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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Update: Cullen sick, Latendresse will play for Wild

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: December 13, 2011 - 12:26 PM

Morning from icy Winnipeg, my first-ever trip into Manitoba.

update to update: In a surprise, Guillaume Latendresse will return from a concussion and play tonight -- after only one practice -- because Matt Cullen is sick.

and in an earlier update from the Wild skate ... with Cullen out, Cody Almond is centering Casey Wellman and Pierre-Marc Bouchard. With Jeff Taffe reassigned with Cal Clutterbuck back, the Wild has no extra forwards, so therefore the surprise insertion of Latendresse.

I will update blog after skate.

Zack Phillips was among seven roster cuts by Team Canada this morning at the world junior championships selection camp in Calgary. Brett Bulmer sticks for now, but by my count, there should be at least seven more forward cuts. It's ultra-competitive. Remember, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins didn't make last year's team, and Phillips, lighting up the Q, was considered very much a long shot.

So, the Wild went from having a potential of up to eight prospects in the tournament to seven.

Here's a look at who, from this story that ran in Monday's paper.

Antti Miettinen was claimed off waivers by Winnipeg. He signed a two-year, $3 million deal yesterday with Tampa Bay. Because he was joining the NHL in the middle of the year from the KHL, he had to pass through waivers.

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