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.

Also find Russo on Facebook.

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Locked-out NHL Player Charity Game coming to Mariucci; Dumba dazzles; Gophers smatterings

Posted by: Michael Russo under Gophers, Wild off-season news Updated: October 4, 2012 - 1:10 AM

Late blog, I know, but I was watching that suspenseful Presidential debate that could only be topped by Gary Bettman vs. Donald Fehr.

In fact, that would be fun and entertaining to watch that drama.
 
Speaking of fun and entertaining, Matt Dumba, the Wild's brash, physical, very offensive-minded 2012 first-round pick, scoring a ridiculous first goal of his season with WHL Red Deer during a 5-3 win over Saskatoon tonight. Check it out here, scoring top shelf after sliding through the offensive zone about 40 feet on his knees.
 
 
Starving to watch NHL players and worried it’s going to be weeks, if not months, before you can see them live and in person?
 
Good news.
 
Defending the Blue Line will announce Thursday that it is hosting an NHL Players Charity Game and Jersey Auction on Oct. 28 at 6 p.m. at Mariucci Arena.
 
Headlining the event will be Zach Parise with additional players released every Friday on KFAN, www.defendingtheblueline.org and DTBL social media outlets. Tickets for the event are $20 in advance, $30 at the door, and go on sale Monday, Oct. 8 via www.mygophersports.com Player game worn jerseys will be autographed and auctioned off after the game and all fans will be entered into a raffle for a variety of prizes.
 
“In the event the collective bargaining agreement between the NHL and NHLPA is settled prior to the event, DTBL reserves the right to provide an alternate game, or convert the monies spent on event tickets to a charitable donation to DTBL.”
 
Also, the player list is subject to change in the event players take contracts in Europe.
 
Today, I spent the afternoon down at Mariucci at Gophers media day. As I mentioned the other day, the plan is for me to cover the Gophers men’s hockey team for the length of the lockout.
 
You can see those articles at www.startribune.com/gophers.
 
Thursday’s article that re-introduces a team with big expectations is at this link.
 
Couple extra notes that hit the cutting room floor:
 
BUDISH HONORED BY ‘C’
 
Zach Budish says it was a “tremendous honor” when he was voted by teammates to replace Taylor Matson as team captain.
 
“The kid’s got a natural aura about him, just a glow,” defenseman Nate Schmidt said of Budish. “Taylor is one of the best example leaders I’ve ever played with. … Zach doesn’t demand respect, but he commands the players to play the way he does – a hard-nose, tough, grind-it-out style.”
 
LUCIA LOOKING FORWARD TO OUTDOOR GAME
 
Don Lucia is excited to coach the Gophers outdoors at Soldier Field in Chicago on Feb. 17 against Wisconsin.
 
“It was on my bucket list. Who knows whether I’ll have the opportunity to do it again,” Lucia said.
 
There was talk that last year’s game against Notre Dame was originally supposed to be outdoors. It never happened.
 
“The day’s going to happen when we have one here,” said Lucia.
 
There will be many Gophers articles ahead, and obviously, I will continue to be covering the Wild and the NHL lockout.
 
As you may have noticed, the NHL did not make an announcement regarding the delay to the start of the season today. That is coming … very soon.

By the way, Aeros lost 7-2 in their first exhibition game tonight. Huge cutdown day coming Thursday.

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