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Russo's Rants

Michael Russo gives you complete coverage of the Minnesota Wild and the NHL

Schroeder latest to get the Wild plague; Bertschy recalled

Wild and the Vancouver Canuckleheads tonight at Xcel Energy Center.

Reminder: 6 p.m. start

Reminder: 3 p.m. at Tom Reid’s Hockey City Pub, I’ll be taping a podcast with Star Tribune columnist Jim Souhan. Please stop on by, ask questions, take part.

Reminder: Dec. 3 is the Star Tribune Fans Night Out with myself and Mark Parrish before the Wild’s game vs. the Leafs. For the package price and details, go to

If you didn't read my profile on Minnesotan Ryan Carter playing at home, here is that story.

Check out the photo gallery that goes with.

Devan Dubnyk, coming off his third shutout of the season, vs. Ryan Miller (6-7-5 with a 2.54 goals-against average and .911 save percentage).

Twelfth straight start for Dubnyk, which is nothing compared to 38 in a row last year. He did remind us his second child, another boy, is due Dec. 4.

“He can really come any day,” Dubnyk said. “If I’m not here one day, that’s most likely why. Hopefully he decides to come on a non-gameday, but my wife just wants to make sure he comes while I’m here.”

On starting 12 in a row, which hasn’t been much of workload when one considers there’s only been one back-to-back in that stretch, Dubnyk said, “It’s fine by me. Anytime I end up actually not playing, I wish I was playing anyway. I’ll play as much as I can and as much as Mike [Yeo] wants to put me in. I’ll just try to keep giving him a reason. Hopefully the baby comes on a non gameday so we don’t have to stop it.”

I assume he means the streak, not the baby.

Yeo said the other day he has no plan yet as to whether Darcy Kuemper will play one of the back-to-backs this weekend. They're two big games against division rivals Winnipeg and Dallas. They're not normal back-to-backs because both are at home, so no travel, and one’s an afternoon game and one’s a night game, meaning extra rest. So it's no guarantee Kuemper plays this weekend.

Jordan Schroeder is sick. Some players told me it’s not just a stomach bug rummaging around. Some players have had strep throat.

Yeo doesn’t know what this issue is. “I thought we were in the clear,” Yeo said. “What I like is through this stretch we haven’t made any excuses. Regardless of who’s in the lineup, we think we have a capable group here.”

Christoph Bertschy will play in Schroeder’s place. Kurtis Gabriel will also play his second NHL game.

He played 2:41 in his NHL debut, fighting Chris Thorburn.

“Every time I come up, I feel that much more comfortable,” Gabriel said. “This time it feels like just like a regular hockey game to be honest. I prepare the same way and I’m comfortable with my surroundings. Every second I get out there is going to help me in the long run and prepare me for future opportunities.”

If you saw his Instagram the other day, Gabriel had a neat picture and story he posted about something special his mom, Kim, did for him after his debut. I talked to Gabriel about that today, and I'll either toss that in tomorrow's paper or later this week (maybe my Sunday column sidebar if not earlier).

The Iowa Wild has lost 10 consecutive games this month, by the way. Gabriel said they’ve had the lead in eight of those 10 games.

Zach Parise took part in today’s morning skate, by the way. He looked much better to me than he did Saturday. Parise said he didn’t know yet if he would take part in his first practice Thursday.
The Canucks have basically been a one-line team for awhile (Sedins) and are 2-6-2 in their past 10 and have won five of their past 17.

Still, Yeo wants no excuses tonight. He said it’s almost easier to be on the road this time of year. Because of Thanksgiving, players all have family and friends in town, so there are distractions. Yeo reminded his gents the other day that preparation for games doesn’t start when they arrive at the rink. It starts at home getting good rest and turning their brains on there.

That’s it for me. I’ll be on NHL Network’s bald spot cam at 4:40 p.m. CT. I’d love to know the Wild’s career record when I’m on the arena cam. It feels like it’s 0-50 or something. Maybe I’m bringing my bad vibes down to ice level.

Koivu, Parise, Suter model Wild's new outdoor game sweaters

Outdoor games are old hat for the Chicago Blackhawks, but the Wild threw out all the bells and whistles earlier today when the organization unveiled its uniform for the Stadium Series game Feb. 21 at TCF Bank Stadium.

On the ice in front of a large throng of media and team employees, captain Mikko Koivu and alternate captains Zach Parise and Ryan Suter modeled them in front of the penalty boxes.

“Really cool,” Parise said of his impressions. “In a good way, they’re plain. I think they’re sharp. They have a really good look to it. I really like it.”

I’m no fashion guru, but in my best attempt to describe them with help from the press release, the jersey’s crest features the Wild logo and the colors are primarily Forest Green with Iron Range Red and Minnesota Wheat accents.

On the shoulder is the State of Hockey logo, the first time that has ever appeared on a Wild sweater. The new ligature “M” logo is on the left side of the pant. There are also enlarged numbers on the sleeves and back that are scaled for greater visibility in the stadium setting.

“I really like the jersey's classic look, the addition of the State of Hockey Logo and the ‘M’ mark to our uniform,” said Koivu. “It'’s an exciting step towards our first outdoor game, which is going to be a great celebration for our fans and the entire State of Hockey.”

Added Suter, “I think it’s cool. Like Mikko said, it’s traditional, big numbers. It’s just something different and I think it’ll look nice on the ice. … My son just brought home his jersey for his team now, and he’s pumped about it just like we are.”

The Blackhawks have played in three outdoor games, including two Winter Classics. Wild players are starting to get excited even though the game is three months away.

“It’ll be fun,” Suter said. “[The Blackhawks] have done it before. We haven’t. It’s all new to us. It’ll be different with the weather, the ice, the sun, who knows, but it’ll be a great experience. Everyone in the locker room is looking forward to it.

“Hopefully it’s not too cold.”

Added Parise, “I guess I don’t really know what to expect, and [Ryan Carter, Thomas Vanek and Jason Pominville who have played in them before] all have said how the buildup is a lot of fun. But as far as the game, it’ll be a little weird with the dynamic of the football field and the different sounds, but I think it’ll be an exciting time playing in front of 50,000.”
Per the release, the jersey along with a full line of apparel and novelty items will be available for purchase at all Hockey Lodge locations starting on Wednesday. Fans can also purchase the jerseys at, the official online store of the NHL®.  
The overarching design direction for this year's Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ jerseys focused on boldness, uniqueness and simplicity to create recognizable visuals at a greater distance. Designers focused on details that were unique to each participating team's identity and fan base to create iconic designs. The Wild's NHL Stadium Series™ jersey was designed by Reebok in partnership with the Wild and the NHL. The 2016 NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game uniform will be unveiled at a later date.
A limited number of ticket packages to the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game and the NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game at TCF Bank Stadium are on sale now at and, the official ticket marketplace of the NHL®. The ticket package consists of one ticket to the 2016 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series™ game on Sunday, Feb. 21 and one ticket to the 2016 NHL Stadium Series™ Alumni Game on Saturday, Feb. 20 - both to be held at TCF Bank Stadium.

Here is the Chicago sweaters

In Wild practice news,

Marco Scandella (lower body) didn’t practice and is likely unavailable to play the next three games, coach Mike Yeo said.

Ryan Carter practiced and will play Wednesday against Vancouver after spending five hours in Dr. Edlund’s dentist chair. He had a root canal, lost one tooth and will need another pulled. He had several stitches in his lower lip but none in the upper because of “the power of the mustache. Must have blocked it.”

I did a big feature on him tomorrow.

The Wild also recalled Kurtis Gabriel and reassigned Brett Bulmer. The Canucks have gotten into 10 fights, tied for third in the NHL, so Yeo alluded to that being the reason.

"They've got a physical team," Yeo said. "Based on our opponent or based on what we think we need for a certain night, we'll make those switches."

Yeo felt Bulmer played well, saying he's looking faster and he's getting used to the pace in the NHL.

Also Tuesday, the Wild was the 17th-most valuable NHL franchise at $380 million in Forbes’ annual list of annual valuations of NHL teams. The New York Rangers are the most valuable NHL franchise at $1.2 billion, taking the top spot on the Forbes list for the first time since 2004. Montreal is second at $1.18 million followed by Toronto at $1.15 million. The least valuable is the Florida Panthers at $190 million.

Reminder, 3 p.m. Wednesday at Tom Reid's, Jim Souhan and I will be taping our next podcast. Come on by.


TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Vancouver at Wild

    6 pm on FSN PLUS, 106.1-FM

  • Atlanta at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Nebraska-Omaha at Gophers men's basketball

    2 pm on 1500-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at MSU Mankato

    2:07 pm

  • Winnipeg at Wild

    3 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers women's basketball vs. Stetson

    3:45 pm on 88.5-FM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers men's hockey

    6 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • Timberwolves at Sacramento

    9 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • Gophers women's hockey at MSU Mankato

    2:07 pm

  • Wisconsin at Gophers football

    2:30 pm on BTN, 100.3-FM

  • Gophers women's basketball vs. Auburn

    6 pm on 1500-AM

  • Dallas at Wild

    7 pm on FSN, 100.3-FM

  • Vikings at Atlanta

    12 pm on Ch. 9, 100.3/1130

  • Timberwolves at L.A. Clippers

    2:30 pm on FSN, 830-AM

  • St. Cloud State at Gophers men's hockey

    6:35 pm on FSN, 1500-AM

  • Clemson at Gophers men's basketball

    8 pm on ESPN2, 1500-AM

  • Wild at Chicago

    7 pm on NBCSN, 100.3-FM

  • Orlando at Timberwolves

    7 pm on FSN, 830-AM

Today's Scoreboard

No games for NFL

  • Vancouver


    6:00 PM

    FSN Plus

  • Nashville


    6:00 PM

  • Edmonton


    6:00 PM

  • Columbus

    New Jersey

    6:00 PM

  • Montreal

    NY Rangers

    6:00 PM

  • St. Louis


    6:00 PM

  • Winnipeg


    6:00 PM

  • Boston


    6:30 PM

  • Philadelphia

    NY Islanders

    6:30 PM

    NBC Sports

  • Los Angeles

    Tampa Bay

    6:30 PM

  • Anaheim


    8:00 PM

  • Ottawa


    8:30 PM

  • Chicago

    San Jose

    9:00 PM

    NBC Sports

  • New York


    6:00 PM

  • Washington


    6:00 PM

  • Philadelphia


    6:30 PM

  • Cleveland


    6:30 PM

  • Miami


    6:30 PM

  • Atlanta


    7:00 PM

  • Sacramento


    7:00 PM

  • Memphis


    7:00 PM


  • Brooklyn

    Oklahoma City

    7:00 PM

  • Dallas

    San Antonio

    7:30 PM

  • New Orleans


    8:00 PM


  • Utah

    LA Clippers

    9:30 PM

No games for MLS