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's Matt Cullen out with season-ending surgery; Horde of Rangers with Minnesota ties

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild news, Wild pregame skate Updated: March 27, 2012 - 12:36 PM

UPDATED

Center Matt Cullen, after having more pictures taken of his broken right index finger, underwent season-ending surgery this morning. Chad Rau remains.

Niklas Backstrom was back on the ice this morning, so Matt Hackett was reassigned.

Josh Harding starts vs. Henrik Lundqvist tonight.

Defenseman Justin Falk (knee) also skated with the team this morning and expects to get into a full practice tomorrow.

Erik Christensen and Jed Ortmeyer both held court with the Rangers' large press corps this morning. In the Rangers' locker room, there's tons of guys with Minnesota ties -- Derek Stepan, former Minnesota Mr. Hockey Ryan McDonagh and the great Stu Bickel. Michael Sauer has been out with a concussion.

Of course, there's also Marian Gaborik and John Scott, who will be scratched tonight. Scott, not Gaborik, who is lighting it up this season for the Rangers, the team he once scored five against in this arena.

Gaborik has missed two of the three games against the Wild with injury, so tonight will be his second game in this arena after an assist during last year's meeting (night the Rangers got stuck here due to that ice storm).

Seeing Gaborik brought back a lot of memories of Derek Boogaard and Pavol Demitra of course, and I talked to him a little about that. A lot of those Rangers guys were very close with Boogaard, too.

More on all this in tomorrow's Star Tribune notebook.

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