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.

Email Michael to talk about hockey.

Update: Wild schedule still being developed

Posted by: Michael Russo under On the road, Wild news Updated: January 8, 2013 - 5:51 PM

Could be a false alarm with this original blog. The Wild still is expected to open the 48-game regular season Jan. 19, but it may not be at home.

That will be a big disappointment to a lot of fans because Jan. 19 is Hockey Day Minnesota, but there is a chance now the Wild opens on the road. The schedule is still being developed and should be released once the players ratify the deal, which should be Saturday. But the Wild could very well open on the road Jan. 19 and at home Jan. 20.

The opponent may still be Colorado both nights.

The Wild will open the 48-game regular season Jan. 19 at home against the Colorado Avalanche, sources tell me.

Training camp will open Sunday -- one day after the players are expected to ratify the new collective bargaining agreement.

The owners are expected to ratify the new CBA tomorrow in New York. The players will then conduct a vote that should last until Saturday. I did talk to the NHLPA today about why the vote is taking so long, and they explained that they have 750 members and it's incumbent on them to educate the players as to exactly what they're signing. So they will talk to players both individually and as teams.

They want to make sure that players understand every facet of the CBA and don't feel rushed when they're signing an agreement that will be binding for the next maybe 10 years.

--The NHL refs and linesmen will have a two-day mini-camp in Toronto on Jan. 16-17.

--As I put on the blog the other day, the 48-game schedule will be divided as five games vs. two teams in a division, four games vs. two teams in a division (18 games) and three games vs. the other 10 teams in one's conference (30 games).

--Mikael Granlund and Torrey Mitchell arrived at the Wild's skate today. Mikko Koivu, Dany Heatley and Zenon Konopka are expected there tomorrow, and that would be the full allotment of players.

Granlund looked very good and chatted with the media after. You can a story I wrote on him in Wednesday's newspaper. Some funny stuff in there from HIFK part-owner Niklas Backstrom, Granlund's former "boss."

-- On defenseman Matt Dumba, 18, being invited to camp, assistant GM Brent Flahr said, "It'll be good experience for him. He can get to know us and players and we can evaluate him as well. At the same time, he's coming here to show well for himself. Obviously the odds are probably against him, but at the same time knowing him and his mentality, he's coming here to hopefully show well and make something happen. If not, overall it'll be good experience for hm and he can go back to junior and go from there."

-- If you didn't join my live chat today, here is a replay and I plan to do another one this week or early next week because I had to leave so many questions unanswered due to time.

-- Also, if you didn't read, please check out my Don Lucia-Mario Lucia father-son story today. Gophers-Notre Dame tonight at Mariucci, and I'll be covering.

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