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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A small cast of characters at St. Thomas Academy

Posted by: Kent Youngblood under Wild practice Updated: February 17, 2012 - 2:46 PM

 It wasn't exactly a who's who at St. Thomas Academy Friday for the Wild's optional practice. 

Emphasis on optional.

There were only nine skaters who joined goalies Niklas Backstrom and Josh Harding: Nick Johnson, Darroll Powe, Warren Peters, Matt Kassian, Erik Christensen, Jeff Taffe, Nate Prosser, Justin Falk and Marek Zidlicky.

It was a quick skate, and an even quicker dash for the bus back to Xcel Energy Center. 

What was to be gleaned from all this? Not a lot. 

A few of the forwards talked about the need to get scoring from somewhere other than the top line of Mikko Koivu, Devin Setoguchi and Dany Heatley. Those three accounted for all the goal scoring in the last four games. 

Zidlicky is clearly not happy with his situation here, especially after being scratched Thursday against Winnipeg after playing less than 16 minutes against Anaheim. Asked to confirm his agent's claim that he would waive a no-trade clause in his contract for the right trade, Zidlicky said, "Probably. That's the way I feel right now. So we'll see what happens."

Meanwhile. Jed Ortmeyer was recalled from Houston by the Wild, who sent Cody Almond back to the Aeros. 

That's about it. Mr. Russo will be with the team in St. Louis.

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