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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Staubitz suspended rest of preseason, 3 regular-season games

Posted by: Michael Russo under Vikings draft, Wild practice, Wild training camp Updated: September 27, 2011 - 8:25 AM

Update: James Wisniewski suspended rest of preseason and eight regular-season games for leaping retaliatory elbow at Cal Clutterbuck's head. Here is the video explanation

Here is the Staubitz article and Clutterbuck talking about studying up to make sure he doesn't get in the same hot water

I also talked to Aaron Boogaard last night about his potential contract in Houston. In the conversation, he talked about his brother and his addiction to painkillers. You can read that article, and the rest of the Wild notebook here

I will blog after this morning's skate, and I will be on KFAN at 10:30 a.m.

Relaxed but very busy day down at the X. After an almost hourlong practice that included a few funny scenes, it was Media Day, which means players run from station to station in full Wild garb for photo shoots with, for instance, the Star Tribune, interviews with, for instance, Fox Sports North and Jumbotron modeling, for lack of a better term, among other things (You know when the player does the dramatic little turn during starting lineup announcements).

Before practice, Brad Staubitz had a phone hearing with NHL disciplinarian Brendan Shanahan, who's been a busy man on his first week in at least this new facet of his league job. This stems from Staubitz's boarding major Friday against Columbus' Cody Bass.

The ruling has come down. He'll be banished the rest of the preseason and the first three games of the regular season. Here is the video explanation from Brendan Shanahan

Staubitz talked about the incident and hearing this morning:

“I was on the forecheck, and it’s obviously not the outcome I wanted from the hit. I say I play hard but not dirty. ... You’ve just got to be conscious all the time of what you’re doing. It’s tough. You’ve got to play hard, especially in the role that I’m in. It’s a narrow line.”

I'll have much more in Tuesday's paper from Staubitz, but on being suspended, Staubitz accepted his punishment and said, "Start of the new year, I want to be playing, I want to be in the mix. I want what’s fair though. As long as there’s consistency with this now."

My guess is he gets the rest of the preseason and a game or two to start the season. But that's a total shot in the dark guess from somebody who still has not seen a replay.

When the ruling comes down, I will update the blog. Like I said Shanahan's busy with three hearings today, including James Wisniewski's for his illegal hit to Cal Clutterbuck's head. Plus, the league was busy finally announcing the worst kept secret in hockey -- the Winter Classic is in Philly vs. the Rangers on Jan. 2.

The second worst kept secret is the draft being in Pittsburgh, so announce that already, would ya?

The league has reworked the language on boarding penalties and there's been a clear crackdown during the preseason. In the Wild's four exhibition games alone, the Wild and its opponent have combined for seven boarding penalties, including two majors to Staubitz and Darroll Powe.

The players throughout the league have sat down and watched three videos:

If you click on this video, you can look in the coming up section and watch the same videos. First, is the language. Second are three examples of illegal hits (Clayton Stoner plays an unenviable starring role in one). Third are three examples of legal hits.

Clutterbuck says he's gone back and watched the videos over again to make sure he understands the rule. It's critical for players like Clutterbuck and Staubitz, two very physical players, to understand the enforcement.

Other Wild news and notes:

-- The Wild plans to sign Aaron Boogaard to an AHL two-way contract, meaning with Houston or a lower-level team, like the East Coast or Central Hockey League. Boogaard landed in Houston this afternoon and arrived in time for the start of training camp. This has been in the works for some time but was held up due to a visa issue because of the legal trouble he's in for allegedly giving an illegal, controlled substance to his brother, Derek, prior to his death and interfering with a scene of death.

The visa issue has since been cleared up.

"We want to give Aaron an opportunity to continue his hockey career," Houston GM Jim Mill said. "We're trying to help him out."

I'll have more on this in Tuesday's paper.

-- Nick Schultz, who suffered from post-concussion syndrome this summer but has been symptom-free for awhile, will make his exhibition debut Tuesday against St. Louis.

-- Cody Almond is skating lightly but is still sidelined by a muscular issue with his back that keeps flaring up.

-- Brett Bulmer was very excited to still be here, but he knows he hasn't made the team yet. Frankly, at this point, I do think he starts the season though.

But as GM Chuck Fletcher said yesterday, "To me people make too big a deal about who made the team and who didn’t. We've seen over the years, I don’t know if you ever really have your team. You’re constantly making changes, you're constantly reacting to injuries or poor play in Minnesota or great play in Houston. This year won't be different. There are going to be players we send down today that could be back with us very quickly and players that start with us that don’t finish with us."

-- Mike Lundin is still completely sidelined with a back issue.

-- On the first day of camp, I wrote the Wild would put decals on their helmets to pay tribute to Derek Boogaard and Pavol Demitra. Here's a look from equipment manager Tony DaCosta's must-follow Twitter account (styleswild):

 

 

-- I have a couple other things that should be in Tuesday's paper. If I can't squeeze it all in, I'll update the blog.

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