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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Crosby delivers gold to Canada; Wild news

Posted by: Michael Russo under Olympic hockey, Wild news Updated: February 28, 2010 - 9:07 PM

It's not often games live up to the hype, but I can't imagine covering a more exciting hockey game. Between the atmosphere and the type of hockey played and the mounted American comeback and the overtime winner, it was just a tremendous final display of these Olympics.

Just a thrill.

The Americans were obviously overwhelmed with disappointment, and most weren't taking solace in the achievement of winning a silver medal. Erik Johnson, for one, called it a "complete disappointment."

As Patrick Kane said, "You come here and you think of the feeling that it’s going to be winning gold, you don’t get it and then you’ve got to wait another four years to even have a chance at it. It stings."

But years down the road, the Americans will realize that they played right on par with a collection of Canadian superstars today. From a talent point of view, the Americans were severely overmatched. That's reality. As I wrote in my gamer, and I know it's just my opinion, I think Zach Parise is the only American that would make Canada's roster. Maybe Patrick Kane.

But during this two-week tournament, behind great goaltending from Olympic MVP Ryan Miller, young, fast forwards and an unsung blue line, the Americans came together marvelously as a "team," and that's why today could have gone either way.

As for detailed coverage on the game, I direct you to the newspaper stories. That's why I write em. Jim Souhan and I will have a final webcam up soon.

It was an amazing experience to cover this men's hockey tournament, and all of the Olympics quite frankly. I found the luge fascinating, especially documenting Tony Benshoof for three days. I marvelled over the ski jumpers and I enjoyed standing in a snowstorm waiting for Lindsey Vonn's first downhill training run to be cancelled.

Now, it's back to covering the Wild for me. And, ugh, on to Calgary. Normally I love Calgary, but man, I've been gone since Feb. 9. I want to go home.

Guess what? At 11 p.m. Sunday night, the NHL trade freeze will be lifted, so I'd suspect we'll see some deals consummated Monday that were agreed upon during the embargo. The trade deadline is at 2 p.m. CT Wednesday.

I talked to GM Chuck Fletcher Sunday morning and he said, "We have nothing imminent. Whatever we do, I think it would be closer to the deadline, assuming we even do anything."

You can read the story in Monday's paper, but if Marek Zidlicky isn't signed by Wednesday, it would be absolutely shocking if he is not traded. The priority is to sign him, but Fletcher made clear that Zidlicky is a significant asset in the same category as Kim Johnsson. And as you know, he traded Johnsson in the Cam Barker deal.

Lastly, all Olympics long, I've heard the English version of the Olympic theme song, "I believe," by Nikki Yanofsky. Lately, I started to hear the French version. I remembered back in December when we were in Montreal, Guillaume Latendresse told me his girlfriend, French Canadian pop star Annie Villeneuve, was in Calgary buried inside a recording studio taping the theme for the Olympics.

I looked it up, and the French version is indeed sung by Villeneuve. Here's both versions.

English:

 

French:

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