise still not a sure thing for playoff opener

Wild's Parise still not a sure thing for playoff opener

Teammate Chris Porter, Zach Parise's friend and college teammate, said the Wild's star winger "has been mum about it to everybody. It's obviously bad."
Wild's series with high-scoring Dallas looks like mismatch

Wild's series with high-scoring Dallas looks like mismatch

Any way you measure it, the Wild comes up short in virtually every category against the No. 1-seed Dallas Stars, who won 12 more games and finished with 22 more points.
Tearful Backstrom gets ovation from Wild fans after Calgary's 2-1 win

Tearful Backstrom gets ovation from Wild fans after Calgary's 2-1 win

In what may have been his final NHL contest, former Wild goalie Niklas Backstrom returned to his home of 10 seasons and put forth a 35-save performance to lead Calgary.
Long, strange trip still lands Wild in the playoffs

Long, strange trip still lands Wild in the playoffs

The Wild turns its focus to consistency as the postseason begins Thursday with a Game 1 matchup in Dallas.
Wild hope to finish with win against Flames, and stay healthy

Wild hope to finish with win against Flames, and stay healthy

The season finale presents an opportunity to end an unsightly losing streak.

Torchetti expects Thomas Vanek to miss start of playoffs

The Wild expects to be without veteran winger Thomas Vanek for the start of the playoffs, interim coach John Torchetti said Friday.Vanek, who…
Wild positively knows it must end its negative play

Wild positively knows it must end its negative play

Of the 160 playoff teams in the shootout era, the Wild could end up making the postseason with the fewest points.
Wild's night: Another loss and booed off ice, but playoff berth clinched

Wild's night: Another loss and booed off ice, but playoff berth clinched

The Wild might have been the first team in NHL history booed off the ice by its home crowd on a night it clinched a playoff berth after losing 3-0 to San Jose.
'Competition is great' Torchetti shakes up Wild lineup by scratching four

'Competition is great' Torchetti shakes up Wild lineup by scratching four

Defensemen Matt Dumba and Mike Reilly, and wingers Jordan Schroeder and Justin Fontaine were scratched Tuesday.
Wild lose third straight, continue backpedaling closer to playoffs

Wild lose third straight, continue backpedaling closer to playoffs

The odds still say the Wild gets in, but the Winnipeg defeated the Wild 5-1 as Jets fans taunted the losers with chants of "First-round Exit!"
Missing playoffs doesn't sit well with Jets' Wheeler

Missing playoffs doesn't sit well with Jets' Wheeler

It's been a disappointing season in Winnipeg and Wheeler, the Plymouth native, former Gopher and likely future Winnipeg Jets captain. The Jets had high expectations after making the playoffs for the first time since relocating from Atlanta last season.
Wild could clinch playoff berth with one good battle

Wild could clinch playoff berth with one good battle

A matchup with the rugged Jets on Sunday evening stands in the way of the Wild and the playoffs.
NHL suspends Chicago's Keith 6 games for high-sticking Wild's Coyle

NHL suspends Chicago's Keith 6 games for high-sticking Wild's Coyle

The NHL called Duncan Keith's high-stick a dangerous, intentional and violent retaliation to a "light shove" from Charlie Coyle.
Wild's winning streak ends, leaving Torchetti ticked

Wild's winning streak ends, leaving Torchetti ticked

Maybe a letdown was natural after six consecutive wins and the emotional victory over Chicago. But the Wild got beat by an opponent that had nothing to play for.
Mentoring role of former star Oates under scrutiny by NHL teams

Mentoring role of former star Oates under scrutiny by NHL teams

Former NHL coach Adam Oates has been under scrutiny from NHL teams for privately working with players, including Wild veteran Zach Parise.
Wild's sixth straight win is a big one over Blackhawks

Wild's sixth straight win is a big one over Blackhawks

The Wild stayed hot Tuesday, winning 4-1 over Chicago to continue its surge as the playoffs near. Minnesota sits in a postseason position with five games to play.
Prosser's good deeds earns Wild's Masterton Trophy nominee nod

Prosser's good deeds earns Wild's Masterton Trophy nominee nod

The Bill Masterton Trophy goes to an NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to ice hockey.
Former Wild exec has Blackhawks' Panarin as top client

Former Wild exec has Blackhawks' Panarin as top client

A referral in Russia made Calder Trophy hopeful Panarin the beacon of former Wild exec's sports agency.
Laid-back Wild getting its game right in multiple ways

Laid-back Wild getting its game right in multiple ways

A recent turnaround and an upcoming favorable schedule means the Wild currently has a 94.9 percent chance of making the playoffs.
Gophers' Seeler signs with Wild; more collegians could, too

Gophers' Seeler signs with Wild; more collegians could, too

The Wild signed Gophers junior defenseman Nick Seeler to a two-year, entry-level deal starting next season.
Parise scores twice as Wild scores important 4-0 victory at Colorado

Parise scores twice as Wild scores important 4-0 victory at Colorado

The Wild played it cool, rolled over the physical Avalanche and padded its lead for a playoff spot.
Parise greets Backstrom with first-period hat trick in Wild's 6-2 win

Parise greets Backstrom with first-period hat trick in Wild's 6-2 win

One day after missing practice to be treated by a doctor for an undisclosed lingering injury, the slumping Wild winger ruined the homecoming of the winningest goaltender in Wild history
David Jones fitting in with Wild after trade from Calgary last month

David Jones fitting in with Wild after trade from Calgary last month

There was so much hoopla about Niklas Backstrom's return to Xcel Energy Center on Thursday night that David Jones' first game against the Calgary Flames got overshadowed. The forward who came to Minnesota in the Backstrom deal Feb. 29 played three seasons for the Flames and faced his old team for the first time.
Dubnyk's heroics save the Wild in win over Kings

Dubnyk's heroics save the Wild in win over Kings

The puck seemed as if it was in the Wild's zone for 120 minutes of the 60-minute game, but Devan Dubnyk hoisted the Wild back into the second wild-card spot for now.
Pominville skates, nears return to Wild

Pominville skates, nears return to Wild

Jason Pominville missed his seventh consecutive game Tuesday night, but could practice Wednesday for a possible return Thursday against Calgary or Saturday in Colorado.
Haula, Niederreiter build offense off defensive game

Haula, Niederreiter build offense off defensive game

Erik Haula and Nino Niederreiter keep the third line dangerous.
Wild slips past Chicago in shootout

Wild slips past Chicago in shootout

Charlie Coyle's shootout goal and Devan Dubnyk's key saves earned the win.
Wild's Vanek scratched but isn't venting frustrations

Wild's Vanek scratched but isn't venting frustrations

Coach John Torchetti essentially put Vanek on notice last week. He wants more work ethic and battle and made clear he wanted Vanek to start taking care of the puck.
Wild gets relief at home, and important 2 points

Wild gets relief at home, and important 2 points

Minnesota moved within one point of the 8th-place Avalanche for the second Western Conference wild-card spot.
After win, Dubnyk imparts a little goalie philosophy

After win, Dubnyk imparts a little goalie philosophy

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk improved to 2-1 in games after being pulled this season.
Dubnyk, goalies help NHL modify equipment rules

Dubnyk, goalies help NHL modify equipment rules

Devan Dubnyk is all for the smaller pants and more contoured chest protectors approved this week by the general managers.
Wild aiming to finish road trip well after crushing loss

Wild aiming to finish road trip well after crushing loss

Sensing his team still was stinging before Wednesday's practice, interim coach John Torchetti gathered his players by the bench and tried to get them refocused.
Wild loses lead in final seconds, loses game in overtime to Ottawa

Wild loses lead in final seconds, loses game in overtime to Ottawa

Mika Zibanejad's goal with eight seconds left sent Tuesday's game into overtime, where the Senators scored on Devan Dubnyk with 30.4 seconds to play.
Ottawa's Karlsson earns raves from Wild

Ottawa's Karlsson earns raves from Wild

The 25-year-old Senators captain has 72 points in 71 games. In the past 20 years, only four defensemen have averaged one point a game in a season.
Wild has found that there's no place like … the road

Wild has found that there's no place like … the road

Asked about his team's problems playing at home, interim coach John Torchetti said: "I have no idea. But it's a big thing, seriously."
NHL Insider: Crystal ball reveals no quick fix for Wild

NHL Insider: Crystal ball reveals no quick fix for Wild

Angst is up after a third winless Wild homestand in 2016 (that's what being a bubble team yet again and two wins in the past 13 games at Xcel Energy Center causes), so naturally it's time for another Russo's Rants Sunday Insider Q and A.
Wild's Coyle finds net, with help of 'Dr. Shot'

Wild's Coyle finds net, with help of 'Dr. Shot'

Charlie Coyle has surpassed his career high of 12 goals in 2013-14 by nine goals this season with 13 games to play.
Granlund goals spark Wild past Canadiens

Granlund goals spark Wild past Canadiens

Devan Dubynk's strong start in Montreal and Colorado's loss put the Wild back in eighth.
Wild's Torchetti sends message, benches Zucker

Wild's Torchetti sends message, benches Zucker

One day after players say he was the most pointed he has been with them to date, the Wild interim coach scratched second-line winger Jason Zucker against the Montreal Canadiens.
Rested and refreshed, Wild prepares for playoff push

Rested and refreshed, Wild prepares for playoff push

Beginning Thursday vs. Edmonton, 15 games in 31 days will seals team's fate.
Torchetti gives Wild some extra rest ahead of final regular-season push

Torchetti gives Wild some extra rest ahead of final regular-season push

After the Wild played eight games in 13 days and 15 games in 27 days, coach John Torchetti followed Monday's CBA-mandated day off by canceling Tuesday's practice.
More from Star Tribune