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.

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Kassian, Falk on way to Minnesota

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild player moves Updated: November 24, 2010 - 7:53 AM

Morning.

I threw this on Twitter yesterday afternoon, but Matt Kassian is on his way back to Minnesota -- swapped for Casey Wellman -- to play against the physical Philly Flyers tonight. That means Robbie Earl will probably sit, I'd think.

But the Wild's also recalled Justin Falk with Marek Zidlicky banged up.

I mentioned the other day that the Wild would need to bring some extras up with four games in six nights and five in eight and seven in 11. With two games in three nights at Denver and Calgary and the crazy holiday travel this weekend, it's just easier to have a few extras around and have them travel with the team on their cushy charter.

So I'd think the Wild will keep the one extra forward and defenseman around for awhile.

The Wild's getting awfully close to the $59.4 million cap ceiling, but with Wellman sent back and Kassian and Falk brought up, the team still hasn't needed to put Pierre-Marc Bouchard, Josh Harding or Guillaume Latendresse on LTIR (long-term injured reserve). When the Wild needs to spend over the cap, it can retroactively place any of those guys on LTIR. Not an issue.

Talk to you after the skate. By the way, suspended Wild player James Sheppard (broken kneecap from ATV accident) has been around the rink a lot lately. He looks to be getting much better. I saw him without the brace the other day. Sheppard has agreed to talk with us this morning, so you'll be hearing from him for the first time since the accident soon.

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