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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Rau reassigned to Houston; will Koivu return tonight?

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild pregame skate Updated: December 20, 2011 - 12:04 PM

Update: Morning from Calgary. Brief update, but Chad Rau has been reassigned to AHL Houston.

The Wild's having an optional skate right now with mostly scratches. Mikko Koivu is down at the rink skating, but I'm betting he'll be a gametime decision. Also down at the rink skating are Justin Falk, Colton Gillies, Greg Zanon, Mike Lundin and Josh Harding

Like I've said the last three or four days, I think Calgary was the game the Wild was hoping he would return. It's winless in four. It needs him, especially minus Guillaume Latendresse, Devin Setoguchi and Casey Wellman. I'd think he plays.

We will see, however. If he plays, I'm betting Gillies comes out. A lot of guys didn't play well last night, including a number of veterans. But he was minus-2 and had a game-turning penalty.

We'll be meeting with Mike Yeo in the lobby of the hotel at 11:30 a.m. MT, so I'll update the blog afterward.

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