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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Anton Khudobin era ends in Minnesota

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild trade news Updated: February 28, 2011 - 3:28 PM

I was going to go with the "Wild trades for Penner" headline just to drive traffic, but I thought you might not find the humor in that and chickened out.

The Wild traded goalie Anton Khudobin to the Boston Bruins'  forJeff Penner and Mikko Lehtonen in a minor-league move.

Not Dustin Penner and not Jeff Skinner. Defenseman Jeff Penner.

The Borat era is over. As I've indicated many times, it was over anyway this summer when he becomes a Group 6 unrestricted free agent. The Wild's turning to Matt Hackett and Darcy Kuemper, bringing over Dennis Endras and will probably sign a backup for Minnesota. The Wild also likes draft pick Johan Gustafsson.

Josh Harding's future is very uncertain.

Khudobin, 24, was a seventh-round pick by the Wild in 2004. You cannot say enough for the fill-in jobs he's done in Minnesota. With Niklas Backstrom and Jose Theodore hurt last month, he went 2-1 with a 1.59 goals against average and .942 save percentage. Last year, he went 2-0 with a 0.86 goals against average.

Penner, 23, has played two NHL games for Boston, is from Winnipeg, played at Alaska-Fairbanks and has played for the last 3-plus years for Providence. Restricted free agent

Lehtonen, 23, is a huge scorer right now in the Swedish Elite League. Restricted free agent.

Waiting for Jim Mill to talk about this.

Wild didn't make any other moves is a snoozer of a trade deadline league wide. Vancouver added Chris Higgins and Maxim Lapierre, Calgary added oft-injured Fredrik Modin (Jay Feaster connection), Chicago added Chris Campoli (Jordan Hendry got hurt last night) and of course LA added Dustin Penner. Those were the notable moves by the teams around the Wild. Forgot the biggest one in my opinion: Columbus adding Scottie Upshall and Sami Lepisto to Phoenix for Rusty Klesla.

The Wild's Chuck Fletcher will be available at 6:50, so nothing from him yet. But as you can see, it was a trade deadline where the prices were inflated because of how few sellers there were. Not a lot of quantity, and in the case of the Wild, it doesn't need the third and fourth liners and probably didn't have the pieces to add that top-line winger. As for the centermen, there were marginal ones out there and clearly the Wild's going to hope for Koivu's quick return and go with Almond, Peters, Wellman as depth.

More later

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