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Russo's Rants

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

South St. Paul's Stalock will start Wild's exhibition opener


Monday is only the fourth day of training camp, but the Wild will already play its first exhibition game at Penn State against the Buffalo Sabres.

Coach Bruce Boudreau unveiled the lineup Sunday.

South St. Paul's Alex Stalock will get the start with Steve Michalek backing him up. The current plan is to have Stalock play the full 60.

“It’s something I thought about all summer,” Stalock said. “To be with this organization is pretty cool.”

The forward lines:

Jason Zucker-Charlie Coyle-Chris Stewart

Ryan Carter-Tyler Graovac-Alex Tuch

Mario Lucia-Pat Cannone-Christoph Bertschy

Kurtis Gabriel-Grayson Downing-Pavel Jenys

The D pairs:

Marco Scandella-Nate Prosser

Nick Seeler-Matt Dumba

Mike Reilly-Hunter Warner

On the game, Boudreau said, "They've worked hard for three days, it's exciting to see if they have actually got it or how much work we have to do. ... I want to see the concepts of what we're trying to do and to see if that's working a little bit."

On working with assistants Scott Stevens and John Anderson on the bench for the first time, Boudreau said he looks forward to "seeing how we react on the bench, to see who's a talker, who's quiet, if I'm the only talker, if I'm [the only one] yelling at the refs. I mean, they won't yell at the refs, but I may. I'm not going to start tomorrow, I don't think. I can't."


"I'm excited to get going. It should be fun," Zucker said. "It feels like I've been here for like three months now. I'm excited that I'm playing [Monday]."

It'll be the NHL preseason debuts for guys like Tuch, Lucia, Seeler, Warner.

"I'm excited because I could feel how excited they are because I remember how I excited I was," Boudreau said. "The whole idea of flying on the charter and the way you're treated in the NHL has got to make people go, 'Man, this is where I want to play.'"

Coyle has been playing center so far in camp because Mikko Koivu, Mikael Granlund and Erik Haula (along with Zach Parise and Ryan Suter) don't report to camp until Monday. Boudreau's looking forward to them practicing Monday. Originally, they were having a late practice, but the schedule's been revamped for Monday so Boudreau and the assistants can be on the ice with them before the game group leaves for Pennsylvania.

Nino Niederreiter and Team Europe upset Sweden in the seminfinal, so Niederreiter moves on to the Final against Canada.

Games are Tuesday and Thursday with a possible Game 3 Saturday.

"Of all the guys, we would have thought we were going to see him first," said Boudreau. "Might not be back for 10 days from now (includes the days off he'll get upon his return)."

Asked if this hurts Niederreiter because he'll be so late to camp and can't get established on his line, Boudreau said, "Especially if you win, there's nothing that makes you want success like success. So I think it would be great for him to win. Well, if I wasn't Canadian."

The Wild's home preseason opener comes Tuesday, by the way, against Colorado.

There will be a Graovac story in Monday's paper, so please check that out.

Zack Mitchell, by the way, is out with a sprained ankle sustained a couple weeks ago, so this is the second straight training camp that Mitchell is missing (at least so far) due to injury.

Fleischmann will not be attending Wild training camp


GM Chuck Fletcher said Saturday that veteran forward Tomas Fleischmann will not be attending Wild training camp.

Coach Bruce Boudreau said Friday that Fleischmann didn't pass his physical. He didn't provide details, but Boudreau said doctors were conducting more tests. It's uncertain the issue, but Fleischmann has been diagnosed with blood clots in the past and perhaps the Wild just wasn't willing to accept the liability.

I say that because both Fletcher and Boudreau said they hope Fleischmann catches on somewhere else, so whatever was discovered doesn't seem like it would inhibit him from playing.

Fletcher said out of respect for Fleischmann, he'd provide no more details.

"I just said goodbye to him," Boudreau said after Day Two of camp was complete. "He's such a good person, it's unfortunate. So I hope he catches on somewhere else. It's just a disappointment. I like him enough that I want to see him succeed somewhere."

It doesn't sound like Fletcher will look to bring another forward in on a pro tryout right now. They have Ryan Carter in on a tryout and will get a flux of World Cup participants reporting for camp Monday.

He said the team will watch the young kids throughout camp, and if it looks like they're not ready to make the team immediately, he could always look to sign a player later in camp. Remember, all tryout players leaguewide are free to sign with any team, so Fletcher said the Wild would be scouting unsigned free agents in preseason games.

Boudreau said today was "OK" when it came to the practices. He just said there was some confusion at times as he introduced the neutral zone and combined it with D-zone. He's looking forward to Monday's exhibition debut against the Sabres at Penn State. He said it would be a typical first preseason lineup, meaning a lot of young guys with the mandatory eight veterans. By the looks of practice, the top line could be Zucker-Coyle-Stewart.

Boudreau has been real impressed with the blue liners so far, even youngsters like Hunter Warner and Nick Seeler. I'm doing a story on the battle for those last couple spots in Sunday's paper focusing on Mike Reilly and Christian Folin, so please check that out.

Also, go to this link if you're interested in attending any or all of the four Star Tribune Fans Night Out games. It includes a Chalk Talk with myself and Wes Walz before the games.

The promo code is FANS.

Talk to you Sunday.

TV Listings

Local Schedule

< >
  • Wild at Buffalo (preseason)

    6 pm on 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    6:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Colorado at Wild (preseason)

    7 pm on 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    6:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Twins at Kansas City

    6:15 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Wild at Winnipeg (preseason)

    7 pm on NHLN, 100.3-FM

  • Lindenwood at Gophers women's hockey

    7:07 pm

  • Twins at Chicago White Sox

    7:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Lindenwood at Gophers women's hockey

    2:07 pm

  • Gophers football at Penn State

    2:30 pm on BTN, 100.3-FM

  • Twins at Chicago White Sox

    6:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Jacksonville at Minnesota United FC

    7 pm on Ch. 29

  • Twins at Chicago White Sox

    2:10 pm on FSN, 96.3-FM

  • Carolina at Wild (preseason)

    5 pm on 100.3-FM

Today's Scoreboard

  • Chicago Cubs


    6:05 PM

  • Arizona


    6:05 PM

  • NY Yankees


    6:07 PM

  • Cleveland


    6:10 PM

  • NY Mets


    6:10 PM

  • Milwaukee


    7:05 PM

  • Tampa Bay

    Chicago White Sox

    7:10 PM

  • Seattle


    7:10 PM

  • Cincinnati

    St. Louis

    7:15 PM

  • Oakland

    LA Angels

    9:05 PM

  • Atlanta

    New Orleans

    7:30 PM


No NBA games today

  • Ottawa


    5:00 PM

  • Columbus


    6:00 PM

  • Minnesota


    6:00 PM

  • Philadelphia

    New Jersey

    6:00 PM

  • Philadelphia

    NY Islanders

    6:00 PM

  • Carolina


    6:00 PM

  • New Jersey


    6:30 PM

  • St. Louis


    7:30 PM

  • Edmonton


    8:00 PM

  • Calgary


    8:00 PM

  • Los Angeles


    9:00 PM

  • Arizona

    Los Angeles

    9:30 PM

No MLS games today