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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Wild updates

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild practice Updated: December 5, 2011 - 7:26 PM

Good late afternoon from Nor. Cal, where the Wild practiced today at HP Pavilion.

Niklas Backstrom took shots from goalie coach Bob Mason today, but he's doubtful to start against the Sharks. Josh Harding should get his second career appearance against San Jose, which has lost three of four. But the Wild is 1-8-1 in its past 10 at the Shark Tank.

Former Sharks winger Devin Setoguchi didn't practice today, but he's probable. He was limping after the game a bit last night.

Wild prospects Jason Zucker and Charlie Coyle were named to the USA's preliminary roster for this month's world junior championships in Alberta. The Wild could have up to eight players in the tournament (Sweden's Johan Larsson, Jonas Brodin and Johan Gustafsson, Finland's Mikael Granlund and Canada's Brett Bulmer and Zack Phillips).

Also, the Board of Governors are currently meeting in nearby Pebble Beach. The hot topic is realignment, but it's unclear if a resolution will come tonight or tomorrow. However, I've been told to stay by my laptop, so stay tuned.

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