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 extends FSN contract, evaluates broadcasters, fires Snow

Posted by: Michael Russo under Wild management, Wild off-season news Updated: May 12, 2010 - 9:40 AM

(updated Wednesday morning)

--The Wild has reached an extension with Fox Sports North to continue to broadcast Wild games. The length of the deal is undisclosed and an announcement will come at a later date.

In a statement to my inquiry, Bill Robertson, the team's VP of Communications and Broadcastings, said, “The Minnesota Wild have concluded negotiations with FS-North and have extended our current agreement to broadcast Wild NHL games. At the same time, the Wild will continue to work with over-the-air partner, KSTC-TV, while the new contract with FS-North has no immediate impact on the Wild’s KSTC-TV partnership.”

However, that's immediate impact. It's believed all Wild games will move exclusively to Fox Sports North in 2011-12.
 
-- As for the broadcasters, the contracts for TV announcers Dan Terhaar and Mike Greenlay and radio announcers Bob Kurtz and Tom Reid have yet to be extended.
 
“The Wild are currently in the overall review process with our television and radio broadcasters regarding their work,” Robertson said. “We will be meeting with them in the coming weeks to discuss their agreements.”
 
--The Wild has fired director of hockey operations Chris Snow. A former sportswriter, Snow, 28, made national news four years ago because of the unorthodox hiring. He returned to Minnesota from the Boston Globe, where he covered the Red Sox, but he also covered the Wild in 2003-04 and part of the 2004-05 lockout for the Star Tribune.
 
 
Under former GM Doug Risebrough, Snow did a lot of analytical work of other team rosters, cap commitments and statistics. He also assisted in arbitration strategies, organized the scouts and did collective bargaining agreement interpretation. This season, he spent much of his time scouting.
 
"Though the year ended for me the way it has, I appreciate the year working for Chuck [Fletcher] because his management style differs some ways from Doug [Risebrough]," Snow said. "I think that was positive for me to participate in that. Because other people were hired to take over some of the responsibilities I have, it gave me the opportunity to be out of the office scouting. I enjoyed that and it was another skill-set Chuck enabled me to add."
 
Snow said he has no plans to return to sportswriting. He wants to remain in sports management.

"This was a radical decision. Covering the Red Sox is a pretty good job, but I made the decision because this is what I want my career to be," Snow said. "I feel the people I've worked with taught me a great deal, so I feel confident that I can add value to an organization."

You can bet if Risebrough gets the Tampa job, Snow will have a good opportunity to rejoin an NHL team soon. Steve Yzerman, Pierre McGuire and Paul Fenton are also reportedly being considered. Toronto's Dave Nonis got an extension to stay with the Leafs.

-- The Phoenix Coyotes have been given a lifeline for next season.Here's the Associated Press story, thus ending Winnipeg speculation for now.

This means everything remains intact for next season in regards to alignment of divisions.

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