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 plays a defenseman short

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild pregame skate Updated: March 8, 2012 - 5:10 PM

Update: Ran into Mike Yeo an hour ago and he said he'd rather play short than risk Stoner. Stoner may take warmups and then it'll be completely up to him. Yeo said he doesn't see Spurgeon be able to play. Also, assistant coach Darryl Sydor flew back to Minnesota for personal reasons. Darby Hendrickson will be on the bench in his place today.

Unless Clayton Stoner is going to be able to play tonight or Jared Spurgeon suddenly gets better, the Wild will be short a defenseman.

Tyler Cuma tweeted this afternoon that he didn't make his flight from Houston to Phoenix. Cuma flew from Vancouver to Houston with the Aeros, then had to get his gear and re-check his bags and himself. Apparently he didn't make it.

At @tcuma61, he first tweeted: "This is a whole new level of nervousness. Headed to Phoenix. Very excited."

Ten minutes ago, a new tweet: "Thank you everyone for the wishes! Unfortunately I was unable to make it out of Houston in time. Will not be in Phoenix tonight."

Brutal luck for the 2008 first-rounder who's waited so long to make his NHL debut. Also bad luck for the Wild because unless Stoner or Spurgeon plays, it has five defensemen here (and one is Kurtis Foster, who is playing with a back issue).

This is pretty much par for the Wild's course.

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